There are thousands of illegal basement apartments across the GTA and every other day a new finished basement is put on the market for rent.
Cities are struggling to deal with the rash of illegal basement apartments, Brampton is one of the cities that is cracking down on illegal basement apartments, also known as second units. The idea behind such a crackdown has more to do with ensuring the unit meets the security concerns and requirements. Given the high possibility of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, such a crackdown could not come sooner.
The city has instituted a one-time registration process that ensures a second unit meets all requirements under the Ontario Building Code or Fire Code, Electrical Safety Authority and local Zoning By-law.
The one-time registration program for second units includes:
A $200 initial fee for zoning compliance. This fee is non-refundable.
A registration fee. The registration fee is $500 if you, as the owner, are living in the house. The fee is $1,000 if you, as the owner are not living in the house.
Any applicable building permit and/or fire inspection fees must also be paid.
Homeowners who don’t register their second unit with the City of Brampton may be subject to a fine of up to $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for a corporation.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, failing to disclose your second unit may also void your home insurance policy in case of fire or other insurable situation.
As part of the registration process, the landlord has to provide verification of insurance.
Unfortunately many new immigrants and foreign students end up renting these illegal units without realizing that they could well be living in a fire trap.