Do I Need Permission To Start a Company From Home?

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Renters' Rights > Do I Need Permission To Start a Company From Home?
Ben Yarrow
21 February 2024
30 January 2020

In a word: Yes.

Yes, you would need to get permission from your landlord in order to run, or in order to start running a business from your home.

But why do you need your landlord's permission before you start running a business from your home?

There’s a few reasons why you’d need permission. Here’s a list of reasons we’ll explore further:
Disturbance to neighbours


Disturbance to neighbours

If you owned your own place it would be right and proper for you to let your neighbours know that you’re about to launch a specialist drum machine testing company, ACME Fog Horn Inc, or cat farm.

These may sound like ridiculous, over-the-top examples, but consider you start a mobile car valeting company. Business is great, you take on more staff, more staff need more vans and before long your small startup business is flooding the streets with vans and staff.

You have to consider those around you, your neighbours - so ask your landlord to see what they think. After all, your landlord is running a business, they understand the stresses and strains of running a company, they may even be able to give you some hints and tips if you wanted to start your own business from the rental property.

There’s also the possibility of extra visits to the property by customers who may visit the rental property to purchase things. This increase in foot traffic could cause an increase in disturbance to the neighbours, so get your landlords permission before starting a business from your rented home.

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Your landlord should have buildings insurance. This means the structure of the house you live in is insured against damage. Insurance companies have their own terms and guidelines and very often prevent people in owner-occupied houses from starting their own businesses.

Often, clerical tasks such as emailing, phone calls, admin etc present no additional risk to the structure of the building and therefore no additional risk to the insurance company, but the landlord should always check with the insurance company.

But for the people wanting to start ACME Fog Horn Inc, their activities are likely to interfere with the structure of the building.

There’s also a risk associated with the type of equipment, materials or even chemicals that businesses have to hold. Cleaning fluids, oils, gas canisters - all things that are commonly linked to small businesses, could have a direct or indirect impact on the building and surroundings, and therefore could present an insurance risk.

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Residential mortgages often prohibit the homeowner running a business from home. If a homeowner wants to run a business from home, they have to check with the mortgage company in order to check the terms of the mortgage.

Similarly, a tenant renting a property would need to check with the landlord, and obtain written permission to run a business from the property they’re renting.

Without checking the terms of the mortgage, the homeowner may be breaching the terms of the mortgage which could end up in a very sticky situation, the consequences of which could entail having to pay the full mortgage immediately.

And similarly, a tenant renting a property from a landlord should obtain the landlord’s written permission before starting or before running a business from the rental property.

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