Legal or Illegal Basement Apartment

 Be very careful when a home you are considering purchasing (or selling) has a basement apartment – The Potential income is attractive however it may also come with a set of a problems that you didn’t consider.  

There are thousands of illegal (but at the same time a good amount of legal) second units or “Basement Apartments” across Canada. Buyers still want to buy them for the potential income. However, buyers must also remember that if a neighbour complains, the municipality where the home is located may force the tenant to be evicted, or may ask for thousands of dollars to be spent to upgrade the unit to meet applicable building code requirements for that municipality . On the Selling side of things A listing agent cannot advertise the property as an “income property” if that agent knows it is illegal. An agent should look at typical language that indicates the following; the seller does not warrant that the unit is properly retrofitted. A simple warning or disclosure to warn potential buyers of the issue.

If you state that the property was a “potential income property,” it would depend on what would have to be done to make the unit legal to determine whether even that statement was misleading.

As always due diligence is your best friend and your agent should be providing instructions and direction to ensure you have the most amount of information you can obtain before making any decisions.

If you would like more information on this topic please feel free to contact me directly.


RE/MAX JAZZ Inc Brokerage

21 Drew Street, Oshawa ON

(905) 728-1600 Office or (905) 435-7355 Direct

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