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Landlord in hot water over 'no WFH' rental advert

working from home controversy

A landlord has got into hot water for telling prospective tenants that they’re not allowed to work from home.

A recent post on Twitter/X claimed that the landlord was attempting to rent out a double room for £1,300 a month where the tenant would be unable to work from home – despite having a desk in the room.

The tweet – which has been viewed by more than four million people - read: “£1300, no working from home allowed even though the room has a desk?” The poster, Harley Shah, is running a one-person campaign on the social media platform to highlight landlords who advertise properties to rent with strict tenant behavioural strings attached.

Generation Rent has urged the new government to impose regulations to stop the trend for landlords specifying that new tenants shouldn’t work from home, according to a report in The Independent.

Live-in landlords

The paper found similar adverts on rental websites such as Spareroom and reports that these were particularly prevalent among live-in landlords.

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

A Spareroom spokesman says: “This isn’t an ad placed by a traditional landlord, it comes from someone living in the property. It’s not unusual for these types 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.”

Abtin Yeganeh

Abtin Yeganeh (pictured), senior associate at solicitors Lawrence Stephens, says while 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.

However, the situation is more complicated where a tenant wants to run a business from their rental property.


Working from home