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I have an idea for a business I can run from home. Are there any property law issues I should consider? The first thing to find out is whether there are any legal restrictions on using your home for business purposes.
What sort of restrictions could there be? Where do I start looking? The property may be affected by restrictive covenants that prohibit certain uses, and there could be an outright prohibition on business use. Your neighbours are likely to be the ones with the right to enforce these covenants against you and they might be able to get a court order to stop you running your business from the property.
The title to the property held by the Land Registry should have details of any restrictions and you should check what you were provided with by your solicitor when you bought the property.
If the nuisance was severe enough, your neighbours could take you to court. I live in a flat but I own the leasehold. Does that mean I can use the flat for whatever I want? Your lease will govern how you can use the property so you will need to check whether it contains any restrictions.
Running a home business in these circumstances would be a breach of your lease and there would be a risk of your landlord trying to terminate your tenancy. Do I need to tell my mortgage lender?
Residential mortgages usually prohibit using the property for a business, so you need to check the terms of your mortgage and if necessary, ask for consent from the lender. Breaching your mortgage could risk the loan being terminated and being repayable immediately.
Am I likely to need planning permission? It depends on whether you are intending to make any alterations to the property. If you are planning on making structural changes or constructing any extra buildings, you are likely to need planning permission.
What if I am not making any alterations? Will running your business materially change the use of the property?
The answer is likely to be yes if your property will no longer be used mainly as a private residence or your business will increase traffic, involve activities unusual in a residential area or disturb your neighbours. The key test is whether your house is still mainly a home or whether it has become business premises.
If it has, you may have to make a planning application for change of use. If you are in any doubt, you can apply to the local council for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use or Development in relation to your proposed activity, to confirm that it is lawful.
The Planning Portal has some helpful links. Will I need to change my buildings and contents insurance? You must consider it. If the policy prohibits business use then you will need to ask for consent from the insurance company.
Will my local authority need to know? That will depend on the nature of the business and the number of people that you are planning to employ.
You may also need to comply with relevant health and safety and equality legislation. Will it affect my council tax? Businesses are liable for business rates rather than council tax. If you work from home, depending on the level of use, the part of the property used for the business may be liable for business rates while the remainder of the property remains liable to council tax.
You can get advice from the Valuation Office Agency. Are there any other useful websites?Garden office planning permission is usually straight forward, and in some cases it’s unnecessary.
In this definitive guide I will explain how to get the planning permission right without upsetting your local council or your neighbours. Planning is about making the best use of land for housing, business, industrial, agricultural, and recreation.
It is about making places where people want to live, work and play, places which are safe and inviting, and places which are sustainable.
Planning permission and building control for tourism businesses. If you plan to open a small bed and breakfast in your own home, you will not necessarily need planning permission to start your business. The key test to decide if you need planning permission is whether the overall nature of the house will change.
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If you want to carry out building work you may need planning permission. You should always check with your planning authority about whether you need to apply for planning permission for building work.