Can the homeowners' association close your business?
Why you need to secure clearance from the association before putting up a home-based business
By: Atty. Reeza Singzon | May 31, 2012 13:00 pm
Q: I've always wanted to start a home-based business since I live alone in the house my parents left me when they went abroad. I'm considering opening a pre-school, as I think I can convert part of the house as classrooms. The thing is, the house is in a private subdivision. My friends tell me I would have to get permission from the homeowners' association. My question is: does the homeowners' association have a right to stop me from establishing this business in our subdivision? Is this under zoning laws?
A: Your friends are right. You do have to secure a clearance or permit from your homeowners' association before you open any kind of business in your village or subdivision. And yes, the homeowners' association has the power to either approve or disapprove your application. It is not under zoning laws, but it is every homeowner's obligation to obey all rules and regulations within the subdivision where he resides. After all, those rules were drafted and are being enforced for your mutual protection and welfare.
Obtaining a clearance from your homeowners' association before opening a business in your subdivision is also done out of courtesy to your neighbors who might have objections to the kind of business you intend to put up in their midst. If you are confident that the type of business you intend to operate will not be objectionable to your neighbors, then you have no reason to fear that your application would be disapproved.
In your particular case, your intended business--a pre-school which necessarily involves noisy youngsters--might be objectionable to elderly neighbors who treasure peace and quiet. It's best to obtain a clearance beforehand, rather than have problems later on--or worse, have your business closed down--after you've already started operating your business.
Reeza Singzon is a lawyer specializing in civil, commercial, and labor law. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked in media for more than 10 years, writing and producing news programs for TV and working as an editor and columnist for a newspaper.