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Can I run a business from my home?

Running a business from home, qualifying tenancies, WDH permission, refusal, rules and conditions, application form

You will need to find out if you are eligible under your tenancy agreement and obtain written permission from WDH before you start running a business from your home. We will not unreasonably refuse permission for you to run a business from your home.

There are various factors, which may affect the outcome of your application, but whatever the outcome, you will receive a letter explaining how we have arrived at the final decision.

Which tenancies qualify?

  • Assured Tenancy.
  • Assured Non-Shorthold Tenancy.
  • Assured Shorthold (Starter) Tenancy.

Which tenancies do not qualify? 

  • All other classes of tenancy agreement.

What businesses do I need written permission for?

  • You need written permission to run any business from your home.

Important - If you receive WDH’s permission to run the business from your home, it will be your responsibility to get formal planning permission or building regulations approval from the relevant council, or any other permission you may need before any business activity starts.

What if I start a business without written permission?

It is a breach of your tenancy agreement to run a business from your home without written permission from us. If you are already running an unauthorised business from your home you must apply for permission immediately.

If the application is refused, you must stop any business activity from your home immediately. We will visit you to make sure you have stopped. Failure to do so will put you in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Are there any rules or conditions that WDH insist on?

We will not refuse permission to run a business from your home without good reason. Listed below are some of the reasons we would refuse permission.  If your business were likely to:

  • cause a nuisance to neighbours or adversely impact on the neighbourhood and the environment;
  • involve the use of oxygen, acetylene or other flammable gas bottles, or the storage of large quantities of dangerous substances;
  • involve the display of any signs or notice boards about your business on / in your property;
  • involve repairing motor vehicles from your home;
  • involve the use of noisy machinery;
  • present a danger to the health and safety of the occupiers or neighbours;
  • conflict with any of the conditions of your tenancy agreement; or,
  • reduce the amenities of the property, or be unsuitable in relation to the nature of the business, number of employees, property type, location and size.

When granting permission, we may impose conditions. If we do, they will be clearly outlined in the letter of permission you will receive. Any conditions we give you must be followed. Failure to do so will be considered a breach by you of your obligations under your tenancy agreement and we reserve the right to withdraw permission.

If business activity continues in these circumstances then, as with any other breach of the tenancy agreement, action will be taken to put right the breach, including the use of injunctions and possession proceedings if necessary. 

Where should I send my completed application?

When you have completed the application form, you should send it to your nearest service access point for it to be processed. Remember to attach any plans or drawings (if applicable), so your application can be processed without delay.

When I put in my application, what happens next?

Your Estate Manager will assess your application. It may be appropriate, depending on the nature of the business, for us to consult with neighbours around your home before a decision is made.

If as a result of running a business you need to make changes to your property, one of our surveyors will visit your home to assess the suitability.

If changes need to be made, you will need to complete a separate application form for the improvement / alteration work.  Links to application forms are at the bottom of the page and also available from any WDH service access point. The surveyor who visits your home will advise you if you need to do this.

You will receive a letter telling you if your application has been approved. There may be certain conditions you have to follow and, if there are, they will be clearly explained in the letter of permission.

If your application has been refused, the letter you receive will detail the reasons why. We will not refuse permission unless there is good reason to do so. If you need to discuss the decision the name and phone number of the person dealing with your application will be on the top of the letter you receive.

You will receive a visit within 28 days of permission being granted, and periodically after that, to make sure the running of the business complies with any conditions we set.

Do I have a right to appeal against the decision to refuse permission?

Yes, if you are unhappy with the outcome of your application, you have the right to appeal. You should appeal within 28 working days of receiving your letter about the decision.

First, you should contact the Estate Manager who dealt with your application. Their name, address and contact number will be included in the letter you receive.  If the decision to refuse your application is for any of the following reasons the Estate Manager’s decision will be final.

  • Likely to cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • Damage to your home or contravenes any building, planning, safety or legislative regulations.

If the refusal is not related to the above, and alternative measures cannot be agreed for the application to progress further, the case will be passed to the Area Manager who will adjudicate the appeal.

Important - This information is for guidance only and does not give a legal interpretation or a summary of all the rules, which may apply to running a business from your home. If you need any further help or advice, please ask at any service access point.

Please complete the 'Running a business from home' application form', and if needed, the 'Application form for Making improvements or Alterations', in full, and make sure any documentation needed to complete your application is included. 

If after reading the information, you are still not sure if you can apply - send us your application and we will check your details to see if your tenancy agreement and / or the business you wish to run are suitable.



business ; planning permission ; building regulations