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Basement apartments in Brampton. Are they legal?

basementapartment.jpg

So you’re looking to buy a home in Brampton with a separate basement apartment to lease out for extra income, but you have no clues as to the legalities of the basement. What exactly does Vendor does not warrant retrofit status” mean? What issues do you need to be concerned about when purchasing a home with a basement apartment? Read on, and you shall find out!

What exactly defines a basement apartment?

A basement apartment is a self-contained apartment consisting of a room or rooms in a singe or semi-detached house and can be located in any part of the house, not necessarily in the basement. They have also been called granny flats, nanny suites, accessory apartments and second suites. In the City’s bylaw, they are referred to as a “residential unit”.

A self-contained apartment shall have a separate means of entry (which may be through another unit) a kitchen (or cooking area) and bathroom facilities. A self-contained apartment may be as small as a single room that contains all of the features listed.

However, if you rent a room in a house or a flat with a shared entrance, kitchen and bathroom facilities, this bylaw does not apply to you.

Are basement apartments legal in Brampton?

If you purchase a home in Brampton and the basement apartment was built after November 16, 1995, it is illegal. The only legal basement apartments in Brampton had to have been built prior to that date, and have had to been registered with the city before January 31, 2006 and/or have legal non-conforming status.

A single or semidetached registered home can only have one basement apartment. Homes that have been subdivided into more than two units are strictly prohibited unless the property has been specifically zoned to permit multiple units. It is extremely rare to find a house that has been zoned as a triplex!

What should I be watching out for when I am looking to buy a home with a basement apartment?

Lawyers or real estate agents such as myself can confirm the status of a basement apartment with the city in order to provide you with the right information.
Real Estate Agents are bound by code of conduct guidelines and must fully and fairly disclose all information about a property for sale. Homes with doubtful legal status are typically listed with the caution “Vendor does not warrant retrofit status”, and you may have to seek further legal advice before proceeding with the purchase of a home.

What are the risks of an illegal basement apartment?

  • Increased Liability – The onus is on a homeowner to meet established standards for a second suite. If anything should happen, such as a fire, the homeowner would be held liable due to failure to meet requirements.
  • Loss of Insurance Coverage – Having a rental unit in your home is a material change to your home. Non-disclosure of this change of use may in fact make your coverage null and void.
  • Limited recover of damage – An insurance policy is not responsible for rebuilding costs related to meeting current established standards. Your insurance company is only required to cover the costs of fixing your home back to the state that existed at the time your policy was made prior to any damage.
  • Prosecution – If you do not meet City codes it means that you are breaking the law. You run the risk of being charged and can face fines with a maximum penalty of $50,000 and/or a year of imprisonment on each count.
  • Financing – Income from an unauthorized basement apartment is generally not considered when qualifying for a mortgage loan.
  • Tenants – You are a landlord. You are obliged to maintain your basement apartment in good operating order and you must follow all fire safety laws. Tenants may apply for rent reduction where the unit fails to meet the prescribed municipal health, safety, maintenance and property standards.
  • Tenant Insurance – Your homeowner’s policy will not cover property owned by a tenant.

Can I legally convert vacant space in my home into a basement apartment?

NO! The City’s zoning by-law does not permit new basement apartments. If the basement apartment did not exist in your home prior to November 16, 1995, a home in Brampton cannot be legally converted. Furthermore, any home built after 1995 can never have an existing legal basement apartment.

In order to permit a new basement apartment, the Zoning By-law would have to be changed. Changing the Zoning By-law requires the submission of a Zoning Amendment application and fee ($7759.00) to the City’s Planning, Design and Development Department.

For more information on basement apartments in Brampton, you can visit the City Of Brampton’s website.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ummi December 1, 2011, 8:33 am

    to all
    i forget that she did not paid rent from three months and for that we have to go to court again this month,and i also hear that court will just give her an order to pay us our money.they won’t help us collect money ,how will we find her after she leave our house?we do not know that she workes or not,how will we collect our money any help? please.

  • kali December 1, 2011, 9:17 am

    Hi umi, i don’t understand. you received a notice from the city that your aprtment is illegal. Then you asked the tenant to move out beacuse of that. She didn’t move out. so did the city fined you. what did the judge say when you went. don’t they know that becase the city is asking you that is why you want her to move out. Court and city should work things out. this is not fare for the landlord. These F*****deep black flies move in to poeples house and ruin their lives. I hopy they all go the hell and suffer there forever. I have no pitty for these people.

    So what happened now did she move out or did the judge gave her date to move out.

    I feel for you and me…as i am in the same shit

  • ummi December 1, 2011, 10:05 am

    hi. kali.why your name is kali.kali meens black in india.
    about basement first of all our tenant start harresing us after we asked her to stop using laundry.because in the first month after moving in she use washer drayer for six-6 hour,when i ask her that it is too much she replied that her ex basement laundry was broken and she was paking for moving into our place she did not have atime to do that so that is why she had toi do laundry for 6 hours,i belive in her and ignore it,but after 15 days she use alaundry machine from 11 :30 am to 11:00 pm,almost 11 hours non stop.washer is running and washer stop dryer is running,when i approched her at 4:00pm she started yelling at me. now they are 2 people what the hell she was washing in machine for 11?we are family of six even if i wash all family clothes for laundry every week it does not take more them 4 hgours!second day i found out washer was broken.after that we told her not to use laundry and reduce the rent,sincce then she and her daughter started bothring us.she started sending us note for little little things,like if i wake up at 6;30 sometimes insted of 7 she will take me to the court.if something fall in the kitchen she will take us to the court,she her daughter bangs our door and swear at us,her daughter and her friend listen loud music dance run upstair and down stairs,knock the celing,but if my younge daughter run aroud she will take me to the court.she brought the dog in,we told her that my son is allergic to all kind of far,and tree and ragewood ….she didnot listen.she brought the big bike and put in the basement lobby my husbane told her to bring a stand and put it outside,because in case of fire it is big hazzard.she did not listen.and after couple of weak she came to us and claim that some of our guest dameged the bike so she will diduct a 50 $ from the rent and she did it AND WE ARE RENTING A ILLEGAL BASEMENT SO SHE WILL COMPLAIN TO THE CITY AND SHE DID.when my husband try to talk to her she did not pick up the phone and she did not answer the door,SO AFTER THAT MY HUSBBND DECIDED THAT SHE BLAMED OUR KIDS FOR THINGS THAT THAY NEVER DID,SO WHAT ELSE SHE MIGHT BLAME US,IT IS BATTER FOR US THAT SHE MOVE OUT FROM OUR BASEMENT THEN WE GAVE HER NOTICE IN THE END OF JULY TO MOVE OUT FROM MY BASEMENT,AFTER THAT SHE WENT TO CITY AND COMPLAIN THAT OUR BASEMENT IS ILLEGAL.THAT,S THE STORY.i cursed her every day that she and her daughter (shoplifter,she got caught by the fortinos assosiate) suffer from all the worce illness inthe world and never die nor get a cure.and god make her life running aroud court and police run after her like a hungry dogs.

  • kali December 1, 2011, 11:01 am

    so did you guys go to the court. what happened. Didn’t the judge say that because city is asking them to move the applicace every thing so you have such time to move out. Plus isn’t it if tenant doesn’t pay rent you can file n4 get a court date and if they don’t pay by that date the judge orders them to move out.

    What happend with the city. aren’t they going to take you to the court and fine you if you don’t move your tenants by certain time frame. What did the judge say……

  • nena December 1, 2011, 4:28 pm

    so guys what happened next…i want to know

  • ummi December 1, 2011, 6:52 pm

    TO KALI,LTB,I HATE IT WE WENT TO COURT AND JUDGE NEVER HEAR US,INSTED JUDGE ASKED HER THAT HOW IS SHE FEELING ABOUT MOVING OUT?EVEN THERE WAS A LETTAR FROM CITY THAT WE NEED TO REMOVE HER AND CHENGE THE LOCKS AND DISCONNECT THE APPLIANCE STOVE AND HOOD FAN.WE GAVE OUR BASEMENT FIRST TIME FOR RENT,CITY GUY CAME AND GAVE NOTICE TO US THAT WE HAVE TO DISCONNECT THINGS AND CHENGS THE LOCKS,BUT AS LONG AS TENANT IS DOWN THEIR WE CAN NOT DO ANYTHING,CITY WILL ALLOE TENANT TO STAY IN THE BASEMENT BUT WILL NOT ALLOW THE LAND LORD TO RENT IT.THAT IS THE LAW ,I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHO MADE THIE LAW?THIS IS FIFTH MONTHESSINCE WE GAVE THAT B**** A NOTICE.NOW SHERRIF WILL GAVE HER NOTICE AND IF SHE DID NOT MOVE BY THEN THEY WILL COME AND REMOVE HER BY FORCE AND ANOTHER THINGS HER STUFF CAN STILL STAY IN MY BASEMENT FOR ANOTHER 72 HOURS,WE CAN NOT TOUCH HER STUFF BUT WHENEVER SHE COME BETWEEN THOSE 72 HOURS WE HAVE TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR HER,SO WHOM LANDLORD AND TENANT BOARD IS REALLY HELPING?????

  • Kali December 2, 2011, 9:40 am

    I really feel like i am in your shoes. I know what you are going through. we are going to the court next week. So when you showed judge the city paper. did judge end up giving her the date when she should move out by. How the sheriff is coming now. Did you go to the court again. I am renting first time too. I from now on i decided we are not renting anymore. It’s the hell we went through and it is not worth it. I find that the black flies know all the rules since they never owned a home and they lived on rent since they are born. I think they deserved what happend to them centuries ago. I hope these people go to hell and have misreable life. I hope she gets cancer there. It totally not fare to the landlord. There are so many rules for tenants but nothing for the landlord. I really wish they make some changes to the landlord and tenant laws. It is not fare who much landlord’s are suffering due to tenant problems.

  • ummi December 2, 2011, 5:40 pm

    to kali.
    are you going to court for evicting them or to claim the rent?city and LTB does not work together.if your basement is illegal LTB does not care.and if your tenant is not moving out even after a LTB court order city does not care.our tenant did not move even court gave her date of NOVEMBER 30.SHE AGRRED IN THE COURT IN FRONT OF JUDGE THAT SHE WILL MOVE OUT THAT DAY.she did not .so on the 1st desember ny husbane went to LTB office and filed up another form and paid 300$ for sherrif to come and kik her out.you can not go to LTB for sherrif until the date court has set for tenant to move out.noe we have to wait until sherrif comes,because there are hundreds of tenants who does not move on time .there is abacklog they(sherrif) are very busy kiking the ash out of these basterd tenant.

  • EddieB December 3, 2011, 1:43 am

    Basement rental is too much of a headache in the Peel Region. Why don’t you people move to Toronto where it is legal? I rented out for 3 months. Bad experience. Never again.

  • kali December 5, 2011, 9:58 am

    Thanks for all that Ummi. I hope she goes to hell. You know what god says what goes around comes around. The only thing i don’t understand that why LTB and city don’t work together. It makes lot more sense. Then people don’t have to fight two departments. These people are so dump. i hope that the people die for cancer who makes other people life misserable. Other people can imagine what we people going through to make these kind of comments….

    When you got to court what does actually happen. does judge listen to both sides. What if tenant is lying and bring witness. I hope that judge makes decision based on the notice we got from the city.

    These renters are professional and they probably been through many time.

    Thanks

  • gee December 16, 2011, 4:51 pm

    I just found a note on my door of someone complaining that i have an illegal apartment and i have till mid month for contacting them and allowing them to come in. maybe someone can help shed some light here cus this is the second time the city has home, 2 years ago i had helped a young girl with two kids and when we finallly decided to let her go, she called the city…they came in closed the file and that was done, i know have my duaghters mother in law residing with me as she lost her husband about 8 years ago and financially she cannot afford to pay rent so we are helping her out, because i have health issues in lieu of money she helps me with chores around the house….yes i have a kitchen downstairs that is for our own purposes and two bedrooms also because up to about 3 years ago my daughter and her kids were living with me so we gave her, her own space! can someone shed some light do i have the right to keep this woman in my house? What kills me the most is, i own my house, i pay taxes and the city has to tell me who i am allowed to have in my home or not? Totally unfair!

  • kofi December 16, 2011, 6:42 pm

    I am appalled by the xenophobia and the unappologetically racist diatribe left on here by ‘Kali”. While I am sorry for the difficulty Ummi went through with her tenants,d “Kali” has demonstrated a stupendous, shameful,ignorance, and a potentially criminal act by calling Ummi’s tenants “F*****deep black flies move in to poeples house and ruin their live”. The writer goes on ranting his or her racist views saying.. “I hopy they all go the hell and suffer there forever. I have no pitty for these people”. This individual goes on to spew further racist views by unbelievably arguing that black people deserved to be slaves centuries ago… she states ” I find that the black flies know all the rules since they never owned a home and they lived on rent since they are born. I think they deserved what happend to them centuries ago”. I cannot believe the sheer stupidity, regrettably callous, and dispeakably racist and senseless nature of “kali”s views. for a racially tolerant society like Canada to allow immigrants such as Kali ( which i assume he/she is) to come into this country and have such view is unacceptable! I will contact Lang the real estate agent to delete or shut down this blog or else I will bring attention to this forum, because it cannot be a platform for hate speech.

  • Lang Vuong December 17, 2011, 11:07 am

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    I’d like to take this time to remind everyone that this public forum is provided in order for people to discuss real estate issues. There is no place for prejudice here.

    Lets keep things civil and focus on the topic at hand. We are all here to help each other – not spread hatred.

    Thanks.

    Lang

  • EddieB December 17, 2011, 7:46 pm

    People, stop renting your basements. It is not worth the stress and hardship you receive from the tenants and the Government bodies. Basement renters are all evil.

  • parwez December 28, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Hi there.just bought a house in brampton and i have a very clean basement which i intend to rent.But i will need to make a seperate entrance and add a kitchen & a bedroom,the basement is quite spacious enough.I just moved one month back.I am very worried as they said that it is illegal to rent in Brampton.The house was constructed 20 years ago.Can someone give me advice what to do.Thanks

  • EddieB December 28, 2011, 9:19 pm

    Why do you guys wanna move to Brampton when you wanna rent your basement. It’s illegal. You’re bringing in unwanted people to the city and causing all sorts of problems. You will see from all the above postings that people suffer from renting their basements. You can move to Toronto where it is legal to rent.

  • ummi December 28, 2011, 10:31 pm

    to parvez, house build20 years ago but was basement done before 1995?i mean when property goes on realestate market,city knows that basement was build or not,accordding to you you don’t even have a seprat entry,but the rull is you can make a entry from your backyard.and about renting we had a problem i think you have read all my post.the city inspector told us we can rent it but without kitchen.and if you want kitchen it is something like summer kitchen only for your own use.no seprate locks or any thing.you batter cheak with brampton city website.

  • parwez December 29, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Thanks Ummi for your reply.I will need to rent the basement so as i can have save some money and for that will need to add a kitchen and a bedroom.As i do not have separate entrance for the basement,i will need to put one outside on the left side of my house just between my neighbour and my house as there is a small sidewalk about 1 meter.So Ummi what do you mean by summer kitchen?thanks

  • ummi December 29, 2011, 2:03 pm

    do not even think about putting entry on the side of the house.it is illegal.but behind the house is legal.why don’t you cheak the website of the city of brampton.about the summer kitchen i think in canada people do lot of canning and boiling tomato and use big pot for thatso that why you can use your kitchen in summar!!@??!!that is my thought.because i see in my neighbourhood lots of italian people busy all summar with their big stove and big pots.

  • parwez January 6, 2012, 11:59 am

    today i will need to speak with my neighbour as i have the intention to put a side entrance for my basement the problem is that between my house and his house there is a distance of 1m50 i will need to ask him permission i hope that he accepts.The inspector advised me to speak with her and my inspector is asking me 12k to add a bedroom and a kitchen…..

  • Lang Vuong June 20, 2012, 10:02 am

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of the hateful comments in post, all future comments will be disabled.