Introduction to this document

Provision of accommodation policy

It’s only in certain industries that employees will be provided with living accommodation as part of their employment package. This is usually where you need the employee to live on, or very close to, their work premises for the better performance of their job duties. Always ensure that you only create a service licence which can be terminated on the notice period provided for in the employee’s contract of employment.

Service licence

Some employers provide residential accommodation for their employees, usually because the nature of the work is such that the job can only properly be done if they live either close by or on the work premises. Examples include landlords in pubs, school caretakers, wardens of sheltered accommodation, hotel managers, etc. You will only create a service licence (as opposed to a more onerous tenancy) where the occupation by the employee is genuinely necessary for the better performance of their duties. Always make it express in your Provision of Accommodation Policy statement that the employee is required to occupy certain premises for the better performance of their job duties and that their occupation will cease upon the termination of their employment, on the notice period provided for in the contract of employment. Of course, this must also reflect the reality of the situation - if you have simply provided an employee with a cheap flat as a perk of the job, it won’t be a service licence but a service tenancy if you have granted the employee exclusive possession for a term at a rent. However, even if the employee is not a service licensee, they may still be a lodger and not a tenant if you provide attendance or services which require you to exercise unrestricted access to, and use of, the premises. Note that if the employee refuses to leave even where the service licence is lawfully brought to an end, you cannot forcibly evict them - you have to get an order for possession from the county court. This is usually relatively straightforward though when compared to a tenancy, because the court’s powers to make an order for possession in the case of a tenancy are restricted by legislation.

Other issues

Our provision of accommodation policy statement also covers issues such as who can live in the premises, whether they will be furnished or unfurnished, who is responsible for the payment of utility bills and the obligations on the employee to keep the premises clean, tidy and in good decorative repair. You will probably need to amend our policy statement to suit your own individual circumstances in relation to these matters.