Can you live in a commercial property?

News & Insights
News & Insights
Can you live in a commercial property?

Thanks to the ripple effect of pandemic restrictions over the past couple of years, commercial and residential combinations became a new way of living and making a living. Many people are now exploring the question – “can you live in a commercial property?“.

While restrictions have settled and workers head back to the city, there may be others who have made it their 2023 resolution to kickstart a new commercial and residential combination. The short answer to the question is yes, you can live in a commercial property but there may be some limitations – as with everything, it is best to do your research, so let’s break it down. 

A good starting point is hiring a planning consultant  – they are the experts in this and will be able to explain any grey areas in council zoning. This will get the ball rolling for them to apply and gain approval for a zoning permit if required. Failure to do so could result in a hefty penalty. But beware – applications or permit approvals may be lengthy, so plan ahead. 

Zoning is important as there are different zoning types and several potential roadblocks that might prohibit you from living and working in the same building. Each zone is subject to strict laws and policies and each business must comply with them. 

Different zoning types include: 

  • residential zones – home-based businesses are either prohibited or permissible with consent (this does not include working from home)
  • business zones – residential units may be permissible in business zones, however home-based industries, including an online operation, are prohibited
  • industrial zones – home businesses and occupations are generally prohibited
  • and mixed-use zones – these zones allow for a combination of residential, retail, accommodation and industrial properties.

According to, a strict explanation of your home business will affect what is permissible in your building or on site. Each state also allows different business definitions and has contrasting policies and laws surrounding them.

Other issues to consider through the process include property loans and tax implications. Lenders will also consider the property’s percentage of commercial and residential spaces to determine borrowing limits.

Meanwhile, tax conditions for such properties include the possibility of claiming deductions for some property expenses; possibly being liable for capital gains tax if the property is sold; and more.