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 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

Contact a Shelter Scotland housing adviser

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

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England