Real Estate

Basement Apartment (Possibly) Not Up to Fire Code

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 21st, 2018 5:02 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 21, 2016
19 posts
1 upvote

Basement Apartment (Possibly) Not Up to Fire Code

Hi everyone,

My friend currently resides in a basement in Brampton. She says that that the ceiling is very low. Nobody taller than 5'6 can stretch without touching the ceiling. Nobody taller than 5'10 can shower without their head touching the ceiling. There is poor ventilation. The extractor fans don't work properly (she has complained but unfortunately they don't make the joint light/extractor fan model for her bathroom anymore). The plumbing is bad. She has her own washer and dryer set. Whenever the landlords upstairs wash or she washes the wash tub beside the washing machine overflows. The wash tub also smells like dirty sitting water whenever the landlords wash. Her lights flicker and blow more often than not.

The house is older. Appears to be around 40 plus years old. She has complained to the landlord but he says he bought the basement this way and hasnt really looked into it. She didn't think the basement was registered so she called Brampton City which they confirmed over the phone that it wasn't. However after they set an appointment they called back to say it is showing up as registered now and they can't come.

She is moving soon so they told her not to worry about the issues she's having. She wants to know if it's normal to receive a response like that from the city. Also if it would be advised to call back the city to get someone to inspect the place.

I've been in there and it just looks like it needs a serious upgrade. Plus the landlord has recently started harassing her and being extra loud upstairs after he tried to raise her rent by 10% and she let him know that it was illegal.
14 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 27, 2017
129 posts
120 upvotes
Hire a home inspector without landlord present. Should cost not more than $200

Send the inspection report to city
Member
Mar 25, 2017
484 posts
258 upvotes
The ceiling didn't seem too low when she first looked at it ? If she doesn't like the place or the owner and the owner is not happy with her; she should just find another place. If no one is happy why stay there ? The house owner will probably stop renting into strangers from here on and will start advertising through word of mouth or mutual friends/families.
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
10451 posts
12977 upvotes
Toronto
The city doesn't care because they know if they cracked down on these illegal basement apartments they'd have another 200k renters to deal with, vacancy rate is already at a 16 year low, this would seriously push us into a rental crisis.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
1275 upvotes
If your friend is moving soon, why does she care? Just find a better apartment, move the hell out of the existing shit-hole, and continue on with life. There are far better things to worry about than the condition of one of your previous apartments. It sounds like she might want to begin a vendetta against her landlord, but I'd say that would simply be a waste of energy and an introduction of unnecessary negative emotions in her life.

Move on.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 21, 2016
19 posts
1 upvote
Thanks for the responses. I will let her know about hiring an inspector.

Well it's not that easy to just up and move. She had problems finding another place quickly because she wanted to ensure that the landlords are following the rules to avoid this situation again. Plus the places have to be within her budget to be able to commit to a year. And the stress of moving is also there. Then now the landlord is deciding to make her life miserable as she's trying to leave.

She did notice it was a bit low but she needed a place really quickly and wasn't planning on staying there. It was temporary till she could find another one, nothing was opening up and the other basements looked worse or were too far. And the landlord started out nice.

Even though it might appear to be only vendetta motivated he has really been harassing her as she is looking to get out. Blocking her and her guests cars in. Having loud parties. Running loud upstairs. Playing music etc. So ignoring him is hard and stressful because the running happens early morning which interupts her sleep.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
1275 upvotes
DinahRaice wrote: Thanks for the responses. I will let her know about hiring an inspector.

Well it's not that easy to just up and move. She had problems finding another place quickly because she wanted to ensure that the landlords are following the rules to avoid this situation again. Plus the places have to be within her budget to be able to commit to a year. And the stress of moving is also there. Then now the landlord is deciding to make her life miserable as she's trying to leave.

She did notice it was a bit low but she needed a place really quickly and wasn't planning on staying there. It was temporary till she could find another one, nothing was opening up and the other basements looked worse or were too far. And the landlord started out nice.

Even though it might appear to be only vendetta motivated he has really been harassing her as she is looking to get out. Blocking her and her guests cars in. Having loud parties. Running loud upstairs. Playing music etc. So ignoring him is hard and stressful because the running happens early morning which interupts her sleep.

So, other than her current shit-hole apartment, your friend cannot find anything within her budget? It sounds like she can only afford to rent a dump and is dissatisfied about that. You can't pay rock-bottom prices and expect to be living in the Taj Mahal. In my experience, you get what you pay for.
Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2016
1906 posts
930 upvotes
Sounds like the landlord is actively trying to force your friend to move out, confident that he/she can get similar rents from a less troublesome tenant. If the landlord is reporting the rental income to CRA, I really don't see much that your friend can do. Do keep us posted if your friend decide to take this to the RTA and force the landlord to improve the unit.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 21, 2016
19 posts
1 upvote
kneevase wrote: So, other than her current shit-hole apartment, your friend cannot find anything within her budget? It sounds like she can only afford to rent a dump and is dissatisfied about that. You can't pay rock-bottom prices and expect to be living in the Taj Mahal. In my experience, you get what you pay for.
She could find them but she was competing with other people looking and it didn't work in her favour based on the time constraint she had to find a place at that time. She has now learned her lesson to not rush into it because it has screwed her over big time. Unfortunately because of the stress and harassing she is now rushing.

Its not the issues with the apartment that is prompting her move this quickly. It is part of it. She could tell that certain things were gonna be a problem like the ceiling and extractor fan (she was told he would look into it and he did but as I mentioned the model for this set up is no longer available) but everything else she listed was not expected but as you said you get what you paid for. It's the landlords behaviour that she didn't anticipate how bad it would get. They had a very good relationship until she wanted him to put in writing that he wanted to raise her rent by 10%. Then he wanted to remove her parking and her storage and the noise increased with little relief.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 8, 2007
9037 posts
10358 upvotes
Way Out of GTA
Seems like spite and malice on both sides here.

Better they both go their own ways.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 21, 2016
19 posts
1 upvote
BlueSolstice wrote: Sounds like the landlord is actively trying to force your friend to move out, confident that he/she can get similar rents from a less troublesome tenant. If the landlord is reporting the rental income to CRA, I really don't see much that your friend can do. Do keep us posted if your friend decide to take this to the RTA and force the landlord to improve the unit.
Yes, I told her to ask the RTA for options. She has been in communication with them before and is now looking at her options based on harassment. I will keep this thread posted on what she decides to do.
Banned
Feb 23, 2009
1670 posts
1495 upvotes
Oshawa
So the place is awful, landlord is awful and my life is awful but it's much to much stress to move?!?!?
Close this thread please and stop the madness!
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 21, 2016
19 posts
1 upvote
Yea I agree that the thread is done. Not so much with the dramatics of pkrash.... since I clearly stated that she is moving soon.

Not much she can do. She just wanted to know if that was a normal response from the city and if trying to get them to inspect it was worth it. General consensus here is that it is not.
Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2016
2837 posts
1596 upvotes
Mississauga
From everything I have read, I felt the problem is not with the landlord but your friend. She knew what she was getting into, a cheap no frill basement apartment. Landlord didn't deceive or trick her into renting, and does not appear to have made living conditions any worse than how it was always there. They also appear to have the basement registered with the city, so probably they are on the right side of law as well. I would agree with @kneevase that your frnd wants to pay as less as possible, but wants the luxuries of a hi-rise condo at Front Street.
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
4321 posts
670 upvotes
Try to be as friendly as possible with the landlord and take your time and find something else with no rush.
Even if the city did find problems, all it means is that the landlord has to either fix it or pay fines, not likely to help your friend so why even bother?
I'm surprised it's registered with the city as I'm pretty sure most aren't.

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