Potential tenant wants use kitchen for commercial cooking

11 Replies

Hello BP, I have a potential tenant wanting to use kitchen for part time commercial use. The house is in A/B neighbourhood wIth new appliances. They are also section 8. I am in MD. I am wondering if I should rent the house to this person. If yes, should/can I ask for higher rent as they will be using appliances and kitchen for commercial purpose? Or is it too much headache and I should say no? Can I turn down applicant because they want to use it for commercial purpose? Any input you can provide is greatly appreciated.

A couple of points I would consider are: does your kitchen meet code requirements to be used as a commercial kitchen? and a big one, will your insurance provider cover a claim like a kitchen fire if the kitchen was being used for a commercial purpose?

They are making money under the table from the cooking and not reporting it. Do you want dishonest tenants? OR, they could be baking cookies for the scout troop, or selling fish dinners for the church occasionally. You can either not accept the application, or ask more probing questions.

Does zoning permit a commercial business?

Does your kitchen meet commercial requirements?

How are they qualifying for Section 8 while running a business?

I would deny them and I would also report them to HUD, particularly if you have this in writing.

NOPE..... having a tenant run a business out of your property is almost always a bad idea. What is the upside for you? I don't see any...... and the downside? I see TONS....

DENY them..... if they say they wont do it, they just want to live there, they are lying and will do it behind your back...pass

Wow... it’s a clear verdict. I did not think about a lot of points you all mentioned. I appreciate your reply. I am moving on to next application. Thank you very much.

@Jim S. , Section 8 doesn't depend on the neighborhood or condition of the property. All it is is a rental subsidy paid by the local housing authority. Especially with the demolition of housing projects, you are very likely to find Section 8 tenants in many parts of the city, good and bad.

Ray, yes I know. If they need government subsidy for housing maybe they should be living in C or D properties not  high end properties.

@Jim S. - Be careful. Comments like this could be used as evidence in a fair housing lawsuit against you. Remember a few years ago HUD decided because certain ethnic groups have higher rates of felonies than other groups, it is a fair housing violation for us to use felony status as a screening criteria. In my vast experience with SEC8, I am confident in saying that the vast majority of voucher holders are from protected classes. It is illegal to steer people to or from neighborhoods based on their race or any other protected classification. The whole purpose of the Housing CHOICE Voucher system is to allow a tenant to choose where they live to allow them to get out of the pockets of poverty. As long as the house meets budget, they are allowed to select it, regardless of neighborhood.