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Can I Use a Commercial Property for Residential Purposes?

Living in a commercial building might seem harmless and cost-effective, but the law may not always agree. Also, it can cause legal troubles and compromise your safety. Read on to understand the various aspects of living on a commercial property.

Real State Zoning Laws

If a live/work property is your goal, it’s essential to understand your local zoning laws. Zoning classifies all the property in a community for a specific type of use. The most common zoning types include residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, or a combination. A live/work unit would generally be zoned for mixed-use.

Different jurisdictions have different opinions on what can be considered commercial and residential. The distinction between these zones can be difficult to understand.

The Dangers of Living on a Commercial Property

You might be tempted to use commercial property for living purposes, but you need to think about the safety of the place. When you’re living in such a property, you’re living in a space that is not considered to be safe or secure. The place might not have an emergency exit and instead have leaks, rodents, and harmful pests.

What If You’re Caught

If you’re caught living illegally in a commercial property, you can either be fined, required to remove the unit, or legalize it by getting the right permit. Further, your insurance company can refuse to cover damages resulting from fire, flood, or other calamities. Also, a death in one of those situations can lead to civil or criminal charges.

How to Find a Work/Live Property

While you can find plenty of mixed-use zones in some areas, in others, you will have to apply for a mixed-use permit first. You can contact a real estate agent to find such properties, as they know the local market well and can guide you in the right direction.

Consider these steps before using a commercial property for living purposes. For assistance with all your insurance needs and questions, contact the experts at Scautub Agency in Scotia, New York. We are ready to help you with all your coverage needs.

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