What Does A Legal Secondary Suite Mean

What Does A Legal Secondary Suite Mean


What Does A Legal Secondary Suite Mean

What Is The Definition Of A Legal Secondary Suite?

A self-contained second suite is a privately accessible private unit within an existing home that the landowner can rent to another person or family. It is also an in-law suite, a secondary unit, or a basement apartment. While most secondary suites build in basements, others build on top of existing structures.

A legal secondary suite is a home-based apartment registered with the city municipality.


A basement can be beneficial in creating an additional suite that an owner of the house can rent out to tenants & use as an in-law suite for guests. It is an excellent method to supplement your household income.


There are financial benefits to having a supplementary suite in your house, but there are legal rules that your basement must follow to be considered a legitimate secondary room. There are a few things you should think about before renting out your basement in Ontario.


How To Legalize A Basement Apartment

A basement permit is required if you intend to remodel your basement to create a basement apartment. There are additional safety and zoning requirements that your basement apartment must follow, as well as housing standards by-laws.


Secondary Suite Legal Requirements

  • Your home must be at least 12 months old, and you must make only minor improvements to the exterior of your property.
  • The secondary suite should be smaller than the main house.
  • The ceiling should be soundproofed & at least 65" in height.
  • Bathroom fans are required.
  • Basement doors must be at least 1.75" thick and built of solid wood or metal, with a 12-inch gap at the bottom to allow for proper air movement.
  • The egress window in a sleeping area must be accessible from the inside without using tools.
  • The exterior door must be at least 32" x 78".
  • Windows must be at least 18" wide, with an opening of at least 600 square inches, and the kitchen must include a working refrigerator and stove. Cupboards should have a capacity of at least four cubic feet multiplied by the apartment's entire occupancy.
  • Smoke & carbon monoxide alarms must be installed & maintained, as should an exhaust hood fan with a direct vent outside the structure.


Hiring a basement renovation professional to do a basement inspection is the best approach to verify your basement satisfies the essential requirements.


Why Is a Legal Secondary Suite Necessary?

It is critical to guarantee that your basement apartment is legal because it assures the general safety of all inhabitants of your property. It is also worth mentioning that the requirements for basement apartments vary from city to city. Before starting a basement remodeling job, you must examine your city's unique legislation. The advantages are undeniably worthwhile:


Reduce Fire And Health Threats

  • Prevent dangerous utility connections like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
  • Avoid poor basement remodeling, renovation, and projects.
  • Save money by avoiding potential utility overload issues and legal consequences.
  • Rent out your legal secondary suite and protect it under the Residential Tenancies Act.


Seek The Advice Of An Expert

Although it is the contractor's job to be aware of the city's legal basement standards, it is nevertheless beneficial for homeowners to be aware of them. After all, according to local regulations is the best option for both you and your tenants. So, before contacting a basement contractor, educate yourself on basement apartment standards. If you need any help contact us now



Read Testimonials

We Always Love To Hear From Our Customers