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Landlord Legal Issues - October 2020

Landlord & tenant lawyer, Tessa Shepperson of www.landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. My tenants are using my property for business use. Presumably that gives me the right to end their tenancy now and evict them?

A. Maybe but it depends on what the business use is. If they are just working from home – for example doing computer work, then this is something that you should allow anyway. They are not ‘running a business’ as the business itself is not based at your property. So long as the things they are doing do not breach any of the other terms of your tenancy – for example by altering the property or causing a nuisance to neighbours, they should be fine.  

It is arguable that they do not even need your permission. For example, it has long been accepted that teachers can mark homework from home and do not need a landlord’s permission.  

However, if it is their own business this is different. For example, they should not register a limited company at your property – they should use one of the many business address services.

Whether you should permit the business to be carried on or not will depend on what it is. Sections 35 and 36 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 introduced the concept of a ‘home business tenancy’ and if a business is ‘low impact’ a landlord is now expected to permit it. This includes things like internet businesses, secretarial agencies, financial consultancies and the like.  

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