Service occupancies

A service occupancy agreement is when the residents are authorised to reside in the property with the landlord’s permission. For most horticulturists this is closely linked to your employment and generally known as tied accommodation, and you are classed as service occupiers.

You are a service occupier if:

  • It is necessary for you to live in the accommodation to do your job.
  • Your employment contract says it is essential to live in the accommodation to do your job better.
  • When an employer requires an employee to reside in a property owned by the employer for the better performance of the employee’s duties.

If you live in tied accommodation your contract should set out:

  • The rent you must pay, or the amount taken out of your wages for rent.
  • How much notice you get if you are dismissed or made redundant.
  • The notice you must give if you resign.
  • Your right to live in your tied accommodation typically ends when your employment finishes.

If it has not been documented in your employment contract, and it is necessary for you to leave your job, check that you are given a clear timescale concerning vacating the property. Your landlord can evict you by giving you reasonable notice (which can be verbal). If you are asked to leave your accommodation and are unsure of your rights, you should get legal advice. If your employer decides to terminate your job and accommodation, you may be able to challenge that decision if you disagree with the reasons for your dismissal. You will need to take your case to an employment tribunal. Your right to challenge the loss of your accommodation depends on whether you pay any rent towards your accommodation.

Free legal helpline

We have partnered with Irwin Mitchell solicitors who are regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Code of Conduct. They have legal experts available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support the horticultural community with their extensive knowledge across all areas of law.

To find out more about the legal helpline click here.

If you need legal support, please call the Perennial helpline in confidence on 0800 093 8543 or complete our Services Contact Form. Our team will be ready to help you or refer you to the legal helpline. All advice is free and fully confidential.