What can I use a property for?

Other than the obvious restraints of the suitability of the property to your purpose, e.g. a building is no use for a major distribution centre if B-trains cannot access it, the two major constraints are:

  1. Body Corporate rules
  2. Zoning


If the building is part of a body corporate (unit title) then it is likely there are restraints on the type of activity that can be carried on in the building. The restraints, or prohibited activity, will often relate to noise or nuisance to other occupiers. Some of the prohibited activities which are common are anything relating to motor vehicles, liquor and live-ins. Check that the body corporate rules don't preclude your business before you commit!


All properties are zoned by the local territorial authority (council). The zoning covers what you can and cannot do in various zones.To make it more complex, each council will have different zoning regulations. The regulations are long, boring and difficult to understand (see our section "understanding zoning" for a little light on a complex subject ). For most "usual" businesses, working out whether you can site your business in a particular zone is not an issue. But it is worth checking before committing, as theoretically councils have the ability to shut down businesses operating in zones that do not permit a particular activity - and sometimes they do.