What does it mean "Seller or Agent do not warrant retrofit status"?
We often see on MLS listings "Seller or Agent do not warrant retrofit status of basement", and if there is no mention that the unit is legal, it's probably not . The legality of basement apartments or converted rental units (i.e. granny flats, in-law suites, accessory apartments, non-retrofit units) are often in question, considering there are tens of thousands of basement apartments currently in the City of Toronto.
Under certain zoning by-law, basement apartments are permitted in single family homes as long as it meets certain requirements. In order to assist home owners, the City have a kit which will explain "how to create a legal second suite" through Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or can be obtained at the desk. There is also an alternative site which provide a more detailed explanation of the physical requirements to meet building codes at Carson Dunlop Home Inspection and Consulting Engineers.
For anyone thinking of buying, selling or retrofitting a home with a basement apartment, These are the typical 4 questions to ask:
1. Does the zoning by-law in your area permit a basement apartment unit?
2. Does the retrofit meet fire code and minimum building code requirements (i.e. minimum ceiling height, fire rated walls, entrance sizes, egress, provision of parking spot etc.) ?
3. Does it meet the basic electrical safety requirement?
4. Has the unit been registered with the City and has a certificate of compliance?
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