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Basement or In-House Apartment

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What is an in-house apartment?

An in-house apartment is a second dwelling unit within an allowed single detached, semi-detached or link house. It may be used by one or more people and will have sanitary facilities, a kitchen and heat. It will have a private entrance from outside the building or from a common hallway or stairway inside the building

In-house apartments can be built in a single detached, semi-detached or link house in an urban area if the apartment meets the standard of the Ontario Fire Code and/or Ontario Building Code. As an owner, you must also meet various zoning standards including providing parking space(s) for the apartment.

All in-house apartments must be registered. We will inspect these apartments to ensure they meet safety and zoning standards. If your apartment meets all of the standards, you will be issued a Certificate of Registration. Existing in-house apartments that are not registered are illegal.

What regulations apply to existing in-house apartments?

When the Apartment-in-House By-law was first enacted, Council gave all owners a 14-month grace period, to come forward and register their in-house apartments located anywhere in the Municipality, provided the in-house apartments complied with the Fire Code and Building Code standards.

We will not penalize new homeowners for purchasing a dwelling with an existing illegal in-house apartment. However, you have one year from the date you purchase your home to come forward and apply to register your in-house apartment.

You cannot register an existing in-house apartment that does not meet the zoning by-law requirements unless:

  • You submit a rezoning application and it is approved by Council
  • You submit a minor variance and it is approved by the Committee of Adjustment
  • The existing in-house apartment and the site upon which it exists are altered to meet the zoning by-law requirements for in-house apartments.

If you are unsuccessful in meeting the zoning by-law requirements, you will have to remove the illegal in-house apartment. If you do not remove the illegal unit and the Municipality receives a complaint, a charge can be made against you.

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