Generation Rent and Shelter have slammed the growing trend of landlords banning their tenants from working from home.

As reported by The Independent, there’s been a growing trend for SpareRoom adverts specifying that their renter mustn’t work from their property.

Ben Twomey chief executive of Generation Rent: “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.”

The news picked up steam on Twitter/X after a landlord said tenants couldn’t work from home, despite there being a desk in the room. Rubbing salt in the wound, the room was being rented for £1,300.

However Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), pointed out that the £1,300 room was for a lodger with a live-in landlord.

He responded on the platform: “Firstly, this is a lodger advert with a live in owner. Section 21 is not relevant to a non AST. Lodgers have far fewer protections and if you’re sharing your home, you might forgive someone for imposing conditions. Akin to a flat share where someone is being added to a tenancy and other renters making sure that whoever joins them is a good fit.”

He added: “The issue I have with this is the comment from Generation Rent: “If you’re paying rent for a home, it should be none of your landlord’s business what you do in it.”

“I’d love to be able to hand over the keys and abdicate my responsibility for what a tenant does there. The reality is, I can’t.

“Licensing conditions require me to deal with ASB; neighbours implore me to manage the tenancy when things are to their liking (gardening, rubbish, low level noise).

“And frankly, if a tenant turns my house into a knocking shop or a drugs den it is 100% my business to intervene.”

Shelter’s legal team indicated that landlords are able to restrict working from home under the current legislation.

They told the Metro: “We might consider the restriction to be unreasonable or unfair, but the landlord will no doubt argue that they have their reasons for imposing this condition, and that it is reflected in the rent, so it is unlikely to be considered an unfair term under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.”

And Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, added: “We haven’t built enough genuinely affordable social homes for decades and renters are paying the price – private renting has ballooned but regulation hasn’t kept pace, stacking the deck against renters.

“As a result, landlords are free to dictate unfair and unreasonable terms, knowing tenants will just have to put up and shut up in the hope of keeping a roof over their heads.”