Cottage Food Business In A Rental Home?

Business By shannon100 Updated 20 Sep 2011 , 4:40pm by aligotmatt

shannon100 Posted 16 Sep 2011 , 5:15pm
post #1 of 18

I'm wondering if anyone out there runs a cottage food business from a rental home. I'm getting ready to ask my landlord if I can do a business from his house, but I wondered if anyone else did it. Did you ask your landlord? (I would assume a business would affect his homeowner's policy, right? So I do need his permission, I would guess.)

Thanks!

17 replies
JaniceBest Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 12:25am
post #2 of 18

Maybe I don't understand. Your rent covers the use of the kitchen. What's the difference between baking for your family and baking to sell? If you were a writer and used a room for an office, would it be necessary to tell the landlord you were using the house for a purpose other than sleeping?

cakeandpartygirl Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 12:42am
post #3 of 18

His homeowner's policy doesn't cover the contents of the house when it becomes a rental unless they choose to keep it. As a renter you are responsible for your belongings. You would need to have liability insurance of course. It gets a little sticky because if someone falls and decides to sue not only you but the homeowner. That is the reason you would need to contact your landlord. I am sure there is something that could be written on the policy that would have to include your landlord.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 1:16am
post #4 of 18

As a renter you have renter's insurance, but that policy probably excludes commercial activity so you would need a separate general liability policy for the business.

You'll want to check your lease agreement carefully to see if it prohibits renters from engaging in commercial activity in the rental unit. If there is such a prohibition you'll need to clear it with the landlord first.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 1:18am
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaniceBest

If you were a writer and used a room for an office, would it be necessary to tell the landlord you were using the house for a purpose other than sleeping?



A writer would face very little exposure to liability, as opposed to a food service business where customers are coming and going, and food prepared in the rental unit is being sold commercially and consumed by hundreds or thousands of people in a given year.

TinkerCakes Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 2:00am
post #6 of 18

In Florida we have to get permission from the landlord in order to get an occupational license.

rlowry03 Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 2:41am
post #7 of 18

I know most of the apartments I've rented had specific lease clauses stating the apartment couldn't be used for business purposes. These were all larger company run properties. If you are in a house or an apartment owned by a landlord instead of a company they may allow you. Just check with them first. I think the liability issue is going to be the biggest hurdle.

rlowry03 Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 2:42am
post #8 of 18

I know most of the apartments I've rented had specific lease clauses stating the apartment couldn't be used for business purposes. These were all larger company run properties. If you are in a house or an apartment owned by a landlord instead of a company they may allow you. Just check with them first. I think the liability issue is going to be the biggest hurdle.

kisamarie Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 3:05am
post #9 of 18

I rent in Texas and I am running my CFL business from my home, I have renters insurance and did not go to my landlord for permission. I am not violating my lease in any way and therefore my landlord has no issue with it. You can always just ask and see what response you get.

scp1127 Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 6:17am
post #10 of 18

I would think that the landlord has recourse because you signed a residential lease. I am a landlord and I would not be happy if someone ran a business out of a unit without my approval. Baking is a fire hazard. Customers coming to a unit is different than a personal visitor. If the tenant came to me and we both verified that we were properly insured and I was put on notice of any non-payment of insurance payments, then we could proceed.

Jacscakes213 Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 7:34am
post #11 of 18

Hi all, I am in utah and run my CFL out of my rented home.. I thought to err on the side of caution and asked my landlords permission, he had no problem, in fact he is ordering from me! I also have a substantial renters policy and business liability insurance... I definitely think your landlord should be consulted first, this is probably a sitiationof permission not forgiveness...

shannon100 Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 8:16pm
post #12 of 18

Thanks for the replies. I was scared to ask him, because if he said no, then my dream was over before it began. But I quoted the lease where it said not to run a business from home and asked if occasionally selling cakes to friends would be ok. (I want to start slow at first. Maybe 1 or 2 cakes a month, just to get things started.) He said yes, as long as the HOA doesn't sniff it out and give me a violation. He said as long as state and county were ok with it, he was too. (And I have it in writing, so I'm good!)

If my business takes off and I get busier than I anticipate, I'll ask again if I can increase from "occasionally" to "regularly". icon_smile.gif

Mamasan Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 5:36am
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon100

Thanks for the replies. I was scared to ask him, because if he said no, then my dream was over before it began. But I quoted the lease where it said not to run a business from home and asked if occasionally selling cakes to friends would be ok. (I want to start slow at first. Maybe 1 or 2 cakes a month, just to get things started.) He said yes, as long as the HOA doesn't sniff it out and give me a violation. He said as long as state and county were ok with it, he was too. (And I have it in writing, so I'm good!)

If my business takes off and I get busier than I anticipate, I'll ask again if I can increase from "occasionally" to "regularly". icon_smile.gif




What specifically do you have in writing? I'd ask for an addendum to your lease. What would the violation be for?

jason_kraft Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 8:53am
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasan

What specifically do you have in writing? I'd ask for an addendum to your lease. What would the violation be for?



If you rent in an area with a homeowner's association, you must abide by both the terms of the lease agreement between you and the landlord and the terms of the HOA. The landlord typically does not have the authority to alter the HOA agreement, and many such agreements prohibit commercial activity in the community.

Texas_Rose Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 12:13pm
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasan

What specifically do you have in writing? I'd ask for an addendum to your lease. What would the violation be for?


If you rent in an area with a homeowner's association, you must abide by both the terms of the lease agreement between you and the landlord and the terms of the HOA. The landlord typically does not have the authority to alter the HOA agreement, and many such agreements prohibit commercial activity in the community.




This is true and the HOA fines can be steep. The HOA also has the power to foreclose on the house if the owner is not following their rules.

robinmarie Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 12:47pm
post #16 of 18

I rent a house in Texas. Landlord was totaly fine with that. Not much traffic coming in and out because of my buisness.

Mamasan Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 4:12pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamasan

What specifically do you have in writing? I'd ask for an addendum to your lease. What would the violation be for?


If you rent in an area with a homeowner's association, you must abide by both the terms of the lease agreement between you and the landlord and the terms of the HOA. The landlord typically does not have the authority to alter the HOA agreement, and many such agreements prohibit commercial activity in the community.



This is true and the HOA fines can be steep. The HOA also has the power to foreclose on the house if the owner is not following their rules.




Wow, I had no idea... Essentially, she's taking a HUGE risk if her HOA doesn't know/approve.

We had neighbors that reported me to HOA for having an empty shepherd's hook in my lawn for a few days. I don't miss that and will never live under someone's thumb again.

aligotmatt Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 4:40pm
post #18 of 18

I think most HOA's are concerned with the level of activity at a home. So if you were delivering, or having 1 pickup a week, I doubt they would mind, but you would still want to get approval. Home businesses our old HOA didn't like was like an in home hair salon where clients were coming and going all day, in home daycare, they approved truck sizes if you were a landscaper or painter or something...

You should definitely make sure you get approval - maybe running a delivery only cake business where no clients ever come to your home would be more likely approved than allowing people to pickup.

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