Staff housing guidance note for headteachers

Issue date February 2017


Who qualifies for a service tenancy (residential)

  • Those people who are contracted to live in a property ‘for the better performance of their duties’ e.g. caretakers, site managers.  People whose duties may include: taking out of hours deliveries; locking up; site security etc.,  There must be a requirement for sufficient continuity of presence at the place of work for the ‘occupation for the better performance of duties’ requirement to be genuinely satisfied
  • Staff must work a minimum of 30 hours per week unless there are exceptional reasons which must be agreed in advance with OCC corporate landlord estates team (OCCCL)
  • Service tenants do not have the right to buy the property.  When the service tenancy post comes to an end or they retire they will be required to vacate

Employing residential staff 

  • You will need to issue a request to IBC (Hampshire) to draw up a ‘residential’ contract of employment.  This must have a space to be signed by the tenant, must state the address of the accommodation to be occupied and must contain the ‘residential’ paragraphs in the main body of the contract.
  • A signed copy of the contract of employment needs to be returned to OCCCL as this is essential in order for a tenancy agreement to be drawn up. The signed contract will then be passed to OCC Legal Services who will draw up a tenancy agreement. This can take up to three weeks to complete.
  • On no account must an employee be allowed to take up occupation without having signed a tenancy agreement – this can be confirmed  with OCCCL or Legal Services
  • Please remember that DBS checks will be necessary for members of the family over 16 who are living with the tenant where the accommodation is situated on the school site/grounds

Rents/other charges for residential staff

  • For newly appointed caretakers/site managers rent is paid at 8% of salary unless appointed at grade 8 or higher (SCP 26 and above) in which case a market rent is applied less an abatement of 35% (market rents need to be assessed by CCS)
  • The rental calculation for caretakers/site managers also includes bonuses and any additional allowances as part of regular basic pay but does not include shift allowances or overtime payments
  • Water – all new caretakers are responsible for paying water rates either direct to Thames Water or via a check meter (if via a check meter then the school will need to recharge the tenant for water used)
  • Gas and Electricity – These are the responsibility of the tenant either direct to the Utilities concerned or via a check meter (if via a check meter then the school will need to recharge the tenant for energy used)
  • Council Tax, Phone etc.,  - These are the responsibility of the tenant
  • Please inform OCCCL in advance of any changes to hours, pay grade or allowances etc., as these will affect the rental calculation.  One month’s notice must be given of any changes which will involve an increase in rent to the tenant.  If I am not informed in advance and am therefore not able to give the tenant a month’s notice of an increase then the council will lose rental income.  This may be passed on as a cost to the establishment  responsible

The accommodation 

  • The incoming tenant will be responsible for floor coverings.  Where the council is providing a new kitchen or bathroom it will provide vinyl floor coverings as part of that improvement
  • The Council does not decorate except in exceptional circumstances.  However, an allowance of currently up to £200 is available upon productions of receipts for decorating materials.  Following an on-site inspection by OCCCL estates team a month’s rent free period will also be agreed
  • Tenants will be required to comply with their tenancy agreement.  Any suspected breach, please contact OCCCL

When residential staff leave

  • Please notify OCCCL in advance of any residential staff who are leaving.  The tenant is required to give a months notice in writing to OCCCL
  • The tenant will be required to leave when their service tenancy ends.  If they are retiring they may be relying on the District Council to rehouse them.  If this is the case, they may not be in a position to leave straight away and it is important that OCCCL is notified immediately in order that she can liaise with the relevant district council