I am planning to launch my own business and want to run it from home to save on business costs. Are there any rules about running a business from home in a residential area?
The main concern would be a restrictive covenant which often exists in the case of residential property preventing the property from being used for any business use. Older covenants give exceptions for professional use such as that of doctors, accountants and solicitors. Increasingly people are working from home these days and many people work from home while receiving instructions via the Internet.
This would not constitute a breach of covenant as the whole intention of the covenant is to prevent a residential property being used for any industrial or business use, such as repairing people’s cars on your drive or running a carpet business from your garage which doubles up as some form of warehouse!
My advice to clients is that if the anticipated business use is either unknown to your neighbours or does not in any way impact on their enjoyment of their adjoining properties for residential use then your use is unlikely to amount to a breach of the covenant.
For example, an Area Salesman who receives instructions via the Internet would technically run his business from home but this would have no bearing on the residential use or the enjoyment of any adjoining occupier and would certainly not amount to a nuisance or in my view a breach of such a covenant, unlike someone who was operating as a music teacher teaching his pupils to play the trombone from his home which would probably cause a nuisance and annoyance to his neighbours and make them more likely to object and draw this to the attention of those who have the benefit of such covenant – such as the original developer or previous estate land owner.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Director of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org