Many renters prohibited from working from home by landlords: reports

Government facing pressure to change Housing Act to allow for WFH

Many renters prohibited from working from home by landlords: reports

The new British government is facing pressure to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 amid landlords' growing prohibitions on working from home.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, or the "no-fault" eviction, enables landlords to evict tenants without providing a reason as long as they follow the proper legal process.

Recently, local media is reporting that landlords in the United Kingdom are using this authority to enforce bans on tenants who are working from home.

The Independent reported recently about ads on rental website Spareroom that are not allowing working from home by their tenants.

A spokesperson from the business told the news outlet that it's "not unusual" for ads there to have "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," the spokesperson told The Independent.

None of landlords' business

Generation Rent, a campaign led and for renters in the UK, called out this practice saying it should be "none of your landlord's business" on what tenants do on their space as long as they are paying rent.

This is why the organisation has been calling on the new labour government to abolish Section 21 of the 1988 legislation.

"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," Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, told The Independent.

"That way, the selfish preferences of a landlord will not mean homelessness for a tenant."

Abolishing Section 21

The call to abolish Section 21 is not new in the United Kingdom. The previous governments under the Conservative Party have been promising since 2019 the abolition of the controversial section, but to no avail.

The Renters (Reform) Bill, which was introduced in 2023, failed to pass before the change of government this July.

The newly sitting Labour government, however, have already promised an "overhaul the regulation of the private rented sector."

Generation Rent said the new government's promises offer "many welcome steps in the right direction."

"Over the course of the new parliament, Generation Rent will continue to campaign for comprehensive changes to law and policy so that every renter can live in a secure, quality, and affordable home," it said in a statement.

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