There are three main factors that determine whether a tenant can run a business from the apartment: the language of the lease, local zoning/housing codes, and whether it causes a nuisance to neighbors from client visitors.
Tenants are responsible for abiding by the terms of their lease or rental agreement and the law. Landlords are generally allowed to restrict the use of a unit to only residential purposes by including a section in the lease that explicitly prohibits any unapproved business activity.
Zoning and Building Codes
Local zoning codes and building rules may also prohibit home businesses. Often, cities will prohibit businesses from running out of a home. Many states and localities require businesses to register and obtain a license for operating. This license often requires a physical address to be registered state – if the address is not zoned for business, the license may be denied and the tenant or landlord may be fined for violating regulations. Additionally, breaking the law may also cause a tenant to violate their lease. Most leases prohibit illegal activity in the apartment, which may include unlicensed businesses and violating zoning regulations.
Noise and Foot Traffic
Even if the agreement or rules allow a home business, it may cause a nuisance to other tenants. Having lots of people visit the apartment can be disruptive and noisy – a landlord could potentially evict the tenant if it’s serious. Any agreement between a landlord and tenant to allow a home business should include a discussion of the amount of foot traffic.
State and Local Laws
Laws differ heavily by state, county, and city. Use RenterPeace to see more specific laws for to a given apartment and to see comments from people in your area.
Documenting the Problem
For most problems, tenants should document their issues, notify their landlord (document this too!), and stay informed about their rights. Renterpeace is a free website that helps with each step of this process. Tenants use RenterPeace to more easily see applicable laws, track their problems, and much more. There's a reason RenterPeace was selected "Best of" legal apps for both Android and iOS. It also includes household management tools, like a chore manager and bill tracker. Try it - you don't even to login first.
Using Property Management
To stay updated and organized about the problems in their apartments, landlords should use a property management system. Many are expensive or have high setup fees, but using RenterPeace for landlords is free. It's complete with legal compliance tips targeted to their problems, maintenance tracking, tenant screening, money-saving grant information, and tenant chat. It makes managing properties easier and staying updated about status of rental properties a breeze. Try it today.