Is it illegal to live on your commercial property? Living in your workspace or your commercial property might not be something all of us have thought about it and would consider only a fantasy. But due to expensive residential properties and the sky-rocketing rents, some people might see themselves questioning this. In other cases, if you just bought a commercial property and intend to do business or open a company there, you might want to cut the lease on the expenses, and the best thought that may come to your mind would be: How about I also live at my workspace? But the question here arises: Is it even legal? Or Can I get away with it, and for how long?
So before we get into the further discussion about this fascinating topic, we should get familiar with the frequently asked questions regarding this:
Is It Illegal to Live on Your Commercial Property?
Commercial real estate is a much more vital industry in terms of the value of the property and the income it generates than a residential lease. As a result, the landlord is more incentivized to try to get the best price possible in a commercial lease than in a residential one.
Furthermore, the landlord is usually a corporation with many other properties across the country. This means that the landlord can easily move to another state and find another group of tenants who will take the risk of signing a lease with them. This puts the commercial tenant at a significant disadvantage compared to a residential tenant.
What are the Laws of Living on Commercial Property in the USA?
Living real estate refers to the real estate owned or leased by someone who lives on the premises. As a result, the laws of living real estate are unique to each state and city. Commercial real estate refers to any type of real estate used for business purposes.
As a result, this includes properties such as shopping malls, office buildings, and factories.
Commercial real estate laws regulate the use of real estate and the owner’s rights. These include lease agreements, terms, security deposits, and other contractual and legal requirements.
Furthermore, commercial real estate laws also have regulations governing construction, building materials, zoning laws, safety requirements, and more. Real estate laws also cover using real estate by third parties, such as leasing, insurance, and dealing with tenants. This is because real estate law has much to do with property management.
Why Is It Important to Know Laws of Living Commercial Property?
A commercial real estate law consultant is an expert who can help you navigate the complex world of commercial real estate law. This includes the specific laws of your state and city, as well as the industry practices of your peers. This is because living commercial real estate laws can vary significantly from state to state and even city to city. Moreover, the rules for commercial real estate can change frequently.
A commercial real estate law professional can help you stay on top of the latest developments in real estate law. Furthermore, they can guide how to manage your real estate and protect your assets. This is because real estate law can affect your insurance coverage and security deposit requirements.
Different Types of Commercial Real Estate Laws in the USA
There are a few different commercial real estate laws in the USA. These include:
Leases are contracts between the owner of the property and the tenant. There are numerous leases, including short-term, long-term, and lease purchases. The terms of a lease can vary widely, depending on the type of lease you are dealing with.
Land use laws
These regulate the use of real estate by third parties, such as building codes, zoning regulations, and height requirements.
Real estate law
This covers the use of real estate by the owner, such as security deposits, leases, and agreements with contractors. Real estate law also has regulations governing construction and building materials, safety requirements, and more.
How to Find Law on Living Commercial Property?
Real estate laws can be complicated, especially if you are trying to navigate the rules of a complex state like California or Texas. In such cases, it helps to consult an attorney.
Local real estate associations or other experts in your area can also help you find the relevant laws. You can also look for online resources, such as real estate law newsletters and websites.
Real estate law websites can often provide a comprehensive overview of the latest real estate law changes in your state or city and a comprehensive guide to all the relevant federal, state, and local laws. Some sites also list local attorneys and law firms, which can be useful for finding commercial real estate law experts in your area.
Tips for Finding and Using an Expert for Finding Laws of Living Commercial Property
Research to Find Out the Laws
Before hiring an attorney or consultant, research the laws governing your commercial real estate. This can help you find the relevant laws and regulations in your area. You can also use this information to find attorneys and consultants in your area that can help you navigate these laws.
Find a Lawyer or Law Firm That Has Experience With Living Real Estate –
Finds a commercial real estate law firm with experience with living real estate
A commercial real estate law firm with experience with living real estate will have more experience navigating the specific laws of living real estate and can help you better protect your assets.
Use a Lawyer or Law Firm That Has Experience with Living Real Estate
If you can’t find a commercial real estate law firm or attorney with experience with living real estate, consider hiring an attorney or law firm specializing in commercial real estate. This can help ensure they are familiar with living laws in commercial real estate.
Speak with an Attorney or Law Firm Before You Sign a Contract
As you search for a commercial real estate law firm or attorney, talk to them about their experience living in commercial real estate. This can help you decide whether or not you want to hire them.
Make Sure They Have Experience with Living Commercial Real Estate
Another way to decide whether or not you want to hire a commercial real estate law firm or attorney is to make sure they have experience with living real estate.
Real Estate Zoning Laws: What You Need to Know
Zoning laws can be challenging to understand, but to achieve your goal of live-in business property; you must go through your local zoning laws.
What is zoning? Zoning is the restrictions or regulations that your local council/authorities implement on an urban region that classify the use of properties in that particular community.
Zoning is not new; it has been around for hundreds of years and has been essentially involved in guiding community growth and development. It can be defined as dividing a region into sections designated for different uses.
If you are thinking, what is the purpose of this? It helps promote economic development, maintain the property’s safety, ensure traffic checks, limit noise pollution, etc. It also prevents such development, which can disturb the ‘character’ of the neighbourhood.
Some of the most common zoning classifications include:
- Mixed (residential and commercial both)
Zoning laws differ in regions and countries, and the price of the properties will vary depending upon the restrictions imposed by zoning authorities. You can legally use the property only for things it is allowed for, and if you breach the limits, you will face legal consequences.
What are the Solutions?
So if you have decided on the possibility of living in your commercial property, then you should be looking at the possible legal ways to do this. And what are these possible ways? We will be learning about them as follows.
Rezoning of the Property
Rezoning is one of the only legal ways to make your dream of a mixed property come true. But rezoning is not as easy as you think it is. If you live in a place where the zoning laws are lenient, you are allowed to be hopeful about having your property rezoned.
But most of the time, the process is quite time-consuming, but it’s not impossible. What do you have to do? You need to make a rezoning request to the local authorities, and if they approve of the rezoning change, you apply a request for the court hearing.
The zoning commission reviews the proposal and determines how the rezoning will affect the neighborhood. Now the question of how long the rezoning will take? Rezoning can take up to 3 months, depending on your area’s zoning commission. The next question is probably: Is my rezoning request denied?
The answer depends upon what type of workplace the property will be or is living in that place can be hazardous to the building or nearby areas. The neighbours and the zoning commission will likely cancel the request in this situation. One of the best tips would be to hire an experienced real estate agent who knows the zoning laws. They can help you rezone your property easily.
Buying a Mixed Property
One of the best ways to live your fantasy is to look for mixed property. These properties are designed to use for both commercials as well as residential purposes. This is the safest way to own a life in the workplace. There must be a lot of mixed properties available in your region if you don’t have time to search for them or don’t know the area well.
It would be best if you were looking for the best real estate agents in the town. These agents are well acquainted with the zoning laws of the area and all the mixed properties. This way, you can quickly and safely land on a commercial and residential property.
Also, a real estate agent knows the laws well, so they would have all the paperwork ready beforehand, so you don’t need to worry about the property. But beware of scams always and choose a famous and trustworthy agent.
Consequences of Living in a Commercial Property
If you didn’t heed any of the legal advice and decided to jump into it, you should also be ready to face the consequences of the illegal ways of getting your work done. Most of the time, if the landlord allows and the business is not causing any hurdles to the neighbours, you can get away with it.
But you will always have to be on your toes if someone reports it. What are the aftermaths if you are caught living in a property that was zoned commercially? In the worst-case scenario, you will most likely be fined or evicted from the building.
In some situations, you may only be asked to gain legal permits. The fine can be considerable, and you may be in financial distress because of a slight inconvenience.
The second biggest blunder you can make is to damage the property. Since commercial properties are not designed for residency, there is a chance that you might have a room with no Emergency exit or if you accidentally start a fire or flood it.
The insurance company would never recover it for an illegal residence. You can fall into a financial liability, covering the cost of the loss and being thrown out of the building.
So a financial incentive to carve out a living area in a workplace might be fascinating and tempting, but it is not worth it. You will always have to be on the lookout and can never live in peace. Along with that, the financial loss can be too much to bear.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which commercial activities are allowed in a residential area?
The most approved commercial activities in residential areas include resident doctors, lawyers, and accountants. These activities do not disturb the residents and provide a peaceful facility.
Is it worth buying or investing in a commercial property?
Investing in commercial as well as residential property is worth it. But commercial properties can offer more profit most of the time than residential ones but investing in a “for business” property can be much riskier.
Why is commercial work more expensive than the other?
Commercial constructions are done on a tight schedule, requiring more skill due to deadlines, whereas residential properties do not have any concerns. Also, there are different permit rules and regulations for both of them.
What is the difference between commercial and domestic property?
The main difference would be the clients. In residential buildings, they are called tenants and pay you a certain amount, but the former has clients who are business or company owners.
The discussion suggests that commercial properties should only be bought or rented for business purposes. If you want a live-in workplace, you should always go for a mixed property because rezoning an already zoned commercial property can be a tough job for many of us.
Also, if you happen to be caught living in one or damaging it, you can be penalized and even evicted from the building falling in a financial rise. So, if you ultimately rent or buy commercial real estate, the best advice would be not to outsmart the law and use the property for what it is zoned for.