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School Caretaker Faces Eviction After ‘Tied Homes’ Test Case

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

Employees who need to live on site to carry out their duties are often provided with so-called ‘tied’ homes. In a guideline decision, the High Court considered the legal effect of such arrangements in a case concerning a former school caretaker.

The man and his wife had lived in a bungalow in the grounds of the school where he worked for over a decade. They had completely refurbished the property, in which they had brought up their four children. His local authority landlord had served him with notice to quit following his dismissal, but he refused to leave.

In granting a possession order, however, the Court found that his licence to occupy the property came to an end on the termination of his employment. Arguments that his eviction would amount to disability discrimination – he suffers from severe back pain – and a violation of his family’s human rights fell on fallow ground.

There was nothing capricious about linking his right to occupy the bungalow to his employment and he had been aware of that position from the outset. It was also in the public interest that the council should recover possession of the bungalow so that it could decide how best it might be used for public purposes.

Says Wendy Davidson “This decision will come as a relief for any employer who needs to have an employee living on site and thus provides tied accommodation. For advice on any property or employment law matter, please get in touch.”

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