If you’re considering adding a new basement apartment or legalizing / retrofitting an existing one, there are some things you should know. Certain regulations are in place for houses with apartments (or secondary suites) that local municipalities have regarding by-laws / zoning, and inspections required for Building Code, Fire Code & Electrical Code concerning:
- smoke alarms,
- carbon monoxide detectors,
- proper means of egress,
- fresh air supply for combustion appliances,
- automatic door closers,
- fire rated doors,
- fire separations,
- parking spots,
- minimum ceiling heights,
- minimum entry door height & width,
- windows / exhaust fans in bathrooms.
Think you’ll take the chance with basement apartments…not comply or get around to doing it later? Well, you may find that non-compliance may result in fines and possible jail time. Further, in the event of a fire for example, you may not have insurance coverage and it was not a legal conforming basement apartment.
Before entering into the world of being a landlord by converting your basement into an apartment, consult the professionals that can set you down the right path first.