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09th July 2020

Running a business from home -the property issues?

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With home working becoming the new normal for many, what considerations are there for those wishing to start up a new business or switch to running their business from home permanently? To ensure the transition to home working continues smoothly it is worth considering at an early stage what the legal restrictions are on using your home for business purposes.

  1. There may be an outright prohibition on the freehold title or a covenant in a long lease against the property being used for a business with a covenant for example to use for “residential purposes only”. In some circumstances such restrictions may not be enforceable, or application can be made to relax or release them.
    Hewitsons can advise on the best strategy to adopt if such a restriction applies.

  2. The terms of any mortgage will need to be considered as consent from the lender may be required to carry out a business use.
  3. Planning permission?
    • If you need to make any structural changes to your property, planning permission may be required or, 
    • if the property is:
    • 1) no longer to be used as a private dwelling or
    • 2) its use may impact on the residential area around you or
    • 3) its use may disturb the neighbours, planning permission for change of use maybe required.
  1. The terms of your insurance may not cover business activities, so you would need to liaise with your insurers. Certain business activities may also require additional insurance, such as employers’ liability insurance and/or public liability insurance.

  2. A specific licence from the local authority, may be required depending on the nature of the business, for example food production. There may also be other legislation to comply with such as health and safety requirements.

  3. Your council tax may be affected, and you may be liable for business rates - but this will depend on the level of use and the extent of the property used for the business.
If you are considering working from home permanently there are many practicalities to consider, but it is worth ensuring that the property issues are addressed early on. For further assistance contact Sarah Baron on 01223 461155 or click here to email Sarah.