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This would depend on the local zoning ordinances and whether a business can be operated in a residential area. In most areas, home businesses may be permitted, but full commercial ones are limited to areas that are zoned B-1 or Commercial to accommodate the higher traffic flows associated with business use.
With that said, if the lease doesn't prevent any business usage and no one complains to the city about the business, then it is unlikely that they would become aware of it and force you to move it to a properly zoned area.
As a general rule, if a landlord rents a residential property under a residential lease, then they may have a clause in the lease that prohibits commercial use. If they do, then it would be up to the landlord as to whether to enforce it or not and whether to consider any commercial use as a breach of the lease.
The property management companies are trying to cover themselves liability-wise so they couldn't be held liable if the city came in and shut you down and they knew from the onset that you were intending on operating a business there. But from a purely legal perspective, a business could theoretically be renting a residential property for residential use only for someone so it might not be a good idea to mention that your plans are for commercial use if you are trying to rent a residential property not properly zoned..