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Check Your Occupation Type – Private

Answer 4 (1):

You probably have a residential license.  This will mean that you will not have the protection given to tenants and your rights will be more limited.

Here is a bit more information about the different situations in the question:

Accommodation on boats

If you are renting any accommodation which is floating – ie on a boat on water, you will have a residential license.  This is because it is not legally possible for the boat to be the subject of a tenancy – as it is not ‘land’.  

Even if the boat would fall apart if it were moved, it is still not capable of being a tenancy.  So all accommodation on boats will be residential licenses

Service accommodation

If you are an employee and you are required to live in accommodation as part of your job, then this will also be a residential license.  Examples include live-in nannies, housekeepers and gamekeepers.

However, if living in the accommodation is not necessary for your work, for example, if cheap accommodation is provided as a ‘perk’ – then it is likely to be a tenancy (if all of the other elements of a tenancy apply).

Family arrangements

Here it really depends on the circumstances.  For example, if a tenancy agreement has been provided and you pay rent in the same way as a ‘normal’ tenant then it will be a tenancy.  However, if it is a very informal arrangement where a family member has allowed you to live in their property, particularly if no market rent is paid, then it may be deemed to be a license only.

These situations can prove very difficult if relations break down and the landlord wants the family member to go.  You may need to get legal advice on your rights.


Accommodation on a caravan can be a tenancy but only if the caravan is stationary – for example, if it is fixed in position and cannot move, with services such as electricity and water connected.

Otherwise, it cannot be classed as ‘land’ and cannot form the subject matter of a tenancy.  So the occupier will have a license only.

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