If you are considering turning your basement into a rental suite you may be asking yourself if it’s really worth going through all the extra work to create a “legal suite” when you could save money and rent out an “illegal suite”. The short answer is, although it may save you money in the near term, the risk of an “illegal suite” outweighs any potential profit. 


What’s the Difference?

A legal suite is one that meets all your city’s zoning requirements (including ceiling height, fire protection, exits, etc). 

An illegal suite is one that never received approval from your City and therefore does not meet current zoning and code requirements. Some of the missed requirements may include fire separators, smoke alarms, door / window height, entrances and more

What Could Happen if I Rent Out an Illegal Suite?

Renting an illegal suite, while it may be cheaper to build can come back to bite you. If an illegal suite is discovered by the City, the owners must renovate the suite until it meets all zoning codes before being able to continue renting it. Certain cities are also implementing fees and penalties for each discovered illegal suite. 

Adequate property and home insurance is also only available for legal suites, so renting out an illegal suite can open the door to legal problems in any case of emergencies or disasters caused by tenant or a member of your family. 

Building a legal suite also positions you to get top added value for your suite if you decide to sell you home. 

Is an Illegal Suite Worth It?

While some people may think it is, we at Toledo Renovations don’t think so! And we can help you bypass all the headaches that can come with an illegal rental suite by turning your basement into a legal suite.

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