Two Unit Dwelling Brampton

Brampton allows second-units in townhouses, semi-detached, and detached dwellings. The registration of a two unit dwelling in Brampton is an one-time procedure that makes the home safe for both residents and tenants.

What is a “separate dwelling”?

A basement apartment, also known as a second suite or two unit dwelling, is an independent residential unit that has its own bathroom kitchen, living space and an exit route from the building. You must adhere to specific City of Brampton Zoning Bylaws and Ontario Building Code. The legal responsibility of homeowners is to protect the safety and well-being of their property, residents and tenants.

You must register the two-unit dwelling with the city and it must meet these requirements:
Zoning Compliance by-law
 Fire Code Compliance and Building Code Compliance
 Electrical Safety Authority Compliance
Verification of homeowners insurance
All fees must be paid
The registration process can be completed within 18 months of receipt of your application.


Basic Requirements for A Legal Basement Apartment

  • You cannot alter the front of your house in any way that would result in an appearance change.
  • Your house must be at least 5 years old.
  • The basement apartment should be no larger than the main residence unit
  • The ceiling height must be at least 6’5″ high and should not be interrupted
  • Doors should be made of solid wood, metal or both. The minimum thickness for doors is 1.75″
  • When building bathrooms in the basement, a fan or window are a must.
  • Kitchen cupboards should not be smaller than 4 x 4, and kitchen appliances must work in good condition.
  • Before construction can begin, you must have a permit.
  • Before granting permission to rent the apartment, or making it available for tenants, an electrical and fire inspection must be completed.
  • Drywall separations between basement and rest of house should have at least a 30-minute fire rating. An additional exit is necessary.

It is the sole and exclusive responsibility of its owner to maintain the health and construction of the basement. Therefore, the owner becomes responsible for any mishaps that may occur. Insurance and other agencies will have your back if you follow the instructions when building an apartment that is legal and safe for future tenants or family members.

Registering your second unit

Step One: Apply For Registration

These are the requirements for applying:

  • Completed Application for Registration–Two Unit Dwelling
  • Non-refundable Application Deposit ($200)
  • Property Survey
  • A fully dimensioned site plan (may be included in the survey) includes:
    • Building setbacks
    • Setback for any side entry into the second unit
    • Any air conditioner units, accessories structures, or encroachments that are located on the side yard should be clearly marked
    • Configuration of your driveway along with its  length and width
  • Floor Plans:
    • This shows the layout and location of every unit
    • Include total area for each unit
    • Register Online

Step Two: Zoning By Law Compliance

Two-Unit Provisions outlined in Zoning By-law state that any two unit dwelling must comply with these requirements and limitations:

  1. A house can only have one extra unit.
  2. For the construction of a two unit dwelling, additional parking is not required.
  3. You must maintain the minimum amount of parking space required by the General Residential Provisions, Section 10.9 of the Zoning Bylaw.
  4. If there’s a clear pathway of travel between the first and second units, the entrance can be found in either the rear or side yard.
  5. The other unit can be accessed via the garage door or inside the house through the common vestibule.
  6. An additional unit could be 45 to 60% of the primary unit’s gross floor area. A bungalow house can have a another unit that is up to 75% of its GFA.
    1. Here’s an example:
    2. A. Bungalow with Basement – If the GFA of your main floor is 1,000 sq. feet, you can add a another unit up to 750 sq. feet.
    3. B. 2-storey, basement-equipped house – the GFA for the main and 2nd floors can exceed 2,000 square feet. The other unit can have a maximum of 900 square footage.
  7. No 2nd unit is permitted in areas designated as Downtown Floodplain Regulation Area, Open Space, Floodplain, or Floodplain.
  8. Second units previously designated Legal Nonconforming by the city are exempt from the requirements of the new zoning regulations for 2-unit dwellings. However, they will need to register. You must provide a certificate of legal non-conforming status at registration.

Step Three: Compliance of the Building Code

The Ontario Building Code and the Fire Code must be followed when creating a two unit dwelling. Respecting the safety and health standards will make sure that your unit is safe.

  • Exiting
  • Early Warning Systems
  • Smoke and Fire Containment

A Change of Use Building Permit must be applied for when creating a another unit.

Building Division personnel will inspect each stage as per the Building Code. An Occupancy Permit is issued after all inspections are completed. This Occupancy Permit is required to complete registration.

Electrical Safety Authority Compliance

To confirm compliance with the Electrical Safety Code, you should also call the Electrical Safety Authority. Permits may be necessary.

OR FIRE CODE COMPLIANCE (only applicable if unit is not legal conforming)

The owner will be directed by Fire & Emergency Services to schedule a Fire Code Inspection. Fire Services personnel will inspect the premises in order to verify compliance with Fire Code requirements and determine any upgrades that are required.

A building permit is required for any upgrades. Fire Services personnel will conduct a final inspection after completion of all required upgrades. Then, an occupancy permit is issued.

Step Four: Final Registration

Final Registration require:

  • Occupancy Permit and Electrical Safety Authority inspection report
  • OR
  • Confirmation that you have met the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code.
  • PLUS
  • Verification for Homeowners insurance in a two-unit residence
  • Payment of the Final Registration Fee By The Applicant


It is important to have adequate home insurance as a landlord. Your policy can be cancelled if your insurer is not informed that there are tenants living in the property. You’ll need to prove your insurance coverage. This includes the name and number of your insurance company.

Request A Free Quote


9 + 8 =

Get Started

Are You Ready To Build a two-unit dwelling?

Our team of legal basement contractors in Brampton will come to your basement to measure and create the necessary drawings and plans for you to get the City of Brampton’s building permit to build or legally legalize the two-unit dwelling.