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[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2011
2147 posts
234 upvotes
Ottawa

Renting a Basement

I had a question about renting out a basement. The basement is completely separated from the house with a side entrance. It has 1 bathroom, kitchen and 2 bedrooms. However the hydro meter is one. Also issue regarding internet would it be shared or separate? Can meter for basement be separate and is it worth it. I heard from another thread that Hydro is not expensive its the other charges such as delivery, etc that is expensive. So if this is true and I get a separate hydro meter would delivery charges be separate. I can also possibly get relatives to live in the basement and it would make everything easier I guess.
27 replies
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Aug 22, 2005
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You should probably just include hydro + internet in your rent price, and adjust your rent to reflect that.
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Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
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Hydro is not expensive unless you use a lot of it. So here are a few considerations:

1) How is your house heated? You're in Ottawa, so maybe it's heated with natural gas which you will be paying? If it's electric baseboard heat, then that can add up quickly.
2) Is it likely that your potential tenant will be a heavy air conditioning user? It's a basement apartment, so hopefully it shouldn't need much air conditioning...
3) What's your arrangement for hot water? This can use a LOT of electricity if you get tenants that like to take one-hour showers and like to change into clean clothes every hour...
4) Is it likely that your tenant would plug their car in during the winter? This too can use a LOT of electricity!
5) Is it likely that you'd end up with a tenant that has numerous large aquariums for tropical fish or terrariums for reptiles? One small aquarium isn't too bad, but several is another story...

If it's just lights, computers and televisions, then electricity is generally not very expensive...
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Jun 2, 2009
2738 posts
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Toronto
Your house and your basement would have to be separately re wired, each with a different fuse box attaching to the new meter, that is a huge expensive waste of time, just do what everyone else does and split utilities with the tenant , they will know not to over use as they will have to pay half of it anyway.
Idle hands are the devils playthings
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
7864 posts
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HeavenLeigh wrote: Your house and your basement would have to be separately re wired, each with a different fuse box attaching to the new meter, that is a huge expensive waste of time, just do what everyone else does and split utilities with the tenant , they will know not to over use as they will have to pay half of it anyway.
+1... a huge expensive waste of time, and, obviously, waste of money.
Penalty Box
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Oct 19, 2012
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Toronto
But he is going to charge his tenant 50% of the hydro meanwhile he and his family will be consuming 80% of that energy?
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Jun 20, 2011
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VANCOUVER
I don't recommend including Internet. I did once and it was a nightmare. Tenant complained about the slightest downtime even though it's the provider end. Used a heck of a lot of bandwidth causing issues with the ISP. All they did was stream and torrent almost 12 hrs a day. I have broadband 50 with shaw so it's pretty decent.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2011
2147 posts
234 upvotes
Ottawa
kneevase wrote: Hydro is not expensive unless you use a lot of it. So here are a few considerations:

1) How is your house heated? You're in Ottawa, so maybe it's heated with natural gas which you will be paying? If it's electric baseboard heat, then that can add up quickly.
2) Is it likely that your potential tenant will be a heavy air conditioning user? It's a basement apartment, so hopefully it shouldn't need much air conditioning...
3) What's your arrangement for hot water? This can use a LOT of electricity if you get tenants that like to take one-hour showers and like to change into clean clothes every hour...
4) Is it likely that your tenant would plug their car in during the winter? This too can use a LOT of electricity!
5) Is it likely that you'd end up with a tenant that has numerous large aquariums for tropical fish or terrariums for reptiles? One small aquarium isn't too bad, but several is another story...

If it's just lights, computers and televisions, then electricity is generally not very expensive...
1) It says heating fuel is natural gas and heating type is forced air.
2) Basement apartments don't feel as much heat as upstairs?
4) I will not be providing parking in my driveway/garage but they can park throughout the neighbourhood
5) I will make sure no aquariums, pets allowed.

How much should I be charging the rent though is my main concern. The house is worth $600,000. I am planning on buying it because renting the basement will make mortgage payments similar to a $350,000 house. Internet I would have to get unlimited as I use a lot myself. I cannot charge Hydro 50/50 because it aint fair. They might be 3 people max while I would have 9 people upstairs. How much hydro/electricity would you estimate the total to be for both houses combined?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2011
2147 posts
234 upvotes
Ottawa
Also how about do I get tenants. I think Kijiji is the way to go but do I need any forms, etc for them to sign. How do I collect the money?
Deal Addict
Jan 30, 2012
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TORONTO
masoud100 wrote: 5) I will make sure no aquariums, pets allowed.
You can put that into the lease, but it isn't enforceable: http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2012/ ... teeth.html
masoud100 wrote: I cannot charge Hydro 50/50 because it aint fair.
What does fairness have to do with it? Charge what the market will bear.
masoud100 wrote: Also how about do I get tenants. I think Kijiji is the way to go but do I need any forms, etc for them to sign. How do I collect the money?
Dude, if you have to ask these questions, maybe you're not ready to be a landlord :)
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Nov 2, 2013
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Edmonton, AB
masoud100 wrote: Also how about do I get tenants. I think Kijiji is the way to go but do I need any forms, etc for them to sign. How do I collect the money?
Kijiji/Craigslist typically. Local college/university posting board too, but latter is typical.
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Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2008
1821 posts
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masoud100 wrote: 1) It says heating fuel is natural gas and heating type is forced air.
2) Basement apartments don't feel as much heat as upstairs?
4) I will not be providing parking in my driveway/garage but they can park throughout the neighbourhood
5) I will make sure no aquariums, pets allowed.

No, basements generally remain cool all summer. In fact, if you've ever had your air conditioning break down during a heat wave, you'll have at least thought seriously about sleeping in your concrete boudoir!

With your house using natgas for heat and hot water, limited need for air, and no electrified parking, your tenants would have a pretty hard time using much electricity unless they set up a grow operation. Might be just as easy to include electricity for free in the rent.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
7864 posts
8829 upvotes
To separately re-wire the basement from upstairs and install a second meter box, will cost... hmmm.. $5K ? Maybe more? And I think to getting Hydro to connect that second meter box you need a second address, you can't have 2 meters for 1 single street address
Deal Guru
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Dec 7, 2009
13885 posts
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Word of caution about including internet, make sure you get a plan with 300GB+ of data to avoid overage charges.
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Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
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Nov 26, 2003
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$600,000 house with a separate basement entry in law suite? Are you in town?

Also, 9 people + 3 basement are all tenants or are the 9 upstairs family? If they are all tenants, just ditch the idea of separate basement rental and rent rooms. That way you have freedom to just go down there as you please.
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Nov 26, 2003
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DoorCrasher wrote: To separately re-wire the basement from upstairs and install a second meter box, will cost... hmmm.. $5K ? Maybe more? And I think to getting Hydro to connect that second meter box you need a second address, you can't have 2 meters for 1 single street address
No way its 5k. You are probably looking upwards of 10k
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Jun 2, 2009
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Toronto
masoud100 wrote: 1) It says heating fuel is natural gas and heating type is forced air.
2) Basement apartments don't feel as much heat as upstairs?
4) I will not be providing parking in my driveway/garage but they can park throughout the neighbourhood
5) I will make sure no aquariums, pets allowed.

How much should I be charging the rent though is my main concern. The house is worth $600,000. I am planning on buying it because renting the basement will make mortgage payments similar to a $350,000 house. Internet I would have to get unlimited as I use a lot myself. I cannot charge Hydro 50/50 because it aint fair. They might be 3 people max while I would have 9 people upstairs. How much hydro/electricity would you estimate the total to be for both houses combined?
so youre buying a house you really cant afford on your own, with the hopes that you will get reliable tenants that will pay some of your mortgage. This has disaster written all over it, and 9 people upstairs? how many bedrooms is this house? if there are so many of you then its fair to have the tenants downstairs pay 20% of utilites. cant even imagine the noise those poor people will have with 9 people stomping above their heads. good luck with that.
Idle hands are the devils playthings
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2011
2147 posts
234 upvotes
Ottawa
taro-chan wrote: $600,000 house with a separate basement entry in law suite? Are you in town?

Also, 9 people + 3 basement are all tenants or are the 9 upstairs family? If they are all tenants, just ditch the idea of separate basement rental and rent rooms. That way you have freedom to just go down there as you please.
The 9 people would be my family. And with basement in law suite with only 2 rooms i would imagine maximum 2 adults with possibly 1-2 kids.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2011
2147 posts
234 upvotes
Ottawa
HeavenLeigh wrote: so youre buying a house you really cant afford on your own, with the hopes that you will get reliable tenants that will pay some of your mortgage. This has disaster written all over it, and 9 people upstairs? how many bedrooms is this house? if there are so many of you then its fair to have the tenants downstairs pay 20% of utilites. cant even imagine the noise those poor people will have with 9 people stomping above their heads. good luck with that.
Lol i never even thought about noise level, etc i just thought walls would be good enough to block it. The house with mortgage (assuming 3% interest) and property tax would cost $2100/month. Say i charge basement tenants $1100/month that leaves me with only paying $1000/mortgage + property tax.

Even if i dont rent it out me and my dad would be living in the house and we can afford the mortgage. Plus every year we plan on borrowing $20,000 and adding another $10,000 from ourselves for additional payments at end of year.

The house has 4 bedrooms, one room would have 1 person, the other 2 rooms would have 2 people each and the master bedroom (20×20) would have 2 adults and 2 toddlers.

Even renting the basement for say $800/month will still help out with mortgage. Also it is walking distance.to a college.

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