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instigator
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Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:54 am

like to hear the opinions out there on having a suite built legally. is it just expensive bureacratic hoops to jump and taxes to pay? basically opening a can of worms with all the processes/taxes/fees involved?

or keep it quiet. seems alot of people are and no one cares.

i know doing it legally you can take advantage of all tax breaks but you do have to pay fees too and other taxes.

can we do private polls here on this board? :P

i know you need to take out a permit for the electrical and plumbing but what if you finished the basement as a non suite. but then converted it easily to a suite after?

say at first it was bar/rec room with washroom, then you turned the bar into a kitchen.

i think that would work. but is it worth it?

how can they prove that you are renting it out? what if it was unrented?

i know once the greedy govts fingers are in your pocket they do not leave easily or ever.

i don't trust authority esp. gov't.
 
tdma800
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:26 pm

You might not declare it but when your tenants file income taxes guess what happens?
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:56 pm

by tdma800 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:26 pm

You might not declare it but when your tenants file income taxes guess what happens?
Dont know why that matters. CRA may not be as smart as you think.
 
curious
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:38 pm

http://www.expertinspector.com/BasementApartment.html
"Illegal basement apartments are a risk to the occupants and others in the structure as well as
a concern to the community in general. They are dangerous as they may pose a fire risk and other safety concerns such as:

* fire risks such as not enough building exits, fire separations between units, working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors
* illegal and unsafe utility connections
* illegal and unsafe building renovations
* excess driveway and street parking
* excess garbage
* overload on existing utilities (electrical, plumbing, water and sewers)
* possible depreciation of neighbouring property values.

When a suspected illegal apartment is reported, the Fire Department receives the complaint.
A Fire Prevention Officer will then conduct an initial inspection to determine whether the unit is permitted (as per Fire Code regulations only) and to ensure that while the units are occupied that they are made safe.
The fact that the unit is inspected by the Fire Department and may be approved as
safe or that they meet the Fire Code does not necessarily mean that the unit is permitted under the legislation."
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:41 pm

sounds like a can of worms to me :? they just want your money that's all.

risk of fire my ass..besides i have a sub panel so there's no more risk of fire than any other suite or main part of home.

any idiot can overload any socket but then the breaker would just go off.
Last edited by instigator on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
thirdlittlepig
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:49 pm

Another consideration is your household insurance. Yes, an extra hassle to make sure you are covered if renting out the suite (again probably has to be legal for insureance co. to be happy). On the other hand if you don't insure for it, but rent out on the sly, you are going to have a tough time getting the insurance co. to honor your policy if your suite wasn't accurately declared in the first place. Very easy for a renter to cause a fire with a slightly overloaded circuit, lamp falls over, never mind cooking in a not perfectly legal kitchen. Way too much liability for my comfort level.
 
curious
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:51 pm

Seems, it is important to do things right and get legal because of liability issue - can you imagine if your tenants got injured or dead because the suite doesn't meet requirements?
Last edited by curious on Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:53 pm

sounds like a can of worms to me :? they just want your money that's all.
Damn shame the CFIA standards were equally strict when you were on baby food. Safety: just another scam to rip off tax fraudsters.
the dogs bark but the caravan moves on
 
curious
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:55 pm

Regarding a SECONDARY SUITE PROGRAM, there is some information:
http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/licandinsp ... pguide.pdf

They charge a lot of different fees:

Fees for a secondary suite (2011 rates):

One time inspection and permit fees as follows:
Special Inspection $152 (plus HST)
Combined Development & Building Permit from $648
Electrical Permit from $ 57
Plumbing Permit from $142
Gas Permit from $149

Annual fees as follows:
Annual Business License $60
*One-time fee for new applications $50

Additional fees for Water, Sewer & Recycling Flat Rates (part of your annual property tax).
For more information, please contact the Utility Billing Office at 3-1-1.

Water $165
Sewer $87
Recycling $23
 
tdma800
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:17 pm

In Vancouver its pretty easy to have a suite without harassment but in Surrey/Coquitlam you have to be careful.
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:53 pm

Regarding a SECONDARY SUITE PROGRAM, there is some information:
http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/licandinsp ... pguide.pdf

They charge a lot of different fees:

Fees for a secondary suite (2011 rates):

One time inspection and permit fees as follows:
Special Inspection $152 (plus HST)
Combined Development & Building Permit from $648
Electrical Permit from $ 57
Plumbing Permit from $142
Gas Permit from $149

Annual fees as follows:
Annual Business License $60
*One-time fee for new applications $50

Additional fees for Water, Sewer & Recycling Flat Rates (part of your annual property tax).
For more information, please contact the Utility Billing Office at 3-1-1.

Water $165
Sewer $87
Recycling $23

that's actually not that costly. probably best to keep it legit.

on the other hand, adding a stove to a bar that had all electrical permits to build isn't such a big deal.

who's to say you can't rent out your rec room with a bar :P

i don't see really any other danger in a suite unless you consider a backed up toilet causing a flood and drowned your tenant. likely not gonna happen.
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:50 pm

sounds like a can of worms to me :? they just want your money that's all.

risk of fire my ass..besides i have a sub panel so there's no more risk of fire than any other suite or main part of home.

any idiot can overload any socket but then the breaker would just go off.
I think you misunderstood my point, which was a) fire is always a risk (I didn't mean it was any higher with a renter compared to family member) b)your insurance may not cover a rental situation if a fire is triggered in an illegal suite. Check your policy, but they look for any possible exclusion and I would bet that somone renting in an illegal suite with not up to code wiring designed for cooking etc. and you might find you are not covered.
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:22 pm

Ok I see. Thanks for the heads up

I believe the stove should be on its own breaker too though just for the record
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:54 pm

Get it permitted and built to spec. Declare it for insurance. Pay the increased utility fee. Declare the income and expenses on your tax return. Give the tenants a Landlord/Tenant lease. Any other way you are setting yourself up for sleepless nights.
 
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Re: Perspectives on unfin bsmt. better to do legal or not

Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:34 am

Doing it legit is not that difficult as long as you have the ceiling height and can satisfy parking issues (City of Vancouver that is).
You will have to do more some work with regard to sound proofing and fire separation between the suite and the main house space.
And if you have an unfinished basement - you should look at adding a separate electrical meter with Hydro so the tenant pays their own bills. No more bill sharing.

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