Your rights if your home comes with your job
When your home is provided by your employer, it's called tied accommodation.
You’ll either have a tenancy or an occupancy. If you have a tenancy you have stronger rights.
If you have a service tenancy
If you do not have to live in your home as part of your job, you'll have a tenancy rather than an occupancy.
This means your rights are stronger. You have legal tenancy rights as well as in the agreement between you and your employer.
To have a tenancy, your situation must meet the following requirements:
you pay your employer rent
you are not required to live in your home to do your job
if you chose to, you could live somewhere else and still do your job
Your rights if you have a tenancy
Your rights depend on what type of tenancy you have:
if you moved in on or after 1 December 2017, you have a private residential tenancy
if you moved in before 2 January 1989, you could have a regulated tenancy
if your employer is the council or a housing association, you could have a Scottish secure tenancy
If you have a tenancy and your employment ends
Your landlord must follow a legal process to evict you. The process depends on the type of tenancy you have.
Check our advice on:
If you think you have a tenancy
You can have a tenancy even if you do not have a written tenancy agreement.
If you think you should have a tenancy and your employer has not given you one, check our advice on getting your landlord to give you a private residential tenancy agreement.
If you need advice on whether you have a tenancy or an occupancy, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.
If you have a service occupancy
You’ll have an occupancy if your employer gave you the accommodation as part of your job and you have to live there to be able to do your job.
Your rights will depend on what is written in your employment contract.
Usually in your employment contract it'll say:
you must live there to do your job better
you must move out if your employment ends
you do not pay rent or your rent is covered by your work
Examples of an occupancy
you’re a live-in nurse, carer or housekeeper
you live and work in a nursing home or sheltered housing
you live and work on the grounds of an estate, garden or park
If your employment ends
Your employer must give you at least 4 weeks’ notice if they want you to leave your accommodation. They may need to give you more notice if it says so in your employment contract or occupancy agreement.
If you've resigned, been fired or been made redundant, you’ll have to leave your accommodation.
If you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you’ll still need to leave, but you may be able to go to an employment tribunal.
Citizen's Advice Bureau has guidance on employment tribunals.
If your employer goes to court to evict you
If you refuse to leave, your employer may need to get a sheriff court order to evict you.
This could give you more time in the property, but the court will probably agree to evict you. You could also be ordered to pay your employer’s court expenses.
Your employer will not need to get a court order if you:
live with them or their family
stay in holiday accommodation, like a hotel or holiday cottage
If you’re an agricultural occupier
You could be an agricultural occupier if:
you work as an employee or apprentice in the agricultural sector
your home is provided by your employer as part of the terms of your employment
You may have extra rights to delay the eviction at court. The court must consider how eviction would affect you and your landlord to decide how long you can stay.
Contact a solicitor who specialises in agricultural law to help you delay the eviction. You can search for a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website.
If you’re being forced out
Your employer should give you valid notice and wait till the notice period expires before telling you to leave.
If they've not done this, they should not:
change the locks while you're out
physically remove you from your home
force you to leave by threatening or harassing you
make your living situation so unbearable that you leave
What to say to your employer if you are being forced out
Tell them they’re not following the legal eviction process. Use our template so you know what to say.
Template: warn your employer about forcing you out
I've checked my rights on the Shelter Scotland website.
I have a service occupancy and a right to occupy my home.
By forcing me out, you have not followed the correct legal process to evict me.
I'm asking you to: <allow me to move back in / allow me to collect my belongings / agree that I can stay until I have somewhere to move into>.
I hope we can come to an agreement so that I have time to find a new home and I am not made homeless.
Please confirm if you'll allow me more time to find a new home.
Getting help from the council or police
You can ask the council and the police to help you stay in your home until the notice period expires.
Show them your agreement if you have one, to prove you have a right to occupy your home.
This can give you more time to find somewhere else to live.
If you're worried about eviction
An adviser can help you work out:
whether your landlord has to get a court order
how to negotiate a longer notice period
Applying to the council as homeless
You may be classed as homeless if you have to leave your home. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.
Check our advice on making a homeless application.
If you're not a British or Irish citizen, your rights to homeless help could be different. Check our advice on how your immigration status affects your housing options.
Last updated: 8 November 2023