Running A Business in an Owners Corporation

Running a business from home seems like no big deal in this day and age, but matters are slightly more complex when it comes to living in an Owners Corporation.

Of course, many home businesses are conducted by without any visitors or frequent deliveries coming to the premises at all, and are therefore unlikely to adversely affect other residents. But not all businesses have such a minimal impact.

Many communities have rules in place which prohibit any business being conducted – and there are good reasons why.

A person carrying on a business which has clients coming to the door – such as tutoring services, business consultancy etc, will most likely be using visitors parking bays which could be used by friends and family of residents.

If the business involves the use of common property such as the communal pool for swimming lessons, then that could be seen as materially affecting the rights of other residents to enjoy the facilities.

But there is more than inconvenience at stake. Running a small business from a residential strata unit may cause an increased risk of a public liability claim based on the increased number of people coming and going.

Check with your insurer, they may require the strata community to obtain retail strata insurance, which is more expensive than residential strata insurance.

In these cases, the person who is running a home business will need to seek permission of the Owners Corporation and they may require a change to the rules. A change to the rules would require a special resolution to be passed (which means 75% of lot owners in favour).

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