Using the GF in an apartment?


I’m currently situated in an apartment and was wondering if there were any suggestions as to how to get the landlord to allow me to have it in my apartment? Or should I bother with permissions?

(I have the basic with a filter)


I don’t think it is any of the landlords business what you do in your apartment so long as it is legal and your lease doesn’t have any “NO LASERS ALLOWED” conditions on your lease.


Hmm. Good Point. I don’t think it has a “laser” clause in the lease. Haha. Thanks!


Landlords everywhere are updating their lease agreements to include “NO LASERS ALLOWED” …




As a landlord I care about abuse of my property and other people complaining. If that is not happening - who cares.

Examples of things your landlord may care about even without a “no lasers allowed” clause. Drilling a hole through the wall to vent it? Yeah, I care about that. Snaking a hose out through a window in a Wisconsin winter when daytime highs are below zero Fahrenheit, that can cause issues. Open window in the summer and suddenly there is a fly infestation? Or a curious squirrel (that actually happened.) Cutting leather and having burnt hide fumes permeate the building so all the other residents complain. Basically it comes down to common sense. Also, as I posted here, it’s a good idea to have renter’s insurance.


Some excellent points. I would never damage property without permission. :slight_smile: And I have the filter so no open windows and hopefully minimal odor. (From Canada so winters get colddddd) I’ll have to put these all into consideration.


You might want to be careful about the things that you laser as smells are concerned. Leather and other organic materials can get stinky and neighbors might not like that.


One provision often found in a lease which may be of issue is if you are allowed to run a business from the location. Only relevant if you sell things from the cutter though.

Absolutely one of those “Better to ask forgiveness than permission” cases though. If you use common sense about various things, it won’t be any kind of issue. But if you just ask out of the blue “Hey, can I have a laser cutter?” the knee-jerk reaction (especially from a non-tech minded and risk averse person) would be “no”


I am a fond abider to the “Ask for forgiveness and not for permission” – I think it applies to this situation.


A work around for the running a business from the apartment is to get a P.O. Box. It doesn’t cost very much and you wouldn’t be breaking the terms of your lease if you use that address for all shipping and receiving.


Oh, I like that.


The business use of an apartment is all about common sense. Traditionally business has meant customers coming to the apartment. This raises issues like your customers taking the good parking spots, delivery trucks blocking stuff, customers slipping on the ice (always a risk, but you’re adding to it), customers casing the building for a return burgle and when dealing with cash armed robbery. In the age of the Internet you can run a business without customers visiting you. This then just leaves you with the manufacturing aspects of a business. It seems unlikely you’ll be dealing with perishables (food) or lots of heavy inventory (that can stress the structure) so that can be ignored. If you move in a bunch of industrial equipment what stress will you add to the building’s electrical? The glowforge alone is like a gaming PC so no big deal there. But if you add a bandsaw for resawing hardwoods, a router table, a planer and drum sander, and a dust collection system - well your neighbors aren’t going to like you much. The smell of cutting leather has already been mentioned, but if you use any non-household chemicals that can do things like catch on fire, or really stink, or need special venting that is an issue. And the last thing I can think of is that because of the above municipalities have zoning that excludes businesses from residential areas. Zoning laws have not usually been updated for the Internet. But if your building is not zoned for the type of business you’re running, it will at least partially fall on the property owner if the local authorities find you out.


Fantastic advice. The majority of the heavy machine stuff will be done off site, but the GF and assembly stations will be in the apartment. The zoning, I’ll have to look into. I don’t plan on having customers come into the apartment so traffic shouldn’t be an issue. Great things to think about!


Just remember priority one is getting a functioning business. Niceties are dealt with second. I know you’re in the authoritarian state of Canada :smirk:, but zoning violations are not murder and unless you add a smoke stack to the building it will take a while to discover (if ever.) So basically, I’d check the online property records to see what my zoning is as an FYI and proceed to do what I got to do.


Haha, I like that attitude. I’m quitting my job to do this so getting it up and running is priority #1. :smiley: Its that or I go broke. Haha.


Anything we can do to help, let us know.


Thanks man, I’m sure I’ll run stuff by you guys as we go!


Just something to think about…I’ve read that if someone is running a business from their home, they should consider getting business insurance. If, for instance, a business appliance causes damage to property, renters/homeowners insurance doesn’t cover the damage. I heard this is true in the US, I don’t know if it is true in other countries.

Does anyone else in this thread have better information on this topic? I conducted a quick browser search and only found insurance sites. Of course insurance companies think folks need home business insurance. :confused:


Yes, @rebecca, that’s my understanding. I also question whether home owner’s insurance would replace raw materials and finished goods stored in the house. After years of running my business out of my dining room with pretty much just a computer and essentially no inventory, I started accumulating other equipment including a vinyl printer/cutter and heat presses and keeping more raw materials and finished goods at the house. Early on, I looked at business insurance but the first quote I got was more than my annual sales were at that time. Last month, as I was moving from the dining room to the new room above the garage, I got another quote that was much more reasonable so I signed up.