Can You Live in a Commercial Property

People spend too much time in offices. They almost live there. We know so many jokes about that. However, is it allowed to rent a business space and use it for a living? Is it even legal and safe? 

By running ahead of the story, we want to assure you to stop thinking about turning your business space into a living area.  

The drawbacks of living in a commercial property

Modern office building

Probably, you know some stories when a tenant was living in a commercial property paying no rent for months. It doesn’t mean you should try it too. If living in a business space still looks attractive to you, then you should be aware of the following information:

  1. It is highly likely you as a tenant has a valid lease contract signed with a landlord. This type of agreement may contain an explicit clause that specifies the use of the commercial property for business activity only and a provision that forbids to use this property for any other purposes. In case of a landlord finds you to violate a contract, you may be fined or evicted from this property. 
  2. A landlord’s insurance may allow using of property for a specific type of business and do not permit to use for any other aims. The break of insurance rules, a landlord will bear all the responsibility. However, the situation can be even more difficult. For example, if a fire or flood happened, a landlord will not be paid, and possibly it will lead to civil or criminal charges.
  3. A place for a living should be safe. Are you sure that commercial property? It is highly likely that your working area doesn’t suit for life, especially if you are living with a child. Plus, Child Protective Services can intervene if they find out that a child is living in harmful conditions.
Two young businessmen

So, there are the possible scenarios that can take place, if someone found out that you break the law:

  • you can be fined;
  • you can be evicted from a property;
  • you can be injured and do not receive insurance;
  • moreover, the worst all these can lead to civil or criminal charges.
City view from the office

Zoning zones

Zoning is used to divide the land into zones that allows or prohibits to use of land for specific needs. Zoning is necessary for setting construction standards, increasing local profit, and, of course, for a safe life of all citizens. The most widespread zoning types are commercial, industrial, residential, rural, and combined. However, even these types can have subdivisions and vary from state to state, or even from town to town.

Some tenants consider living in a commercial property a good idea. The reason is that living there will be for free because a landlord cannot legally charge a tenant for residing in the business property. Nevertheless, think about your living conditions. You are going to live in a space that was not inspected to be safe for people. In case of emergency, you may find no emergency exit.

Let’s imagine that the desired business entity is zoned for commercial and residential use. Then, this space has to suit other people’s needs and safety requirements. For example, it needs to have a bathing, toileting, and living area. Plus, it should have two emergency exits in case of disaster.

If you still want to try and your landlord is also ready, then study the local zoning rules. These rules can be complicated and hard for a non-professional. We can assure you that you should search for legal advice. A lawyer will study this issue and deter you from making any mistakes.