Walkout Basement Apartment

robin0919January 28, 2008

How many folks here rent a basement apartment? I'm getting ready to build and plan on building a house with a finished walkout basement with 2 bedrooms/2 baths and plan on renting this out. Just want someones opinion on what they think/exp. of a basement apartment. I do plan on having extra insulation between the basement and first floor for both parties.

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I would check with your municipality whether such a rental is allowed - they're not always, and could get you into trouble if you don't have the right permit, etc.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:17AM
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Thanks, but I don't think that will be a problem here. People rent out their rooms and basements here all the time.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:20PM
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When I resided in Victoria BC, many people did that. By the books it normally illegal,but the city sort of looked the other way as there wasn't enough "legal" apartments. BUT sometimes problems did arise and the city was forced to act. What the normal problem was --parking!! To many vehicles for the area, thus no parking. So people in the neighborhood would complain, etc!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:57PM
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    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 8:43PM
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my advice is the same as above - you need to check the local or zoning regulations. In NYC people "do it all the time" here too but it's still sometimes illegal. I think sometimes it has to do with "means of egress" which means the people who live there have to be able to vacate safely in the event of a fire. Other times it may be zoning regulations that say a certain zone can only have single-family dwellings. It would pay to check it out so that you don't get shut down later and have all those renovations to pay off with no rental income.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 1:16AM
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Another suggestion to follow your local code - someone's going to be doing inspections on the building as it's constructed, right? I'm curious what the plan is on how to separate the upper and lower 'units'. Permanently (via a wall), or 'optional', via a door? And will that not be a red flag to a building inspector?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:57AM
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Robin, what is done in old structures and what you build today are completly different beasts. What is already done is usually granfathered in.

Find out the code on new construction. What you think, might have changed at the last city/county meeting.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 4:29PM
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Hi moonshadow!

It will have regular stairs between the floors. It'll be locked on the first floor. I don't plan on renting this out to just anyone. I'll be VERY picky about who I rent it to. Someone maybe like a single mom that doesn't want to be in an 'apartment' but a neighborhood where their child can play with other kids in the neighborhood and also have a backyard to play in. That's a runon sentence......:)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:45AM
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May I suggest that you get somebody who has good credit, and a past good relationship with their last landlord. Also somebody who can afford to pay rent. Because if you don't--you can have a nightmare under your roof really fast. That is especially true if your unit is not built to the current code. You want to look for somebody that will not move extra people in that you have not okayed. You want somebody that is not planning on partying a lot. Those are Your goals. Don't look at what a tenant might appreciate, because you might guess wrong. Most landlords start out very idealistic--that rubs off real fast.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:56PM
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Robin why did you ask? You only read what you want to hear.

Check your municipality and see what the codes are for new construction multi housing. Check with your insurance company also about rentals.

You don't get it. If a tenant or even a guest of the tenant gets hurt on your property, you better have your Ts crossed and your I's dotted in non erasable ink.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 4:05PM
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and if your tenant, or your tenant's friend, or your neighbor, gets p.o.'d at you, they'll call the city, and if your rental apt. is not to code, within the restrictions of the zoning laws, you'll be in big trouble.

Just because your neighbors are doing it doesn't mean it's legal, and it may not be worth the risk. KNOW what those risks are.

And I'm w/ Marge: worry less about how you are helping someone w/ that apartment, and more about how stable they are going to be as tenants. This is even MORE important if you live in the building as well.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:46PM
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Thanks for the info. I had planned on cking into most of those before renting. Any weekend here, you can pick up a paper and there are columns of adds for renting just rooms or basements(Charlote area). But I will ck with the local gurus before doing anything. I do know that home owner insur. does cover anyone getting hurt on your property.

Good advice marge....

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:28AM
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Also keep in mind with insurance companies, if they can find a way out of paying you,they will. So if they found out if the one injured was residing in a illegal suite (not saying ur is or isn't) well there could be a way out for them not to pay up! Best of luck

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:24AM
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