The old adage 'house rich and cash poor' is an economic reality for many buyers in large Canadian cities.
Many purchasers are looking for creative ways of making ends meet. One such option available to purchasers is to create a 'secondary suite' or 'basement apartment' in their home. For most buyers, the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. The inconvenience of becoming a landlord is offset by the substantial dent the incoming rent will make on the monthly mortgage payment.
But before you start dry walling the basement, you may want to check with your municipal government to determine if there are any zoning by-laws and planning standards that will impact your decision.
By-laws pertaining to 'secondary-suites' generally vary from municipality to municipality. In Ontario, for example, the Land Use Planning and Protection Act - Bill 20 allows municipalities to use their zoning by-laws to decide if and where new second units in houses are to be allowed. Existing apartments in houses that have been registered with the municipality continue to be permitted as long as they meet fire code requirements and planning standards.
In Ottawa, Secondary Dwelling Units, In Law Suites, Accessory Apartments are now permitted in all areas of the City of Ottawa with the exception of the former Village of Rockliffe Park effective September 2005, By-Law No. 2005-367
However these auxiliary dwelling units must comply with the By Law, Hydro and Fire and a Fire Retrofit Certificate must be obtained.
For more information, please contact a
Royal LePage TEAM REALTY Sales Representative.