Renting a commercially zoned property as a residence

3 Replies

There is a small two bedroom home for sale next for to a duplex I own. The thing about the property is that it's zoned for commerical. It's on a busy street and surrounded by residential properties. The current owner told me he tried to have the city rezone it for residential but they refused.


If I buy it I would like to rent it to residential tenants. In order to get around the commerical zoning, I am considering a scenario where my tenants on the property would be 'assistant property managers' and would notify my of any needs on that property and/or my duplex next door, in exchange for a minimal "discount" in rent. I would like to know if this would meet the requirements of commerical zoning.

Also if I do end up buying it, I would very much like to get it changed to be zoned for residential use. I imagine that it would take a fair amount of leg work at City Hall to make that happen. What is everyone's opinion on that? Is there a high or low success rate at changing the zoning of a property?

Likely zero success rate if it has already been refused. Why not rent it as commercial to a small business.

There is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel.

it's been sitting vacant for several years. the current owner hasn't been able to find any small business to rent it. my experience is in the residential rental space. I'm looking to expand my residential assets. since I have no experience in the commerical space I have no reason to believe I could do any better to rent it out to a business.

@Shane Brown , Those types of transitional zones are everywhere in older cities that were populated organically before urban planning was a thing.  At some point the city rightfully recognized that your area was more appropriate for commercial than residential development and changed the zoning.  That's not going to change.

However, it's worth a trip to the city because that single family home was built before the zoning and there might be a grandfather clause in place allowing mixed use on the current building.  

At the worst, if you now have 2 contiguous lots you've just started a commercial revitalization project :).

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