Temporary accommodation standard occupation contracts

  • Temporary accommodation is provided by the council if you make a homelessness application and are in ’priority need
  • People living in temporary housing can usually be evicted quite easily  
  • In some circumstances you might have a standard contract in temporary accommodation, which gives you stronger rights

If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. Please visit our converted contracts advice section. 

This page explains your rights if you are living in temporary accommodation under a standard occupation contract with a community landlord or a private landlord. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without being disturbed and to get repairs done.

It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you are in temporary accommodation under a licence or common law tenancy. Please see our advice about licences and common law tenancies in temporary accommodation. 

If you are living in temporary accommodation and not sure whether you have a standard occupation contract, licence or common law tenancy, the information here should help you work out which kind of renting agreement you have. 

Living in temporary accommodation can sometimes leave you feeling isolated and stressed. We’ve put together a few tips that can help you in our Temporary Accommodation Survival Guide. Click to download your copy in either English or Welsh: 

English | Cymraeg 

Do I have a temporary accommodation standard contract?  

You have a standard contract in temporary accommodation if:  

  • your landlord is the council and they have a duty to secure housing 
  • you have a housing association or private landlord and it has been 12 months or more since the council notified you of their homelessness decision  
  • you are living in privately rented accommoation that is not classed as Bed and Breakfast and it has been 12 months or more since the council notified you of their homelessness decision  

What information should I be given at the start of my contract?  

 Your landlord must give you a written contract within 14 days of your contract starting. The contract will explain your rights and the responsibilities. It must also contain certain information. If your landlord doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here.

You should also be given: 

  • a contact address for your landlord  
  • a copy of the annual gas safety check dated within the last year 
  • an electrical installation condition report dated within the last 5 years 
  • an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years  

 If your landlord has not provided the above information, they may not be able to evict you using a ‘no fault’ notice. If your landlord has given you an eviction notice get help. 

Can I be evicted? 

Yes. Your landlord may evict you if you breach your occupation contract or if the council make a decision to end their homelessness duty to you.

If you are being asked to leave your temporary accommodation, it does not necessarily mean that the council will not have to help you in other ways. It will depend upon whether the council has other duties to you following your homeless application. 

For more information, see our advice about eviction of standard contract-holders from temporary accommodation.

Get help immediately if you are threatened with eviction for any reason. It may be difficult to find anywhere else to live if you don’t take action quickly. 

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

If your landlord wants to increase your rent, they must give at least two months’ notice before the new rent is payable. If your landlord wants to increase your rent less than a year after the last rent increase, get help. 

Paying your rent should always be your top financial priority as you could lose your home if you get into rent arrears. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs to help with the rent. It is a good idea to talk to your support provider if you have any concerns about paying rent. 

Can my landlord change my contract? 

If you have a temporary accommodation standard contract your landlord can change:  

Changes can only be made by agreement. Your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’ within 14 days. They may choose to give you a full written occupation contract in full, including the changed supplementary term. If your landlord doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here. 

Who is responsible for repairs? 

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is fit to live in and kept in good repair. This includes dealing with: 

  • problems with the roof, guttering, windows, doors and brickwork  
  • plumbing, gas and electricity. 

Your landlord should give you information about what repairs you are responsible for, which usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage you cause. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. They should have a 24-hour service for emergencies and proper procedures for carrying out any work involved.  

Find out more about repairs here.

Your right to live in your home without interference 

You have the right to live in your home without interference from the landlord or anyone acting on their behalf. If your landlord tries to do this s/he may be guilty of harassment, which is against the law. To find out more about what you can do if your landlord is harassing you, read our advice about harassment and illegal eviction. 

When will I get longer-term accommodation? 

If the council has accepted a ‘relief duty’, they should take reasonable steps to help you find longer-term accommodation. If, after 56 days, you have not found longer-term accommodation, the council will make a decision about whether they have a duty to secure accommodation for you.  

If they do not have a duty to secure accommodation, they may not have to give you any further help. You can ask for a review of their decision. If you are in this situation, get help. 

However, if the council decides that they do have a duty to secure accommodation, there is no limit as to how long you can stay in the temporary accommodation so long as: 

  • it remains suitable for you 
  • you stick to any conditions that are included in your occupation contract 

For more information about how the council should help you, please see our advice about getting help from the council 

Can I take in lodgers or sublet the accommodation? 

While you are in temporary accommodation you do not have the right to take in a lodger or sublet part of your home, unless your landlord gives you permission. If you do so without permission, both you and the person you rent to can be evicted very easily. 

Can I add a joint contract-holder? 

Your contract should give you the right to add a joint contract-holder if your landlord agrees. This is a fundamental term of all types of occupation contracts. Find out more here. 

Can someone else take over my contract when I die? 

As a standard occupation contract-holder, there are rules about who the occupation contract can be passed on to. The legal process for passing your contract on when you die is called ‘succession’. 

Can I get a transfer or exchange? 

Not while you are in temporary accommodation. You will have to wait until you get settled accommodation. Even then, it will only be possible to exchange your home if you are given a secure contract with a community landlord. 

What if the temporary accommodation is unsuitable? 

If you don’t think the temporary accommodation is suitable, you should tell the council. If the council doesn’t offer you anything else, get help. An adviser may be able to help you to convince the council that you should be offered something more suitable for your needs. Find out more about unsuitable temporary accommodation here. 

Where can I get help and support? 

If you’re having problems in temporary accommodation for any reason, get in touch with an adviser. Don’t wait until things get really bad. If you end up homeless again, it may be more difficult to get help from the council in future. 

Advisers may be able to offer: 

  • practical help (for example if you have mobility problems) 
  • mediation services to help sort out disagreements with others 
  • treatment and support to help you with drug or alcohol problems 
  • advice on how to deal with money problems such as rent arrears or other debts 
  • help with mental health problems or learning disabilities. 

For more details of how to get help and advice click here. 

How can I end a standard occupation contract? 

If you want to end your standard contract and leave your home you should give the landlord the correct notice in writing. The minimum length of notice you should give your landlord is 4 weeks. 

What if I have a complaint? 

If you disagree with any decision the council has made on your homelessness application, it may be possible to challenge the decision and get it overturned. 

If you feel that the council isn’t treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its other responsibilities, you can also complain using their official complaints procedure. If you’re not happy with the response you get, you can complain further to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. 

Did you find this helpful?

Rydym yn ymddiheuro na fedrwn ddarparu’r wybodaeth yma yn Gymraeg, ond os hoffech siarad ag ymgynghorydd yn Gymraeg yna cysylltwch ar 08000 495 495.
We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

This page was last updated on: December 4, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.