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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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i live in a tied accommodation with my job it was a condition

Customer Question

i live in a tied accommodation with my job it was a condition of my employment for the better performance of my duties as a caretaker, after 20 years i have been made redundant due to me having a disability, my termination date was 31st of december they have no gone to legal and give me a letter saying they want me to leave by the 10th of march or they will fine me £115.00 per week till the council rehouse me, i am on benefits and they wont pay this as it is not a rent can my employers do this? also the council have given me the highest priority and i have medical status and direct let status but each time we see a house appropriate they give it to some one else, they send out to view with us three staff from the council one of which is an occupational health lady she said find a house appropriate to you and your now and future needs call us and we will if it is ok for you give you the property to move in, iv done this but the housing manager says he did not know the type of house or area we needed but i have an email i sent him telling him what areas and house we needed also the department ladies told us what to do we did it and they are now umming and arring over this now, is there anything we can do as if they were to give us this appropriate house we would not be under eviction threat of which has been live since 31st of december but now in writing, i do not know what to do as iv tried everything and do exactly what they say then they knock us back and mess us about, i am on my second breakdown this year with them.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract say anything about the accommodation and the notice you are entitled to?
Customer : No it has always been understood that if i was to leave or retier then i would leave the accommodation. But they are not allowing me time to be rehomed as the council are messing me about
Customer : I will b on line tonight after 18.00
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. There are two separate issues here – one is the request by the employer to leave their accommodation following the termination of your contract, the other is the rehousing. These are two different areas of law so you may not be able to get someone to answer both. I can certainly help with the law around the actual request to vacate the property so if you need help with that let me know. If you only need help with the rehousing issue then I will have to leave this query and allow a colleague to assist. Thanks

Customer :

i do need answers on both please as the last caretaker was same as me in a service tenancy and when he retired he was allowed unended amount of time to find and be offered another council home, we have been nothing but messed about by my ex employer re my house and now this is the icing on the cake so to speak he tried to evict me 4 days after christmas i got my local councillor to email them and tell them to leave it, but it has now reared its head again,

Customer :

the council has given us the highest priority and also i have high medical needs also direct let status from the housing manager i have an occupational health person come out to view any house we are offered due to my disability as they say we need to have a house which suits our now needs as well as future needs also to look out of our chosen area there instruction was to find a house two bedrooms with one step to go in and a walk in shower then call them up they would then come out and if it was what they said we needed it was ours, so when they told us this i emailed the housing manager and told him what they had said and also the area we would look at he responded by email and said he knows which areas we need and when a house came on his desk he would ring us and we could have the house, we still get each week the housing magazine and we saw this house perfect for us and as per there instruction so i rang the occupational health lady and left a message on her phone with all the details she never rang me back i emailed the housing manager and also the head of housing the housing manager rang me saying he did not know we wanted that area so he put it in the magazine and if we get it then he will ask the occupational health lady to attend and wee us, so i checked my emails and i did tell him which areas we needed so i sent them to the head of service as all they offer us is inappropriate houses when we have done all they ask we go and view houses tell them they then give the appropriate house to some one else and offer us one with loads of steps of which i cant have due to my disability so we saw another house and as they gave that to someone else and offered us one with a tiny bathroom which could not be adapted with handrails to iad my independance, then i ring them up they tell me you are the highest priority the nest house you see is yours then we have all this i am in the middle of another nervous breakdown with all these people sick of the messing about. as they just lie, now we have received the letter which gives us less than a month to get out or we get fined £115.00 per week when its not our fault i physically can not do any more to try and secure another house, i just need some appropriate advice to put a stop to these people and get the house they keep promising us and not the crap they want us to have like a high rised flat or rough housing estate or loads of steps, we have followed there instruction to the letter and still getting messed about,

Ben Jones :

ok if you need advice on both you will have to post them as separate questions because it is unlikely you will find someone who can answer both, as they are separate legal areas. On that basis would you like me to continue with the employer's power to remove you from the property?

Customer :

yes please

Customer :

can they make me pay the money they are asking for as the last caretaker paid zero and had open time to be offered another counil house of his choice

Ben Jones :

When an employee is provided with accommodation by their employer, there are two possible ways in which they could be allowed to occupy the property:


• Under a tenancy


• Under a licence to occupy


 


The most common way would be to grant the employee a licence to occupy. Unless there was a formal tenancy agreement in place, or the occupier was granted exclusive possession of the property for a term in return for rent, it is assumed that a licence to occupy would have been granted.


 


If there is an employment contract in place then the first step would be to check what the terms under that contract are and determine the employee's rights that way.


 


In the absence of a contract, the following assumptions can be made: if the employer wishes to remove the employee from the property they may only do so when the licence to occupy ends, which will occur in the following circumstances:


• If the employment contract ends;


• If the employee voluntarily leaves the property; or


• If the employer gives at least 4 weeks' notice.


 


Therefore, if the contract is terminated, the licence to occupy will terminate as soon as the contract ends. In any other case, the employer would be expected to give at least 4 weeks' notice because a licensee who occupies a property as a dwelling is entitled to that notice under Section 5 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.


 


Assuming that you remain in the property after the official deadline to vacate has passed, you will no longer be entitled to the privileges of staying there on the current terms. Whilst the employer could seek to evict you, they could instead decide to charge you rent, as in this case. What has happened in the past with someone else will be irrelevant unfortunately – the employer can decide whether to charge someone or not and as you are no longer employed by them this will not be governed by past occurrences with other employees.

Customer :

so can they charge me the weekly monies they say as it is not rent but a fine and its not my fault i am still here

Ben Jones :

they cannot fine you but they can charge you rent if necessary, or as mentioned take steps to evict you

Customer : The letter clearly states notice to quit issued date is 10th march if u do not vacaye by this date we will charge u £115.00 per wk till u vacate this is not rent as u are not a secured tenant. This is why i said it was a fine and not rent.
Ben Jones : Ok they may describe it as a fine but it is just compensation for the time spent in the accommodation when you are not supposed to be there. Whatever they call it, basically it is possible to charge you a fee for being in accommodation which you are legally not supposed to occupy

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