Before you start looking to rent or build a laneway home in Toronto, Ontario, there are a number of things you’ll want to know. You’ll want to learn what these types of homes are if there are limitations associated with them, as well as what the pros and cons are. The rest of this article will provide you with more information, and then you can begin your search for laneway homes.
What Are Laneway Homes
Laneway homes, also known as laneway suites, is a form of housing that is popular throughout Canada. The home is typically built on the pre-existing property, such as on a property that already has a house on it. In most cases, the laneway home is on the same lot as a semi-detached home, a detached home or a townhouse, and it is usually in the backyard right near a laneway.
For the longest time, these types of homes were allowed to be built, but then in 2006, Toronto banned them from being built. In 2018, the Toronto council passed a new law that permitted laneway homes. Fast forward to now, you can make laneway homes in the city of Toronto.
Laneway homes can be used as a residential home or short-term rentals. This means you cannot sell a laneway home on your property because essentially the home is part of your property. If you want to sell the laneway home, things can become complicated.
Another limitation is only one laneway home can be located on the property. The city of Toronto does not allow you to have more than one on a single property. Furthermore, laneway homes have to meet certain zoning requirements, which can be complex and sometimes zoning laws can overlap one another. This is why it’s a good idea to contact the Toronto city council and ask them about zoning requirements.
Whether you own property in Toronto and want to build a laneway home or you just want to rent one, there are a number of pros. Some of the top ones include:
- A laneway home is your own house. When you build one, it will belong to you because it is part of your property. Even if you rent it out, you will still own it, but essentially you will be a landlord.
- These homes come with their own private entrance. Whether you have a family member occupying it or a short-term tenant, they will appreciate having their own entrance. This allows them to enter and leave the property without disturbing the occupants of the main residence.
- Adding value to your existing property is another benefit of having a laneway home. If the time comes when you want to sell your home, then you should be able to get more for it. Potential buyers will realize that there is income potential, which will entice them to put in an offer on your home.
- They are affordable to build. If you don’t really want to build a laneway home, then find out if there are companies selling prefab homes. Regardless if you want one built or already built, you’ll find that getting a laneway home is affordable.
Those are only a handful of the advantages of laneway homes. However, they are a few of the top ones. You might find that building a laneway home is one of the best decisions you have made.
There are a few cons. The top ones are:
- High heating costs are one of the cons associated with this type of property. Although there are ways to reduce your heating bills, you can expect to pay quite a bit extra. However, if you don’t rent it out often or have a permanent tenant and you don’t use the electricity that often, then you’ll keep your heating costs down.
- Short-term tenants are the only type of tenants you can rent to when you have a laneway home. The law in Toronto may very well change again. As of now, laneway homes can only be rented on a short-term basis. Thankfully, these types of homes are popular, so finding short-term tenants shouldn’t be too difficult.
As you can see, there are a number of cons. They aren’t that major. Nonetheless, they may factor in your decision to have a laneway home built.
Tips & Advice
First, you should get a survey of your site performed. A professional can survey your site to make sure it is suitable for a laneway house. They’ll also make sure it meets zoning requirements.
Second, you want to hire a professional to build the home. The builder you hire should be familiar with the new law regarding laneway homes. Don’t forget to compare as many designs as you can because this will give you an idea of which type of home you should build.
If you want to rent a laneway home, then use reputable websites that list them for rent. Many property owners have laneway homes already on their property. You’ll want to use property rental sites to find them, and then you can inquire about the ones that interest you the most.
Those are the pros and cons of laneway homes. If you are looking for a laneway home in Toronto, then make sure you keep the previously discussed tips and advice in mind. Good luck on finding the ideal laneway home in Toronto.