Working from home a problem ?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mowingandmore, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Mowingandmore

    Mowingandmore LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I was wondering how many of you guys run your business out of you house and if you have ever had any problems doing so.
    I have been in business for over 6 years now and paying my way through college doing mowing and landscape work. I have been running my business from home which is in a neighborhood where I have a 2 acre lot with my house and a 60x40 garage and store all of my equipment indoors. The dump truck trailer and all pull out at 8 am and back around 6pm daily. No materials are stored here or dumped. only 1 or 2 friends come and help me daily and also park inside when they arive. So its not like we are causing alot of traffic.
    Aparently one of my neighbors ( i thingk the new one ) is complaing so the township is now bothering me for running a business from home which is not aloud.

    Any one ever have a problem like this ? I cant realy see whats the big deal because if I rented a shop I would still have to drive my truck to work anyways. and I realy dont want to pay for a shop when I have a 12 car garage 1/2 empty. I dont see a problem what do you guys think? have any ideas on how to get around this ?
  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Id ask exactly which rule(s) I was breaking... some places do have them but they can be fought.
  3. nfarr

    nfarr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    I run my business from my home. I applied to the city for a home office permit and am allowed to operate a non-retail business.

    Having said that, my neighbor reported me to the city because he did not like that I was running a " illegal business from home".

    He had two complaints, 1) I had too many vehicles and he could not see the sidewalk when he was pulling out of his driveway. He was afraid he would run over a kid. I have a Toyota Sequoia, Ford E150 cargo van and a F150 truck. All of which fit easily in the driveway.

    2) He did not want to see workers at my home. I have a storage unit however, to save time, I would have the workers park their cars in my driveway and we would leave from there. The neighbors wife was afraid to come out because she had read a story about a landscaper that attacked a stay at home mother.

    The city came back and told me I was not in violation of any codes, however, I should take my neighbors concerns into account since I still have to live next to them.
  4. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    Just tell them the neighbor is trying to blackmail you into doing their yard for free and since you said no they are turning you in. Turn the tables. Good Luck!!
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    some people are jerks. That is all. Just hope he moves soon.
  6. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    Had a similar situation. Don't loose your cool, just work with the zoning person and you'll figure something out. I originally was going to put up a fence but didn't get a chance to. Zoning guy originally recommended that but then we found some loopholes. I use firewood stacked between trees as a fence (behind some brush) to screen my truck from the road. I'm not allowed to sell that firewod, it must be for my personal use... No Problemo! My landscaping trailer... well I use that to haul my snowmobiles, (non existant) quads, dirt bikes, motorcycles around so thats not a solely commercial vehicle so I can keep it at the house too.

    Zoning said I could only have signs on one vehicle. I had to take the signs off my trailer. all equipment must be out of sight by end of day, no bulk material storage outdoors, and no customers "in" my office.

    I now smirk when I see the as-holes that live behind me come out of their house.
  7. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    So a lady selling Avon doing the paperwork in her home is breaking the law? A guy who runs a website from his home is breaking the law? Sounds fishy to me. I'd just get a lawyer if they pushed it, heck of a lot cheaper than 8-10k rent for a shop year in and year out. It can easily be argued you are not running a business out of your home, you only park your vehicles there since you don't have customers actually coming to your property to do business. Usually most laws restricting businesses from home are retail where you have customers coming to your property in large numbers day in and day out.

    Your situation is no different than a guy driving a company car home and parking it there and having 2 guys carpool to work with him in that vehicle.
  8. mike lane lawn care

    mike lane lawn care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,707

    wow, i never head of a lawn forbiding you to run a biz from home or keeping a few trucks in the driveway. but you must live in a sort of sub-division, where people live right next to you and on a level piece of land. here we are surrounded by woods and my neighbors would never care, as long as there wasn't too much noise after dark.
  9. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    If you have equipment all the way up to a dump truck, I'd say it's visable even on a 2 acre lot. It sounds to me that something happened to make this neighbor complain. There is a law which you seem to be in violation. I'd try talking to the neighbor about his complaints. If it is too much noise, then agree to reduce the noise. If it is too much traffic, then agree to reduce the traffic.

    Talk nice to him or her, and while you are there, figure out a way to offer to do some landscaping work at a really reduced rate. You need to try and work this out because it will be so much more inconvenient for you to rent a place for your equipment and then have to work out of it all day long.
  10. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,503

    If you have that big of garage and nothing is visable, I would try to use a PO box or something and Bull S#!@ my way from saying my office is in the house. I would try to figure away around it.


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