Your rights if your home comes with your job

If your home is provided by your employer, known as tied accommodation, you’ll either have a tenancy or an occupancy. If you have a tenancy you’ll have stronger rights. Check which one you might have and what you can do if you’re being asked to leave.

Check if you have an occupancy or a tenancy

Your rights depend on the kind of agreement you have with your employer landlord. This can be either a service tenancy or a service occupancy.

If you have a service occupancy

You’ll have an occupancy if:

  • your employer gave you the accommodation as part of your job

  • you do not pay rent, or your rent is covered by your work

  • you have to live there so you can do your job better

Usually in your work contract it will say something like:

  • you must live there to do your job better

  • you must move out if your employment ends

These are some common examples of an occupancy:

  • you live and work in a hotel, pub or restaurant

  • 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 you have a service tenancy

If you do not have to live in your home as part of your job, you should have a tenancy rather than an occupancy.

This means your rights are stronger. You have tenancy rights laid out in law 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

  • it’s not a requirement to live in your home to do your job

  • if you chose to, you could live somewhere else and still do your job

If you’re not sure of your rights in tied accommodation

You may have a tenancy even if:

  • you have not been given a lease

  • your employment contract says you have to live there but it's not necessary to carry out your job better

If you need advice on whether you have a tenancy or an occupancy, contact a Shelter Scotland adviser.

Your rights if you have an occupancy

Your rights will depend on what is written in your agreement or employment contract.

If you need repairs done in your home, you’ll have to report them to your employer.

Use our template letter for reporting repairs to help you know what to say.

If you have an occupancy and 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 have 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 going to an employment tribunal.

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. While this could give you more time in the property, 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 being forced to leave

It's illegal for your employer or anyone acting on their behalf to harass you and use force to make you leave your home. The use of force includes:

  • changing the locks

  • cutting off services such as gas and electricity

  • removing your belongings

  • removing you physically

We have guidance on what you can do if you’re being harassed or threatened with illegal eviction.

Your rights if you have a tenancy

Your rights depend on what type of tenancy you have:

If your employer has not given you the right tenancy agreement, get advice from a Shelter Scotland adviser. They can help you:

  • work out what type of tenancy you have

  • get the correct tenancy agreement from your employer

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.

We have further guidance on:

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.

We have guidance on how the council must help you if you’re homeless.

Last updated: 9 August 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England