March 1st, 2013
Want a secondary income? Why not consider a basement suite and become a landlord. According to a report in the St. Albert Gazette, adding a business suite to your home can increase your income as long as you do it right and follow regulations.
The Benefits of Installing a Basement Suite Using St. Albert as an example
Based on the last survey done by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate here in St. Albert is an all-time low of only 0.9%.
Senior Housing Analyst for CMHC in Edmonton David Lan explains, “…that for every 100 apartments in St. Albert, less than one of those units – just 0.9 per cent – was available for rent. That translates into a high demand for rental accommodation,”
This definitely means that installing a basement suite can be very profitable, most especially if one follows the building regulations set by the St. Albert city administration. Although breakdown costs of the rental rates in a city such as St. Albert on basement suites, the going rate for a similar facility with the same provisions is almost a thousand dollars.
It’s important to follow the regulations
To date, there are 145 legally permitted basement suites in St. Albert. Landlords across Canada know how important it is to follow your local city laws and regulations.
Back in 2007, St. Albert City supported those who wanted to renovate their homes and build basement suites through the Basement Suit Grant. However, the funds on that program have already been awarded and are no longer available. Nevertheless, basement suites that were built through the grant program were rented on the following prices: $1,335 per month for three bedroom suits, $972 per month for two bedrooms, and $812 per month for single bedroom suites.
A $400 fee
Aside from the required $400 fee, it is mandatory for property-owners to pay extra attention to the requirements set by the Alberta Building Code to make sure that the structures made available for rent are safe and reasonably priced. The permits certify that the suites are absolutely safe devoid of anything that may pose danger to tenants including precariously built handrails and stairs, defective electrical connections, and hazardous sewer gas.
Prior to starting work, you must apply for a development permit and submit a drawing of the basement floor plan and parking area. Once that’s approved, all other permits must be obtained by skilled tradesmen, including a master electrician and a journeyman plumber and gas fitter.” But, he also adds that requesting for inspection at different stages during the construction process is necessary to ensure that you are following the building code to the letter. A permit does not assure that the finished product is code compliant.
Basements suites are required to have its own heating system. The City prefers two furnaces, but the main thing is that the heating system on both floors must operate with independent controls and provide some form of mechanical ventilation.”
Although there are no hard fast rules as to the limit of people that can occupy a basement suite, there are guidelines on the size of each room. For example, rooms for children 10 years old and below should be not less than 16 square feet in dimension while an adult room should be 32 square feet or bigger.
Are you concerned about the problems of being a landlord?
Being a landlord isn’t easy. There are many examples of landlords losing money and having a lot of stress if they get bad tenants.