Hobby business from home- is it in breach of 'residential?

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  • Hobby business from home- is it in breach of 'residential?

    I am currently renting a flat in Canterbury and have had people asking me if I can help them with their computers. I have now been asked by someone if I can design a website for them for money. I would like to do this but want to make sure it would be ok under my tenancy agreement now and possibly in future. No-one would visit the flat, income would be at most £200 a month and the address would only need to be sent to HMRC for registering self employment.

    I obviously need to call my landlord but was looking for a heads up first.

  • #2
    Most flat leases prohibit running a business. You'll get your landlord (the lessee) in trouble with the freeholder. Expect to be evicted if you do.

    Be honest with yourself. It's not a hobby if you're charging fees, receiving income and registering as self-employed with HMRC.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Poppy View Post
      Most flat leases prohibit running a business. You'll get your landlord (the lessee) in trouble with the freeholder. Expect to be evicted if you do.

      Be honest with yourself. It's not a hobby if you're charging fees, receiving income and registering as self-employed with HMRC.
      True, but why shouldn't OP simply ask L for consent? Before L gives it, let L verify (in long lease) whether it would breach a covenant.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Poppy View Post
        Most flat leases prohibit running a business. You'll get your landlord (the lessee) in trouble with the freeholder. Expect to be evicted if you do.

        Be honest with yourself. It's not a hobby if you're charging fees, receiving income and registering as self-employed with HMRC.
        Ebay is a hobby and yet you can make money from that... I enjoy web design but its not really sensible or viable to host and run peoples websites for free.

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        • #5
          If no one is visiting the property and you get a PO Box set up for business post, then are you really running a business from home? Would it require a change of use planning application?

          I would guess that these clauses were designed to stop family homes becoming shops, B&B's, motorcycle repair workshops etc. If they're going to stop someone earning an extra couple of hundred quid a month while not causing any alteration to the premises nor disturbance to their neighbours, they seem over prescriptive to me.

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          • #6
            Isn't the ~£2400 an extra income, why do you need to register as self employed? Is this really anything more than someone who occasionally works from home?
            I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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            • #7
              Its because its an extra income that I would need to register as self employed as its completely seperate from my main job.

              Must say I am liking the PO Box idea.

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              • #8
                Don't you simply need to complete a tax return?
                I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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                • #9
                  Please do not take this for granted. You really ought to find out two things:
                  1. Does the lease prohibit running a business or breach any other covenants?
                  2. If it does, is there a proviso whereby the lessee can ask the freeholder for consent?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Poppy View Post
                    Please do not take this for granted. You really ought to find out two things: does the lease prohibit running a business or breach any other covenants? If it does, is there a proviso whereby the lessee can ask the freeholder for consent?
                    As I said in post #3:
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    True, but why shouldn't OP simply ask L for consent? Before L gives it, let L verify (in long lease) whether it would breach a covenant.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      As I said in post #3:
                      Sincerest form of flattening and all that?
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wickerman
                        This does not interfere with my tenancy as I never meet clients, most of the work is done in the evenings, I rarely work from home etc.
                        I would never meet with clients at home, work would be done for 5hrs per week but most of the work would be done at home solely sitting at my computer.

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                        • #13
                          So now I am at home here is what it says in my tenancy agreement:

                          "Not to cause or permit the premises to be used for any profession trade or businesss whatsoever and not to use the premises for any purpose other than a private residence by the tenant."

                          If no customers visit/post to/call me at my flat and my occaisional use of my computer for web design for 5hrs a week is all the business related stuff that takes place there is it likely to contravene these rather black and white rules?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jonners99 View Post
                            If no customers visit/post to/call me at my flat and my occaisional use of my computer for web design for 5hrs a week is all the business related stuff that takes place there is it likely to contravene these rather black and white rules?
                            I would say no unless you set it up as a business address and start receiveing busuiness post, otherwise no one is likely to know or care that you are making spare cash from what you consider to be a hobby.
                            I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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                            • #15
                              You really ought to check with your landlord and his landlord (the freeholder).

                              Reading that clause, the word "whatsoever" is giving emphasis that I do not think you should ignore.

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