PERMISSION Laws bind certain home-based work
SELF-EMPLOYED people working from home fulltime should bear in mind, if they have regular staff or clients visiting the premises, they will have to apply for consent from their local municipality, cautions Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty’s Chris Cilliers.
Craig Guthrie, specialist commercial attorney from Guthrie Colananni Attorneys, says a person working from home who shows no evidence of it, like a freelance writer or designer who does not have clients visiting the premises, need not worry about applying for consent. However, other business operation types will need to.
Furthermore, a property’s zoning will also state whether a business can be run from home. Workers who live in sectional title schemes will also need to comply with the Sectional Titles Schemes
PROPERTY ZONED SINGLE RESIDENTIAL
Owners living in a property zoned as Single Residential may, as an additional use right, conduct a “home occupation” from their property, in accordance with item 21 of the Municipal Planning By-Law, says Guthrie. This is as long as they comply with conditions such as:
◆ Only having a single, un-illuminated sign.
◆ Not conducting activities that cause a public
◆ Not showing any external evidence of the
home occupation – apart from the single sign.
Running a business from home in a sectional title scheme is regulated by the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act. Guthrie says this states that if an owner of a section or exclusive use area wants to work from home, but this conflicts with the purpose of that section or area, they need to get the written consent from all other owners in the scheme.
Another issue relates to capital gains tax. Claiming tax deductions for a home office will impact a property owner’s capital gains tax on a primary residence when selling says Brendan Miller, chief executive of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl.
“Although a home office can mean a considerable saving on overheads, especially for small businesses, it is wise to consult a tax consultant.”