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Old 06-03-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
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legalizing basement apartment


I live in Mississauga Ontario. if a basement part apartment was built without a building permit 15 years ago, what do you think the city will make me do to legalize it?

will they make me open up floors and walls to look at plumbing and electrical? if so, open all or just some walls. If it meets code at original time of construction, will I have to update it to today's code?

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Old 06-04-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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Who knows? I'd take a look at some of the info at the tax office and see what they have on record.
Not sure how it works up there but in my area every few years a company comes though and inspects to see if what they have on record matches what's really there.
I was being charge for 2, outbuildings that had fallen down years ago in a hurricane before I even owned the house. They then tryed to charge me for a demo permit for taking them without one. I told them god had issued the permit.
They also had it down as a 2 bedroom, which it's never been.
I would think they would be more concered with the zoning laws then a building inspection. If your area is zoned as single family and your trying to rent it out that may raise a red flag.

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Old 06-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
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Not sure how it works up there but in my area every few years a company comes though and inspects to see if what they have on record matches what's really there.
Wow. In all the places I've lived, I've never seen anything like that. The only time I've ever seen a tax assessor was when I was building our current house. He stopped by once while it was under construction - he could see it was not yet habitable but wanted to estimate the percentage of completion so we could be taxed at least partially.

He must've been notified when we received our Certificate of Occupancy, since he came by shortly thereafter. Didn't ask to tour the house, just if it was entirely finished. Told him the truth, that one bathroom wasn't yet completed (and still isn't). That was three years ago and we haven't seen him again. He may drive around the area occasionally to see if folks have added a deck or shed or something, but we haven't done any of that. I don't think the wife's chicken coop counts.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #4
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I live in Mississauga Ontario. if a basement part apartment was built without a building permit 15 years ago, what do you think the city will make me do to legalize it?

will they make me open up floors and walls to look at plumbing and electrical? if so, open all or just some walls. If it meets code at original time of construction, will I have to update it to today's code?
What is the exact scenario here? Is this a house you're considering purchasing? Or have you lived in it all this time and are now wondering about the apartment? Assuming the latter just for the sake of discussion, and that you've been renting the apartment out, several things could happen, most of them bad. If your zoning doesn't allow for such an apartment, you could be made to tear it out or be prohibited from ever renting it again. If is legal to have but doesn't meet current code, you may have to do some updating. This can be quite expensive if, for example, the unit does not have an egress window, smoke detectors, other things. Worse, you could be assessed for 15 years of back real estate taxes for property improvements the government didn't know about. Finally, it you've been deriving income from rentals and did not report it on your taxes, you could be in big trouble there as well.

I know my response assumes the worst case. Perhaps if you could supply a bit more information about the situation, I or others could better advise you.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:54 AM   #5
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I would guess they would look at obvious visual requirements. Zoning, multi-family occupancy, egress, ceiling height, bathroom access, stair safety, smoke detectors.

Observe plumbing and electrical that is readily visible. Check for GFI circuits, dedicated bathroom circuits, etc. Then if anything jumps out at them as cause for concern, they might delve deeper -- but most likely not if all looks fine. Just ask at your town hall or call the building dept. No harm in going in there and asking "What would I have to do to make X part of my house legally rentable and is that even allowed?"
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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Legal non conforming bsmt appts are few and far between in your area, but people rent out the bsmt all the time.

Realtors advertise such units as retrofit inlaw suites. And thats the key right there.

There are several ways to get around the zoning providing that the apt meets safety requirements.

Ethnic single family dwellings support a second kitchen all the time..it is very common.

You are not planning on renting the space out, its just for extended family to have their own space.

When the inspector comes (please do not skip that step for safety sake) just don't have the stove there. He really does need to inspect for egress and other safety concerns.
In case of fire, a person needs to not only fit through a bedroom window, but they need to be able to reach it
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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My guess would be they would dig for any permits, have you hire a plumber and electrician to sign off that work was done properly and in a professional manner. Maybe have a GC come in and look over the work, sign off.

Then of course back bill you for permits and any interest, because they are the government and can do that. Suggest contacting a reputable GC (General Contractor) in your area that is familiar with this neighborhood and then go from there. A few beers with them, usually makes things go a lot easier and cheaper for them to go over the structure and check things out.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:37 AM   #8
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Direct from the Mississauga city website

Quote:
Can I have a new basement apartment in my house?
Answer
City of Mississauga Zoning By-laws do not permit the creation of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) most commonly known as "basement apartments or conversions."
Some circumstances exist under which an existing accessory dwelling unit may be permitted if it can be established that it was in existence on November 16, 1995.
If you have a house that was built after 1995, you are not eligible to create a new ADU or to keep an existing accessory dwelling unit.
Please contact our 3-1-1 Call Centre (or 905 615-4311 outside the City) for further information.
15 years ago is after 1995 so you are not allowed to keep it.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:50 AM   #9
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Thats why everybody just says the second kitchen is for there own family's use.
I bet the op could find a dozen or so such units within his subdivision
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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the apartment has been empty for years although I have had a couple of friends stay in it short term. I think it was built without permits because I called the city and none have been issued for my address. basement apartments have been mandated now for Mississauga although I know the city does not want them. what I would like to do is put my brother in one half of the basement make it sort of bedroom with an egress window. then would like to have the apartment legalized. I am quite willing to put in an egress window. I don't really want to open up a whole can of worms before the city has figured out how they're going to handle this whole situation of the basement apartments being legalized
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
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I would just call it finished living space, drop the term apartment and do not mention the word apartment to the city.

Just find out what permits you need to pull, to " Finish" it as extra living space for your family. Keep mentioning the word apartment to the city, and you will just end up opening a larger can of worms that will not stop flowing.

Judt file permit for install of egress, demo petmit if needed, for removal of any building materials and a electrical and plumbing, then go from thete.

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