Second Suites (Basement Apartments)
The Town of Aurora Zoning By-law #2213-78, as amended, was further amended on April 13, 2010 to permit second suites (basement apartments).
Second suites are now permitted in detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings and link house dwellings subject to certain zoning provisions. Therefore, owners of homes which contain second suites are required to comply with the zoning by-law and to register their houses with Building & By-law Services and may be required to obtain a Building Permit for their second suite. Homeowners wishing to construct a second suite are also required to obtain a Building Permit and register their second suite.
Owners will be required to meet the following conditions prior to the registration of a house containing a second suite:
(i) each dwelling unit in a two-unit house shall be inspected to ensure that it complies with all relevant standards set out in the Building Code and the Fire Code;
(ii) the owner shall ensure that each unit is equipped with an operable smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm to the satisfaction of the Inspector;
(iii) the owner shall provide the Registrar with a letter of compliance from the Electrical Safety Authority;
(iv) the owner shall pay a one-time, non-refundable registration fee as set out in By-law No. 5221-10;
(v) where work is required to be undertaken by the owner and said work does not require a building permit, the owner shall pay a re-inspection fee as set out in By-law No. 5221-10; and
(vi) the owner shall submit a completed application form provided by the Town.
The owners of two-unit houses that were occupied on or prior to November 16, 1995, or the owners of any legally existing two-unit houses, shall not be required to register said two-unit houses as required by By-law No. 5221-10.
A second suite that was in existence on or prior to November 16, 1995, which has not yet been inspected by Central York Fire Services, should be inspected by Central York Fire Services, at the request of the homeowner. Fire Services will inform the homeowner of any required retrofit in order to bring the second suite into compliance with Section 9.8 of the Ontario Fire Code. Homeowners are advised to contact the Central York Fire Services at (905) 895-9222 for further information regarding retrofitting.
In addition, the homeowners must schedule an inspection by contacting the
Electrical Safety Authority
(formerly Ontario Hydro) at 1-877-372-7233.
Accessory Dwelling Units (Basement Apartments)
In 2013, The Town of Newmarket passed an amended
which requires all residences with Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to register their units through a one-time application process.
What is an Accessary Dwelling Unit (ADU)?
ADUs are two separate living units within one house. ADUs can be basement apartments, in-law suites, second suites or otherwise. ADUs are required to be registered with the Town of Newmarket's Legislative Services Department.
Each ADU unit must have:
- a private entrance
- a kitchen
- living quarters
- sleeping facilities
- bathroom facilities
- If you rent a room in a house or a flat with a shared entrance, kitchen and/ or bathroom facilities, the ADU By- law does not apply to you.
Why do I need to register my ADU?
Registering your ADU is a matter of health and safety.
When you register your ADU, you will receive a small "N" plate (N for Newmarket) to put on the front of your home which identifies that the residence has an ADU.
The ADU will also be assigned the letter "B" in the primary home address, to show it is a separate residence.
In case of emergency, the "N" plate and the "B" address will help emergency responders to know there are two units in the home - saving time and potentially saving lives.
Additionally, houses with an "N" plate are entitled to put out more garbage (from three bags per household to six) and recycling items on their collection weeks, which also improves overall health and safety in the home.
Registration means: responsible landlords and safe tenants.
How do I register my ADU?
To register your ADU, you must:
- Complete an
ADU application form or get a hard copy at the Town's Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Drive
- Pay the one-time application fee ($250.00 + HST) at the Legislative Services desk at the Town's Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Drive
- File the appropriate documents and pay the applicable fees from the Fire Department and
Electrical Safety Authority or a final
building permit inspection report.
- Ensure there are no outstanding orders, notices or charges under the Property standards, garbage by-laws, zoning Bylaws.
How do I know if my ADU is registered?
The Town has a
containing all units that are registered. This list can be accessed by the public by calling the Legislative Services Department at 905-953-5300 ext. 2220
What should I know before buying a home with a basement apartment?
Your real estate agent or lawyer must confirm with the Town that a home for sale has a legally registered ADU.
A code of conduct requires real estate agents to fully and fairly disclose all information about a property for sale. Typically, real estate agents use the caution "Vendor does not warrant retrofit status" when listing homes with doubtful legal status. Consumers should seek further legal advice before offering to buy these homes.