Working from home has pros & cons… flexibility and distractions.
The coronavirus pandemic will have caused many to consider whether there’s a way to develop a permanent space on their property for work purposes.
Upsizing and converting a bedroom is one option, loft conversion is another, but what about an outside garden pod?
Outside Garden Pods Explained
An outside garden pod could be the solution for business owners looking to have a designated space to work from home.
But what constitues an office pod?
Office pods aren’t usually made from bricks, but will often come in a flat pack (think Ikea) where you pay to get it made. Sometimes they are simply placed fully built into the area you want it.
In appearance they can vary; from large sheds to fully fitted, fully heated container units.
These pods are very alluring because buyers can pick and choose a model in different price ranges according to their own budget.
Do They Need Planning Permission?
Garden pods very rarely require planning permission for personal use, however if it is intended solely for business use, then it will probably require planning permission.
It all depends on how you want to use the office pod – a person looking to get some space from their family every now and again to do some work, might be able to claim that their office pod is for ‘incidental use of their home’. This could satisfy the rules in England and Wales.
However, if you’re having lots of physical meetings in the pod, spending most of your time there, or have staff working with you too – it’s unlikely you’ll have a strong argument.
We recommend always getting advice from your local council, so you don’t get yourself into a situation where the structure has to be forcefully removed.
Are They Subject To Business Rates?
You will also have to be aware that a garden pod for business use might also incur business rates.
The government says that if you make changes to your home to accommodate a business, then you might need to begin paying business rates.
It’s not enough to raise alarm though!
If this is the case, and you do incur business rates, you might be eligible for small business rates relief.
You’ll be eligible for the relief if the rateable value of the property is less than £15,000 and it’s the only property that the business uses.
Again, make sure you have a conversation with your local council so you can enquire about your specific situation.
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