Oakville Income Properties: Your Options


Basement Apartments Nanny suites, in-law suites, and basement apartments are all the same type of place according to the town of Oakville. They define it as a separate unit within an existing residence that has a separate kitchen, full bathroom, and entrance. For the most part they are completely illegal. Even if family members are living in the unit and not paying rent, the town of Oakville still considers them illegal.

These units are located all over Oakville, but for the most part the town ignores them unless the neighbors start complaining. Once the town is notified, they send out an inspector who will issue the homeowner a notice that the property must revert to a single-family dwelling or face heavy fines. And yes, there is a time period for the homeowner to comply. If the owner is living on the property, and has signed a lease with the renters, then the homeowner must uphold the terms of the lease. It is then the homeowner who will be looking for another home to live in until the lease runs out.
Income PropertiesWhy November 16, 1995 is so important?
However, thereare some units that are legal. They were grandfathered in as of November 16, 1995. A little history, the Ontario New Democrats instituted a law, which stopped municipal by-laws that restricted secondary apartments. When Jim Harris came in, the conservative government revoked the law, but had to grandfather in the existing apartments. Currently, the Ontario Liberalsare planning to pass Bill-140, which would again revoke municipalities’ ability to restrict property owners from creating secondary apartments. The Ontario safety code would still apply.
So, how do you find out if your secondary apartment is legal? There are a total of 226 open applications for accessory apartments according to the town. Not all of these applications have been approved. Well, you can go to the town’s planning department and ask, which does not mean that your property will be flagged by the zoning department. You can request the status of your neighborhood. There are three locations in the town were secondary apartments are legal. Though, Oakville’s zoning for compliance for secondary apartments virtually eliminates that option.
Oakville Income Properties

Oakville Income Properties

Oak Park – it’s Legal!

Oak Park is one location where secondary apartments are legal. However, the apartment must have a separate parking space and fully separate outside entrance. Oak-Park has no additional parking spaces for secondary apartments. The only properties that have a separate entrance are the coach houses (very few of those).
There is one option left, and it is worth exploring. If your property was used or was set up to be used as a secondary apartment on November 16, 1995, and then your property’s secondary apartment is legal. You will have to comply with all the same rules outlined in the Ontario Tenancy Act. You will need proof. It likely wouldn’t hurt to speak to your lawyer.
Finally, Ontario Bill-140 which went into affect in April 2011, is meant to provide an opportunity for home owners to apply for secondary apartments. The town is still trying to figure out exactly what that will mean for the current by-law restrictions. So it might not be that long before Oakville by-laws may be overturned.
Are you frustrated about Oakville’s lack of progress on Income Property, call your local councillor, add a comment, tweet the Oakville Mayor Robert Burton.


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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Willyam says:

    Thanks a lot for this informative report on income properties. I was actually looking to rent out a basement, however I did not know of the by-laws in Oakville. I definitely hope they can change them soon.


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