Finished basements are a luxury that everyone should enjoy. However, this should only be done while following the letter of the law. For most homeowners in Brampton, a basement is a dark empty space that offers zero value to the home. However, recently, more and more homeowners have found that finishing their basements are a great idea.
Basement finishing means turning your basement space into a livable space. This is a project that involves the addition of fixtures such as water, electricity, flooring, ventilation and more. A finished basement can serve a whole host of purposes. It can serve as a den, a library, a bar, a games room and most importantly an apartment for rent.
In Brampton, a high percentage of homeowners are turning their homes into apartment spaces. This offers a lot of advantages. For one, it increases the value of homes and maximizes the space within it. However, the catch is these finished basements are being created illegally.
Over the past three years, 32 different fires have occurred in illegal basement apartments in different parts of Brampton. This has led to a huge crackdown on illegal basement apartments located within the city.
Related article: Why You Need a Finished Basement
Ensure Your Basement Apartment is Legal
Illegal basement apartments mean that you risk losing the investment in your home. Therefore, the best decision is to make sure that your basement finishing project is a legal one.
Currently, there are over 3500 legal basements in Brampton. These basement apartments have been registered and certified to pass fire, safety and building codes.
On the other hand, the possibility that there are over 30,000 illegal basements within the city is a real one. In fact, on a yearly basis, the city receives over 2,000 complaints regarding illegal basement apartments. This is a statistic that the city is looking to change.
Finished basements in Brampton are a great idea. However, it is essential that you make sure that yours is legally recognized by the law. In Brampton, a basement apartment is considered legal when it is registered with the city. In addition to complete registration, the apartment must meet all of the requirements of the Ontario Building Code, Electrical Safety Authority, Ontario Fire Code and local zoning by-laws.
Brampton’s Crackdown on Illegal Basement Apartments
Over the past few years, the issue of illegal basement apartments was handled by different departments. However, that has all changed. With the city’s renewed crackdown on illegal basements, a new task force has been created to tackle illegal basement apartments within the city.
This task force combines the technical expertise of experts from law enforcement, building inspectors, and fire prevention professionals. Also, the task force is using modern investigative techniques to find and disable the use of these basement apartment buildings.
This change in strategy has been very helpful for the city’s cause. In the past, it used to be difficult to spot illegal finished basements. Homeowners were not cooperating and the city needed their permission to gain entry into homes.
Over the years, the task force has enjoyed continued success. The city has now successfully shut down the use of 600 basement apartments.
In the end, there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting finished basements. They have a lot to offer in terms of value, creativity, space maximization and more. As long as they are not illegal, they are a great idea.
You can avoid running afoul of city policies in Brampton. Make sure that your basement finishing project is handled by a professional company with years of experience.