First, you’ll need to have architectural drawings and plans to obtain a building permit in the City of Mississauga. The building permit fees will be $1,595+HST. On average, it takes 13 weeks for a new residential building to be processed and issued a permit, 7 weeks for a residential alteration, and 10 weeks for a secondary unit. Remember that these are only estimates, and the actual time it takes could be more or less.
How to Make a Legal Basement Apartment in Ontario
It’s no secret that the cost of living in many parts of Canada is rising. And while raising a family and trying to make ends meet can be challenging enough, for those lucky enough to have a basement suite, things can get a little bit easier.
But what happens when you want to legalize that basement suite? How much does getting the permits and making everything above board cost?
In Ontario, a legal basement apartment is a secondary residence that meets the requirements of the Ontario Building Code. If your property meets your neighbourhood zoning regulations and your building is more than 5 years old, your secondary suits should meet the following requirements:
- An area of at least 145 square feet.
- A ceiling height of at least 1.95 meters.
- Windows make up at least 5 % of the living space and 2.5 % of the bedroom area.
- Hot and cold water, kitchen sink, sink and access to the laundry room.
- An Electrical Safety Authority electrician should approve heating, cooling, and electricity.
- At least 30 minutes fire separation between self and main unit.
- Second escape route.
What makes a basement apartment legal in Ontario?
In Ontario, there are strict regulations around basement apartments. For a basement apartment to be legal, it must meet several requirements.
- First, the basement must be a separate, self-contained unit with a kitchen and bathroom.
- Second, the unit must have at least two means of egress in case of fire or another emergency.
- Third, the residential unit must meet all safety standards, including having adequate ventilation and enough light.
- Finally, the landlord must obtain the proper permits and licenses from the municipality. A basement apartment can be legal in Ontario if these requirements are met.
What codes need to be met before renting your Ontario basement?
If you live in Ontario, your building will need to meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code. If your property is older, it’s a good idea to engage a building inspector or general contractor.
First and foremost, the space must be up to fire safety standards. This means working smoke detectors and ensuring no flammable materials are stored in the basement. Your building will then need to comply with Fire Code standards to ensure the basement is safe to go in an emergency. The fire department may complete this investigation, but your basement apartment isn’t lawful until they give you their permission. For example, basement apartments have specific by-laws and processes related to basement apartments in the City of Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area.
Additionally, the space should have adequate ventilation and lighting. The windows should be of a certain size to let in enough natural light, and a working electrical system should be in place. Finally, the basement should be free of any moisture or water damage. By meeting all of these codes, you can be sure that your basement is safe and fit for tenants.
What are the costs of a legal basement in Mississauga?
The cost of a legal basement in Mississauga can vary depending on several factors, including the size and layout of the basement, the type of permits required, and the labour cost. In general, a legal basement will likely cost several thousand dollars. The first step in obtaining a legal basement is to get the necessary building permits from the City of Mississauga. If you’d like to learn more about obtaining permits, go over our post on Understanding Building Permits and Why You May Need One.
A turnkey finished basement without a bathroom in Mississauga costs approximately CAD 35,500. Keep in mind that the basement renovation costs are not included here. It refers to the cost of building dwelling units.
The cost of renovating a second dwelling can be hefty. The additional space and amenities required for this type of project mean that you’ll need to factor in more than just construction expenses, such as installing new plumbing or wiring while adhering strictly to all applicable building codes – it could easily reach over CAD 70,000.
How to rent out a legal basement
If you’re looking to rent out a legal basement, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
- Check whether your basement apartment meets all the necessary codes and by-laws. Ensure it’s in excellent, clean condition with all the required appliances, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Take professional photos. If you don’t have a high-quality camera, hire a real estate photographer for a couple of hours to light, shoot, and process your photos to sell your home.
- List the apartment with any improvements you’ve made and a detailed description of the amenities, space, and perks.
- Set a reasonable price. Make sure you do your homework and discover what similar units are renting for in the neighbourhood. It may be tough to raise rent later on if you don’t find new tenants in your area.
Interview your tenants. You can request a credit check, references, and proof of income. It’s a good idea to be picky about your future tenants. Good tenants will make your life easier.
What are the pros of a legal basement?
- It provides additional income and living space that can be used for storage, a home office, or even an extra bedroom.
- Second, a finished basement increases the resale value of your home.
- And finally, if you ever have to file an insurance claim, a legal basement will be covered, whereas an illegal one may not be.
What are the cons of a legal basement?
- One of the main disadvantages is the cost. Converting illegal basement apartment into legal basement apartments can be expensive, and it may not be worth the investment if you plan to sell your home soon.
- In addition, a legal basement must meet certain building code requirements, which can be challenging to comply with if your home is older.
- Finally, a legal basement requires paying rental income tax. This is a tax levied on the income you earn from renting out your basement apartment. Many first-time landlords are not aware of this. Things quickly go south if you aren’t prepared.
Ready to renovate your basement?
Thinking about basement renovations in Mississauga?
You’re in the right place! Capable Group is a full-service basement renovation company that can take your basement from drab to fab. We have all the expertise and experience you need to make your basement renovation project a success.
Our team of experts will work with you every step to ensure that your basement meets all your needs and exceeds your expectations. We’ll help you choose your space’s perfect design, materials, and finishes. And we’ll ensure the job is done on time and within budget.
Contact us today for a free consultation!