Worrying pattern of landlords banning tenants from working from residence | EUROtoday

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Landlords have come underneath fireplace for banning potential tenants from working from residence, leading to calls for brand spanking new laws to guard renters.

In what seems to be a brand new pattern, adverts for shared properties specify that the potential new occupant should not work at home.

Now, the charity Generation Rent has known as upon the incoming authorities to impose rules to cease this follow which is perpetuated by Section 21 “no-fault” eviction powers.

These considerations have been echoed by British renters, together with one absolutely distant disabled employee who advised The Independent that such practices put folks liable to homelessness when it leaves them unable to work.

A lawyer confirmed to The Independent that landlords can not cease tenants working from residence, though the state of affairs is “more complicated where a tenant seeks to run a business from their rental property.”

The subject got here to the fore with a viral put up on Twitter (X), which claimed {that a} landlord was trying to hire a double room for £1,300 a month the place the tenant can be unable to work at home – regardless of a desk being positioned within the room.

It learn: “£1300, no working from home allowed even though the room has a desk?” [sic]

The put up has been considered by greater than 4 million folks.

It ignited an intense debate concerning the legality of such requests and whether or not or not they have been truthful, particularly with the elevated prevalence of absolutely distant and hybrid jobs within the post-Covid world.

The Office of National Statistics discovered that the typical month-to-month hire within the UK elevated by 9 per cent from 2023 to 2024.

Reacting to the put up, one Twitter (X) person wrote: “That’s utterly ridiculous!”

“I think it’s insurance reasons, as Landlords get asked if the property is used for business purposes,” speculated a second. “I’m sure that’s what Landlords are referring to.” [sic]

A 3rd questioned: “no wfh allowed? how is that legal? no running a business I can understand.”

An investigation by The Independent discovered that such adverts have been removed from unusual on rental web sites like Spareroom and have been significantly prevalent amongst live-in landlords.

“We are looking for a female professional who is neat and tidy and not WFH,” specifies one Spareroom advert for a double bed room costing £800 a month.

Another bed room that prices £800 a month specifies “no WFH” on both a full or part-time foundation, including that the potential tenant “ideally” gained’t use the kitchen a lot.

“If you snore please don’t apply,” it provides, stressing that the best tenant ought to “love their own space”.

London, in particular, is famed for its expensive, often poor rental accommodation. Pictured here is a cupboard that has been turned into a studio flat in the city
London, specifically, is famed for its costly, typically poor rental lodging. Pictured here’s a cabinet that has been become a studio flat within the metropolis (Vicki Couchman/Shutterstock)

Referring to the primary advert, a spokesperson for Spareroom advised The Independent: “This isn’t an ad placed by a traditional landlord, it comes from someone living in the property.

“It’s not unusual for these type of ads, whether they’re from a lodger landlord or the current flatmates, to express some type of preference when it comes to working from home.

“There could be all sorts of reasons for that, from the space not being suitable, or the extra load on wifi, to the effect on bills.”

But the issues that this will create for potential tenants are big, particularly in mild of the prevalence of distant and hybrid roles post-pandemic.

One absolutely distant employee, who’s at the moment searching for a brand new rental property, advised The Independent: “After the 2008 market crash and the proliferation of zero-hours contracts I moved my work model to freelancing. Much of this involves working from home for preparation and admin.

“So when the pandemic hit I was fortunate in having few adjustments to my work pattern, and with a progressive disability, this has allowed me to continue working full time.

“I’m currently looking for a new rental property and any stipulation that I could not work from home would either exclude me from housing or exclude me from the workforce. This is not a choice anyone ought to face, and it certainly ought not to be being imposed by private landlords.”

A British landlord described the practice of banning tenants from working from home as ‘insane’.
A British landlord described the follow of banning tenants from working from residence as ‘insane’. (AFP/Getty)

Abtin Yeganeh, a Senior Associate within the Dispute Resolution division at Lawrence Stephens, defined that renters do have one safety on this space.

“Whilst landlords can seek to exclude a tenant’s right to work from home, The Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (subject to several exclusions) provides that landlords cannot unreasonably refuse a tenant’s request to do so,” he mentioned.

However, the continued existence of Section 21 evictions implies that tenants may nonetheless be pressured to maneuver on in the event that they attempt to work at home, making this a sophisticated subject for all concerned.

Ben Twomey, the Chief Executive of Generation Rent, echoed these considerations, telling The Independent: “If you’re paying rent for a home, it should be none of your landlord’s business what you do in it.

“Unfortunately, in practice, there is little stopping landlords from imposing draconian conditions on their tenants, because they can threaten a Section 21 eviction if you don’t comply.

“It doesn’t matter if an unreasonable requirement is lawful – being able to evict without needing a reason trumps everything.

“When the next government reforms tenancies, as all major parties have promised, it must abolish Section 21 and make clear that unfair terms like banning working from home are not legal. That way, the selfish preferences of a landlord will not mean homelessness for a tenant. ”