Did you know that half of all businesses start in the home? The number of sole traders and businesses trading from home is growing, so should this group be a target market for landlords?

The Federation of Small Businesses Scotland used their most recent report to put pressure on the Scottish government to support home workers. It highlights both their value to the economy, and their value as potential tenants.

Growing numbers and rising commercial value mean that this group could include your future tenants. Before targeting it’s good to address any potential issues.

Will rent be paid on time?

Getting paid on time is essential, and at the start of any tenancy it is best practise to screen tenants. More than half of home businesses have traded for at least 10 years, so there is no reason thorough screening won’t work as well with this group as with any other. Potential tenants should be able to prove recent income and gaining a reference from an accountant is usual practise.

Should I change my contracts?

Before moving in a home-worker it’s a good idea to revise your contract, and consider the implications for insurance.

Understand the insurance implications, and take care to educate your tenants as well so that both you, and they, are fully covered.Cairn 3rd November

How do I cater to home-workers?

As with any market it’s important to cater to the needs of your target market. Those working from home come from a wide variety of industries, so needs vary. The FSB report highlights the ‘latent demand for work hubs and similar types of temporary space.’ Are there local areas better suited for home workers? Perhaps with shared meeting space nearby, or close to transport links.

Talking to homeworkers through networking in your area will help you identify what’s important to them, and what the growth sectors in home-based business locally are.

Within a property think about creating a separate working space and how the layout of a property could facilitate home working. Many businesses rely on the internet for sales and communication so ensuring that you can offer reliable internet is a must. While every business’ needs will vary consider storage, access and parking as these can all be big factors for home workers.

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