Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Legal secondary units

With the exception of Rockcliffe Park, the City of Ottawa now allows secondary suites. So a home owner can build one (with a building permit) or get the city’s stamp of approval on an existing one, provided the home owner brings it up to building and fire code standards.

This is often a basement apartment, but the more correct description is “secondary suite” or “secondary dwelling unit”. If not built in the basement, a secondary suite can only take up 40% of the overall upper floors. A suite can be built in a garage, and each half of a semi-detached can have its own secondary suite.

Also, each (legal) duplex is allowed one secondary unit – effectively making it into a triplex. If, for example, a secondary unit occupies 40% of the upper floors and generates rental income, then 40% of expenses as such roof or furnace replacement and 40% of the city taxes can be deducted from that rental income. (Verify this, but since the secondary unit is in one’s principal residence, there may be NO capital gain upon sale).

• All of this does not apply to a condo or row house.
• Conversions require building permits but no rezoning application is required.

No comments:

Post a Comment