Tenant's home business

Question from Robert updated on 26th February 2016:

I am the tenant in this question. I am looking to start a from home business. As I am renting what are some things I need to talk to my landlord about?

I am looking to use a portion of the basement as an office, but want to make sure we both know where we stand before I commit to anything. Couldn't find any good examples of this to go from.

Our expert Allan Galloway responded:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a tenant has an obligation to ensure that the premises are occupied principally for residential purposes. If you are wanting to use a part of the premises for a home business, but still use the majority of the premise for residential use, you should discuss this matter with your landlord and check your tenancy agreement.

Using a residential premise for business purposes may impact on the landlord’s insurance policy. Any business activities on the premise must be lawful and you must continue to meet your responsibilities under the Act. We would also recommend that you speak with your local council to ensure that the use of the premises for a particular business activity complies with local bylaws, council zoning and land use requirements.

For further information regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, you can visit our website at www.tenancy.govt.nz

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

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