Home Businesses Not All Bad For HOA's

Private Property South Africa
Press

The issue of home-based businesses in security villages and estates has become a tricky question for the bodies corporate and home owners’ associations (HOA's) that run such developments. On the one hand, a home business that generates lots of customer traffic, deliveries, noise or unpleasant odours is clearly undesirable in a residential environment, and particularly in a gated development where it might also compromise the security system. “But on the other hand,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, “many home businesses today are technology-based and consist of just a couple of desks and computers in a spare room or garage. “They are thus completely non-intrusive and should perhaps actually be encouraged, because people working at home actually enhance the security of the community by providing extra ‘eyes and ears’ at times when most other owners are away from their homes.” Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he also notes that people working at home are usually doing so to generate additional income, which reduces the likelihood of unpaid levies or assessments. “And there is also the thought that owners do have a right to use their homes as they please, provided they don’t breach the HOA’s appearance or safety rules – or any local authority bylaws.” However, he says, it has been established in SA law that when you buy into a gated community, you are making the choice to abide by that community’s rules – even it is means sacrificing some of your common law rights. “So buyers who are thinking of operating a business from their new home in a security village or estate should first establish what that particular HOA’s rules are regarding home enterprises.”

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Chas Everitt

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