From the blog...


Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by Chris Scott


Ottawa is a great place to purchase investment properties. Our vacancy rates are low. As real estate prices in Ottawa continue to increase, some buyers are looking at ways to supplement their mortgage payments.

Owner-occupied main levels, with tenants renting out the basement, is a common cost-efficient approach to maximizing your profit margins.

Two common beliefs are that a basement bedroom becomes legal if there are

1) a closet in the room, and

2) a window in the room big enough and accessible to be used as a means of exit in case of emergency

In reality, this is not exactly correct. A window in the room is required but its dimensions are more to ensure that natural light covers at least 5% of the total floor area. It is also important to note that, while no height restrictions are included in the code, it is recommended that homeowners use furniture or other means to increase accessibility to windows that are higher off the ground, should there be a need to use them as an exit. There are also stipulations regarding minimum square footage required, with and without built-in closet space.

The most important thing to remember is that there must be a viable means of egress available on the same level as the bedroom, either by window or door (other than those that lead upstairs). If you choose to have a bar installed in front of the window, it must have one of two options. The keys must be within arms reach or the ability to be unlocked and opened without tools. This is to increase the likelihood of a safe exit in times of emergency.

Ensure you are comfortable with leaving a loved one in any circumstance created by your renovations. Keep abreast of any Building and Fire Code changes that occur. Ensure everyone in your home is aware of all possible means of exit, just in case. For more information, contact the City of Ottawa, or be in touch with us anytime and we can help!

This information is accurate but not guaranteed*

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