Buying A House With A Basement Apartment?


This article is meant for discussion purposes only and not as a code interpretation.

This report relates to a few of the matters that you ought to be watching for, if you should be shopping for a home with a self-contained apartment. The regulatory information was current at the time of 1996, nevertheless can be subject to change at any time.

What is the big deal?

Most existing two-unit houses (assembled before Nov. 16, 1995) is going to ออฟฟิศให้เช่า be”grandfathered” (carry on being allowed) under the new legislation, provided they meet applicable municipal planning standards. Generally, new flats have to conform to the Building Code, and existing apartments must adhere to the Fire Code.

Both brand new and existing apartments must conform to certain property and municipal zoning (planning) standards.

Is there a certification of compliance?It would appear your very best security is to ensure the vendor provides a certificate of compliance by the regional municipal fire department for any property which may come under the jurisdiction of this Fire Code, Section 9.8. In the event the vendor is unwilling or unable to supply a certification of compliance, then the dwelling unit might possibly be non conforming, and so considered illegal.

Also, municipalities have the right to decide where they will allow homes to have additional dwelling units and will designate areas where they won’t allow homes to own additional dwelling units. Units installed after November 16, 1995 without a license are unprotected (even though they meet fire, safety & electric standards) and the municipality could involve removal of the unit.

Things to look for:

* Walls/floors/ceilings covered with materials with a 30 minute fire rating (eg. Dry wall ); or substances with a 15 minute fire rating along with interconnected smoke alarms, throughout all dwellings in the house. * Brand New! Ontario, 1998: All homeowners must maintain smoke detectors on every elevation, even if the dwelling is not leased or sub-let. Check with your local, provincial or state jurisdiction to ensure requirements for smoke detectors locally. * Materials not rated for fire protection, but with a sprinkler system installed during all dwellings at the house. * A private entrance, and the route does not involve entering a different residence. A second means of exit, that may be another door or a window readily accessible and unobstructed.

What things to inquire:

* Once was the flat built? * When the apartment was assembled after Nov.16, 1995, does the seller have a permit? * Does the seller have a certificate of compliance from Ontario Hydro? From the local fire department? Are there any interconnected fire alarms? * What size would be the electric service? Could there be enough”ampacity” (capacity) to support two different living units?


* There are a few private inspection firms who are attempting to capitalize on this opportunity by advertising themselves as basement flat or flame code specialists. You shouldn’t be fooled. Municipal Building & Fire Departments would be the only associations that have the authority to determine what constitutes code compliance.

What’s this going to cost?

The regulatory data in this article was current as of 1996, yet might be subject to change at any time. Talk to your Regional Building Code Official or Fire Department for regulations.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *