Space is hard to come by in New York, which often means that people have to get creative in finding solutions for their personal and business needs.
With rental prices for commercial properties so high, those trying to start a small business might feel like the best solution is to initially run things from inside their apartment while using a private mailbox at a business solution store as their official business address.
Is it legal for tenants to use part of a residential rental property for business purposes?
New York renters can use some of their living space for business
New York state law does not explicitly prohibit the use of residential rental spaces for commercial purposes. This means that you could potentially use some of the space to run your small business, provided that your work doesn’t create a nuisance or damage the unit.
State law allows you to use up to 25% of a residential rental space for business operations, although the law caps the maximum amount of space at 500 square feet.
Landlords can potentially restrict the behaviors of tenants
Residential landlords have an interest in maintaining quiet and desirable buildings. Having a lot of traffic and noise coming from one unit could disturb other tenants or cause damage to the common areas of the property. Landlords can potentially restrict certain tenant behaviors in their leases, although they cannot retroactively apply restrictions to a tenant already living in one of their units.
Learning the rules regulating businesses in New York apartments can help when it comes time to settle a dispute between a landlord and a tenant over the start of their operation.