There are currently over 13 million home-based businesses in the U.S. Additionally, more than half of all new businesses start in the home. For many small businesses just starting out or with only one or two employees, it makes a lot of financial sense. However, if your home is subject to a homeowners’ association agreement, your business may be prohibited.
Many homeowners’ associations completely prohibit any business in the name of protecting the sanctity of the residential nature of the neighborhood. In fact, many homeowners’ association agreements may prohibit home-based businesses and owners do not even know it because they tend to use boilerplate contracts where such provisions are included in the covenants, conditions and restrictions.
What do you do if you are living in such a neighborhood and are subject to a homeowners’ association with restrictive covenants on business? First, you can start by talking to members of your homeowners’ association board about updating the rules. Show them that low-impact business with few or no employees and no exterior evidence of a business will not negatively impact their neighborhood. Secondly, work with neighbors if they have concerns about traffic, noise, etc. Reassure them you can find a balance that will make all happy. Finally, stress the benefits of having a home-based businesses in the neighborhood. One such big benefit is having someone around during the day may discourage daytime burglaries.
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