Rights of occupants

The rights and protection given to occupants of houses in multiple occupancy depends firstly on whether the occupant is a tenant.

To decide this it would be useful to check the written agreement, if available. However, it should be noted that status depends on the actual situation rather than what is stated in any agreement. In broad terms, an occupant is likely to be a tenant if they pay rent and have exclusive occupation of at least part of the accommodation.

This content applies to Scotland

Where a person is likely to be a tenant

A person is likely to be a tenant where they are;

  • a single person or couple living in a shared flat with exclusive occupation of a bedroom

  • a person living in supported accommodation where the amount of support is light, they occupy at least some of the accommodation exclusively, and the accommodation is the main element in the supported package

  • a person living in a house/flat shared with the landlord who has exclusive occupation of a room and the room is the principal residence of the occupant.

Where an occupant is likely not to be a tenant

An occupant is likely not to be a tenant where they are;

  • living in supported accommodation, especially of a temporary nature, where the accommodation is provided for the purposes of providing the support

  • a person occupying dormitory style accommodation with persons other than their family

  • persons living in short stay, temporary hostel accommodation

  • persons living in hotels

  • persons living in hospitals.

It should be emphasised that there are a number of very grey areas and each situation needs to be considered separately.

Last updated: 31 October 2014