Running a business from home

4 Feb 2019

Over the past 30 years, technology has been changing the way we live and in more recent times, it’s also been transforming the way we work. As part of this change, running a business from home is becoming more and more common.

But where do you stand as a social housing tenant looking to start running a business from your home? In this article, we’ll be taking a look at any steps you might need to take.

What’s changing?

In the past, some social landlords have tended not to allow tenants to run a business from their home. Often this has been based on a concern that the kind of businesses that could be run from home, such as vehicle repair and maintenance, might cause a nuisance to neighbours. However, as technology has become more accessible, other forms of remote working have opened up and what ‘home working’ means has changed.

So, what do you need to do?

1. If you want to run a business from your home, it’s very likely that you will need written permission from your local council or housing association – it’s important to check with them first.

They may have a form that you’ll need to fill out and send back to apply for permission. The good news is that many councils recognise that more and more people want to set up and run a business from home and as some businesses can be set up with just a computer, your local council may be actively encouraging people to start their own business!

2. You can also have a look at your tenancy agreement, as there may be something specific in there that stops you from running a business from your council house. If the council does agree to let you run your business from your home, there may then be further agreements that you’ll need to sign before you can get up and running.

3. Another step is to think about the type of business you’re looking to start. This is because your council may not give you permission if:

• They believe that your business will cause a nuisance to and disturb neighbours
• They think your business might damage your home
• They believe that running a business from your home will physically change the home

If you will have delivery vans coming to and from your property, visitors constantly arriving at your door, or you will be running noisy machinery, your neighbours may indeed consider your business a nuisance and a disturbance.

4. One last thing to check is how running a business from your council property might change the Council Tax you pay and if you receive them, the benefits you get. If you’re not sure, check with HMRC or your local JobCentre Plus.

If you were thinking of setting up a business from your home, we really hope this has encouraged you to do so! As you can see, there are some things to think about before getting started, but once you’ve considered these and asked the relevant permissions, you should be all set up to get going!