What should you consider before you start working from home? | Legal Articles


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What should you consider before you start working from home?

Working from home helps to cut down on costs of travelling to and from work and also reduces the money spent on resources that are used to run the company premises.

It is becoming increasingly popular for people to work from home, especially with the great earning opportunities available to freelancers and contract workers. As a result, they will usually need a home office.

Work from Home - Property Zoning Attorneys Sandton

However, before considering using one’s home as an office, it is important to consider the legal implications of doing so, especially if more than one person will be using the space.

Working from Home - Property Zoning

All rights to a property are governed by the Land Planning and Ordinance Act, which determines whether the owner is able to run his/her business from home or not.

If the home is zoned Single Residential 1 (SR1), it is primarily zoned as accommodation for a single family. However, the home could also be used as bed and breakfast accommodation, have a home office in it or be used for child care.

Generally, an important requirement for running businesses from home is ample parking. There has to be one parking bay available per 25m² of the building used for business purposes.

Also, another requirement is that additions made to the property for the business cannot be more than 25% of the overall floor space of the house and the space must be able to be re-integrated back into the home if it is ever sold.

Before you can establish what you are allowed to do by law, it is recommended to know the differences between a home office and a business run from home.

A home office could be located anywhere, and thus it provides freelancers or contract workers with flexibilities. They would not have visitors or meetings with clients at their home, so there would be no negative impact on the neighbours.

If it is a business where staff members are using the premises as well, then only a maximum of 3 people will be allowed at any given time.

Bed and breakfast accommodation has become a popular means of supplementing one’s income. But, the owner is only allowed to rent out three rooms with a maximum of six guests and may not convert the units to self-catering units. This is in line with building regulations which stipulate that single residential units may only have one kitchen.

If the owner wishes to rent out more rooms or have self-contained units, then the owner must apply for a departure from the Council in order for it to be legal.

The need for au pairs has increased and generally parents prefer home care to larger institutions.

However, if a homeowner chooses to run a child minding service, only six children can be accommodated and there must be ample indoor and outdoor play area, as well as, enough parking for parents who are dropping off and collecting their children.

Consent from the Council is needed if an owner wants to have any other type of business in a residential area.

These regulations may seem to be too much, however, they are not intended to prevent a person from running a business from home.

They serve the purpose of upholding the integrity of the neighbourhood and help to ensure that neighbours aren’t disturbed in the process as this could lead to disagreements which could put your business at risk.

Van Deventers & Van Deventers Inc. - Attorneys Sandton

Contact us, for assistance with your property zoning.

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