Any laws against operating a small office from an apartment in the ACT?

janeycomelately 19 August 2008 23

I was wondering whether any RiotACTers knew of any laws or regulations that would prevent a small business to operate from a residential apartment or townhouse in the ACT?

Given the scarcity and cost of commercial leases, working from a residential place is looking like a real option.

I can’t seem to find any legislation nor can I find anything against it in some of the generic body corporate agreements I’ve read. 

It would be a 9-5 business with mainly just an employee or two working at one time.

(And before you ask, it would be office-stuff not ‘personal services’.)


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
23 Responses to Any laws against operating a small office from an apartment in the ACT?
Filter
Order
Wiebe Wiebe 3:17 pm 26 Jan 09

it is not legal, You will have to ask your Body Corporate Manager to check the Form 5’s in the title deeds to see if the area is allowed to support businesses aswell as private dwellings. In more cases than not, it is nt allowed.

astrojax astrojax 5:34 pm 20 Aug 08

or overcharge for pizzas.

G-Fresh G-Fresh 9:52 am 20 Aug 08

As long as you don’t have a pet all should be fine.

hallenbeck hallenbeck 10:06 pm 19 Aug 08

Further to Overheard’s advice, Canberra BusinessPoint have been good to me, and they’re free so they can usually give you some straightforward advice over the phone. As others have suggested, some of the main things to consider are whether your insurance allows you to operate a business from home, or whether your mortgage/rental agreement or body corporate agreement have any clauses against it.

Sammy Sammy 6:14 pm 19 Aug 08

I thought someone had to live in the residence as well.

Madman Madman 2:07 pm 19 Aug 08

jimbocool said :

It’s a planning issue. you will need to apply to ACTPLA for ‘approval to operate a home based business’ or something like that. This is a bit like lodging a DA, as ACTPLA will write to the neighbours lettting them know about the application and providing an opportunity for them to lodge any objections. If it’s going to be more than a sole trader type thing (say an accountant working form the study) you can expect objections unless there is plenty of parking. You will also have to deal with the body corporate which is a whole other world of hurt…
Of course you could just go ahead anyway without getting approval, but you will almost certainly get busted (or have the drug squad raid your house after reports of suspicious comings and goings) after neighbours complain about the traffic.

Spot on from what I know.

Pesty Pesty 2:02 pm 19 Aug 08

Heaps of sound advise already posted! loads of people run businesses from home, me included, most of the restrictions are covered above, but you definately can’t put up signs, and toilet facilities could be an issue with employees, male / female/ disabled etc. Best of luck with it.

seekay seekay 1:59 pm 19 Aug 08

Who in their right mind would check with the ACT government for anything unless they had a particular interest for PC gibberish? That mob are resolutely anti-business.

janeycomelately janeycomelately 1:18 pm 19 Aug 08

You RiotACTers are so great – thanks heaps for your advice and suggestions, we will certainly follow through with them now.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 1:17 pm 19 Aug 08

shauno said :

As its a free country I cant see why there would be a problem doing this. Oh yeah hang on I forgot its the most over governed free country on earth so yeah I expect there would be some rule against it.

Yeah, make sure you don’t have a pussy cat or a dog – as thets bound to upset someone!

Clown Killer Clown Killer 1:08 pm 19 Aug 08

Les is pretty well on the money. It depends what sort of business you’re in and whether you’ll be having a bunch of clients coming and going and causing parking problems.

In the right context you mighn’t have to face a hostile body corporate. A colleague of mine was running a two person business out of a unit in Red Hill for years – it was a small building and the other tennants/owners liked the fact that there was someone there during the day when everyone else was at work and no noise issues at night – perfect tennants really.

jimbocool jimbocool 12:29 pm 19 Aug 08

Gee there’s some shocking typos in that form. A lot of it is planning gibberish too – time for a plain english re-write, ACTPLA people, and double check for typos when you’re done.

les les 12:23 pm 19 Aug 08

Home business, as defined in the Territory Plan, needs to comply with the Home Business Code http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2008-27/current/default.asp Best to check with ACTPLA on any requirements for a DA. There are requirements such as parking availability, no more than 2 or 3 employees, one of the employees must live in the residence.

hk0reduck hk0reduck 12:21 pm 19 Aug 08
Overheard Overheard 12:20 pm 19 Aug 08

Back when I registered mine (2003), there was a separate mob that provided all sorts of good advice and tips on all manner of small business issues, but I can’t recall the name. May be buried in my papers/e-files at home. From a quick trawl around the business site, they may have been succeeded (sp?) by the Business Point mob run out of Deloitte.

You could start with a call to the Office of Fair Trading and see how you go. You may get a couple of call forwards to start with though.

jimbocool jimbocool 12:16 pm 19 Aug 08

It’s a planning issue. you will need to apply to ACTPLA for ‘approval to operate a home based business’ or something like that. This is a bit like lodging a DA, as ACTPLA will write to the neighbours lettting them know about the application and providing an opportunity for them to lodge any objections. If it’s going to be more than a sole trader type thing (say an accountant working form the study) you can expect objections unless there is plenty of parking. You will also have to deal with the body corporate which is a whole other world of hurt…
Of course you could just go ahead anyway without getting approval, but you will almost certainly get busted (or have the drug squad raid your house after reports of suspicious comings and goings) after neighbours complain about the traffic.

janeycomelately janeycomelately 12:09 pm 19 Aug 08

These are very useful comments, especially the insurance one.

I have though looked on business.act.gov.au and it’s very hard to actually find anything on there as things link off to other pages and then I have to really dig deep to make any sense of it.

We would not expect too much traffic in our little office, only the occasional visit from clients (we’re more likely to go out to them). Very keen to hear of any other experiences.

Overheard Overheard 12:05 pm 19 Aug 08

Check the fine print on any insurance policies you have too. If you don’t declare the fact that you’re operating a business it could void a claim.

shauno shauno 12:05 pm 19 Aug 08

As its a free country I cant see why there would be a problem doing this. Oh yeah hang on I forgot its the most over governed free country on earth so yeah I expect there would be some rule against it.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site