5 Disadvantages of a Live-Work Loft

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5 Disadvantages of a Live-Work Loft

Staff Writer · Oct 13, 2009

A Live-work loft offers many advantages to entrepreneurs who work from home. However, there are several disadvantages that you need to weigh before you sign a lease agreement. Here are 5 reasons why this living arrangement may not work for you:

1. Clients Coming to Your Apartment

Meeting clients in your work space has many benefits, including the cost savings in your travel expenses. However, you may not want strangers coming to your home or knowing where you live. Not all businesses are equal, and it may be a bad idea to have customers come to your apartment. You’re opening up yourself to theft, stalking and a number of criminal issues. We all like to think our clients would never do that, but you don’t always know who you’re dealing with.

2. Limited Space

A typical live-work loft is designed to provide a small office space. Your business may be beyond that, and you might need a much bigger space for a growing home business. If you sign a lease agreement and find out that you need bigger space, you’ll get stuck paying for rent twice over. You have to weigh upfront whether it’s better to rent office space instead. It may cost you more, but it’s better than renting a work space in your loft that you don’t need.

3. Too Close to Employees

Another disadvantage that can pose all sorts of legal headaches is having your employees work so close to your personal living space. It can be done, and some entrepreneurs work this way with no problems whatsoever. However, it’s important to keep this in mind if you do decide to rent a live-work space. Take the precautions necessary to lock all doors that lead to your living area. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where there’s an appearance of wrongdoing simply because your employee is often in your living area. It’s best to keep work and living separate with employees, and this can be a challenge if you’re close to your workers.

4. Not All Businesses Allowed

Most live-work lofts are located in commercial zones. However, you may not be allowed to carry on certain businesses in a particular area. It’s important to understand the rules of what’s allowed and what’s not. You don’t want to rent a live-work loft only to find out later that you can’t run your business from it. For example, you may expand your products or services later to include business activities that are not permitted in your live-work loft. This is a disadvantage to consider now, if you’re comparing this option against renting a regular office space. You might face the same issue with a commercial office space, but a live-work loft will have stricter rules because of the residential component.

5.  Risky with Children

A live-work loft can be difficult for families with children. Having the public on the premises also means that you have to be watchful to make sure your children are safe and busy while you deal with customers. You may not be able to keep an eye on them the entire time when dealing with clients or customers, including people going to your living space by accident.

These disadvantages don’t necessarily mean that you have to rule out renting a live-work loft. You do have to factor these, and take precautions to ensure that you and your family are legally and physically protected.

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