OpenRent contract says no business use

Hi there,

We’re just about to rent our house out for the first time. We’ve found a lovely couple to rent our house. One of them runs a successful business but does all his admin from home.

They are querying part 9.15 of the standard OpenRent contract which states:

Not to use the Premises other than for the purposes of a private residence, nor carry on or permit to be carried on upon the Premises any profession trade or business whatsoever

I know this kind of thing can be in your house deeds, mostly as a way of not upsetting the neighbours with big vans coming and going all day long, or a constant stream of visitors, etc… but if you’re just sat in your home-office by yourself all day long it’s not really going to matter, and is pretty much un-enforceable.

Is “working from home” is classed as “carrying on a professional trade / business”? Or would they have to register their business address as our house address for that to count?

What do I tell these prospective tenants? I’m not able to modify this part of the contract.

Any help greatly appreciated.

you can add what you want on the bottom of the contract to settle their mind . saying doing the paperwork and phoning is ok. Doing the paperwork at home is not running a business if e g. there is no stock there

Doing admin at home is not the same as running a business from home. Dont worry about it. This won’t breach the contract.

Hi John,

It sounds like this is just a matter of reassuring the tenant that they can continue to work from home as they usually do without being at risk of any negative consequences.

To do this you could tell them:

  • The clause is to protect landlords from people who convert the property into, e.g. an office or light industrial use. It’s not to stop people working on their laptop at the kitchen table
  • It’s unclear what you could even do legally if the tenant was doing admin from home. Perhaps use it as ground 12 for a section 8 eviction due to breaking a term of the contract?
  • But how would you ever prove they have been doing admin at home to a court?
  • Ground 12 is a discretionary ground; would a court ever rule to evict a tenant was doing admin at home? I can’t imagine they would.
  • The courts’ ability to hear cases is currently severely diminished due to coronavirus
  • The government has legally required people to work from home as much as possible due to coronavirus
  • As Colin says, you can add a custom clause to explicitly permit him to work on his current business from home

Here’s how to add a custom clause:


there are many people working from home on a computer employed by a firm . No problem there. Keeping your accounts at home is not going to damage a rental property. Car repairs a different matter!!!