It is not uncommon for small business owners to run their business out of their home. It is convenient, it saves on travel expenses and incurs fewer overheads just to name a few reasons. However, when your home is in a strata community this can be a lot more tricky than you might expect.
Whilst many home businesses can be very low impact on the shared environment, that is not always the case. A lot of them can have a significant number of people coming and going depending on the industry. This high level traffic through the building increases the likelihood of general wear and tear. Secondly, it affecting the types of insurance the scheme is required to hold.
General maintenance and wear and tear in shared facilities can be annoying and costly to the Body Corporate or Owners Corporation. However, the main problem arises from the insurance.
Having businesses run out of a residential scheme can not only impact the public liability insurance. With the number of people coming and going, it can also affect the classification of the building. In the worst case scenarios it can result in the re-classification of the scheme from residential to commercial. In the instance that this does occur it can affect the insurance premium for the whole building. As a result, significant increases to the levies for all owners will occur.
It is important when planning to operate a business from your Lot that you speak to your insurer and your Community Manager in relation to the impact you could be having on the building’s insurance, as well as if there are any By-laws that you will be required to comply with. Most Bodies Corporate and Owners Corporations will have By-laws that govern the day to day running of the building. These will often have specific By-laws that regulate the types of activity that can be run out of the scheme, thus restricting what kind of small business you may want to operate from your Lot.
If you are planning on using your strata property as the base for your small business it is important to read up on the building’s By-laws. Some of them can be very strict and may even stop you entirely. If you have any questions regarding the specifics of the By-laws and applying to your Committee for approval, then contact your Community Manager. They will be able to assist with your queries and guide you through the process of seeking approval to run your business from your Lot.
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