How to Legalize a Basement Apartment in the City of Brampton
Basement apartment (second suite) is a separate residential unit with its own kitchen, bathroom, living area and a way to exit the building (which may be through another residential unit). If you own an existing basement apartment in the City of Brampton, you must follow very specific City of Brampton's Zoning Bylaws, the Ontario Buiding Code and the Ontario Fire Code. Homeowners have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all the inhabitants of the home, including the tenants of the basement apartment.
Basement apartment is permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings in Brampton, subject to City of Brampton zoning requirements and restrictions. To be legal, basement apartment must be registered with the City of Brampton. Registering a basement apartment is a one-time process to make the house safe for all the occupants. To be legal, a basement apartment must be registered with the City of Brampton and the registration may require the following:
- Completed Application for Registration with the City of Brampton
- Payment of non-refundable application deposit ($200) to the City of Brampton
- Legal survey of the property
- Fully dimensioned Site Plan (may be included in the survey), including, building setbacks, setback to any side entrance into the basement apartment, location of any air conditioning units, basement structures or encroachments in the side yard, driveway length, width and configuration
- Floor plans: - showing the location and layout of each unit - including total floor area measurement for each unit
Basement apartments that have been previously declared Legal Non-Conforming by the City of Brampton do not need to comply with the new City of Brampton zoning provisions for basement apartments. Certification of Legal Non-Conforming status must be submitted with the application for registration of the basement apartment. If the basement apartment has been declared Legal Non-Conforming, the owner of the property will be directed to contact Brampton Fire and Emergency Services to arrange for a Fire Code inspection ($400).
Second Unit Renovation Program ($20,000 Forgivable loan)
Second Unit Renovation Program provides up to a maximum of $20,000 by way of a forgivable loan to eligible homeowners who need to upgrade and legalize their existing second unit. Homeowners can receive an additional $10,000 to homeowners who rent to a tenant referred by the Region of Peel.
A second unit is described as a separate, contained unit that includes a kitchen, bathroom and living space within an existing home that can be used for rental purposes. For the unit to be legal, the unit must be registered or licensed by the local municipality, meeting all Building and Fire code requirements. Other requirements that the municipality may require in order to ensure that the unit is legal for its use, must also be met.
The goal of this program is to assist homeowners with transitioning their existing, unregistered second unit to be a legal, registered second unit. The program does not apply to constructing a new second unit in a home.
To receive program funding, you must submit all required documents to support the following eligibility requirements and terms and conditions.
To be eligible for the program, you must:
- Have an existing second unit (for example, an apartment) with a full kitchen, washroom, and separate sleeping area already built.
- Unit must be liveable at time of application. Region of Peel Home Inspector will verify during initial inspection.
- Live in the home that has the existing second unit.
- Have a gross household income of $116,610 or less.
The City of Brampton completed the Policy Review to implement Additional Residential Unit (ARU) policies in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to conform to Bill 108 More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 and the recommendations of Housing Brampton, the City’s affordable housing strategy.
To comply with Bill 108, municipalities are required to amend their policies to permit additional residential units within a detached accessory structure.
The Policy Review implemented permissions for additional residential units within an accessory structure on the same lot as a single-detached house, semi-detached house, or townhouse. The Planning Act definition for “additional residential units (ARUs)” applies to both the accessory residential units that are contained within the principal dwelling (such as basement apartments) and the detached units, however, the City will refer to detached residential units as “Garden Suites”. “Second units” will continue to apply to accessory units that are contained within the principal dwelling, and together with a ‘Garden Suite’, will be a form of ARU. Since 2015, second units have been permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, subject to zoning requirements and restrictions. Garden suites, which are self-contained residential units located within an ancillary building, have been permitted since August 2022, subject to zoning requirements and restrictions. Building permits are required for ARUs.
The purpose of these policies is aimed to reduce zoning barriers to the creation of additional residential units and support the supply and range of affordable rental accommodations in the City.
Additional Residential Units (ARU), also known as additional dwelling units or accessory residential units, accessory apartment, granny flats, in-law suites, laneway suites, and/or coach houses, are self-contained residential dwelling unit, with its own cooking facility, sanitary facility and sleeping area, and that it is located either within a single detached, semi-detached or townhouse dwelling (second unit), or within an ancillary building (garden suite). This project is an early deliverable of the Housing Brampton, which aims to support the provision of age friendly and inclusive housing that is affordable and accessible to all.