Can you legally live in a commercial property UK?

Estate predominantly used for business activities is commercial property. It can comprise many property types, from office buildings to warehouses, shops, dining establishments, and more. Commercial properties are often larger than residential ones and have unique amenities explicitly designed for their business requirements.

As residential rents climb in the UK, many living in rental houses are also looking for commercial properties for sale in London.  Businessmen who own commercial estate are beginning to consider whether it is acceptable to live in their commercial properties. The answer is you can!  But it is a challenge. You still need to fulfil specific requirements to be eligible for approval from the law to live in a commercial property. To learn more, continue reading.

State Zoning Laws 

Zoning restrictions are rules to split the land into sections and allocate them for a particular development. The most common zoning designations include Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultura, Rural, Historic and Combination/Mixed-Use. 

Commercial premises may be approved for mixed-use, meaning they can be utilised for business and residential purposes, depending on the local zoning regulations. So, it would be helpful to speak with a local expert and research your region’s zoning regulations if you’re considering combining your home with a commercial space or moving your residence into a commercial property. 

Depending on the nature of the job

If the nature of the job requires it, commercial property owners are permitted to provide accommodations for their employees. For example, People who work in bakeries, restaurants, bars, and even industries reside on company-provided commercial property. For a service occupancy, the contract may stipulate that they must live in the property to do their jobs more effectively. Therefore, if the nature of their job changes, the legal situation may also change.

Convert the status of the property

Buildings insurance is mandatory, especially if you have a mortgage on the property. Any required buildings insurance will not provide coverage for residential tenants if a property still has commercial status. Therefore you must legally convert it from being used for commercial purposes to residential purposes. Moving into a commercial property without commercial insurance is against the law, and if you get caught, you could face penalties.

Additionally,  to convert a commercial space, the local council will typically need to grant planning permission. Every local council will have a separate department for the local planning authority (LPA). After approval, you can legally live on the (previously) commercial property. 

Exceptions to status conversion 

In rare circumstances, you can turn a business property into a residence without getting planning approval if they have Permitted Development Rights (PDR) status and the total floor space is at most one hundred and fifty square metres. Light industrial properties, some office buildings, and retail properties are among several properties that could have a PDR in place.

Pros and Cons of living on a Commercial property

With the steep increase in rental charges, people’s interest in commercial properties instead of houses is rising. However, there are both pros and cons to living on a commercial property. Here are a few: While commercial properties may offer facilities like open floor designs, huge windows, and high ceilings, they may also have fewer amenities like insulation and community that are inherent in most residential residences.

Suppose you require a loan to buy a commercial-converted to-residential property. In that case, lenders will also consider the proportion of business and residential spaces on the property when determining loan restrictions. Furthermore, if you sell the property in the future, you can deduct some property expenses. 

Final thoughts

It’s crucial to understand that, even if living in a business property could seem affordable initially, the conversion may cost more. However, if you’re thinking about renting a commercial facility, or you already own a property that is not in use, you can choose to convert it to a residential use license and live there legally! 

In the end, working with an estate agent or broker who is knowledgeable about the neighbourhood market may be your best option for finding a commercial property that is appropriate for dwelling.  They can assist you in finding residential properties that meet your needs and walk you through buying or renting a business property. 

To find affordable, well-furnished commercial properties for sale in London’s prime locations, check out Acorn Commercial & Development.

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