What happens if I build without a Building Permit?

I have had lots of clients ask why a permit is necessary when renovating their basements to include an apartment.

So, what may happen depends on several factors.  First and most importantly, this would contravene the Building Code Act.  How would the municipality find out, you may ask?

  1. Will any of your neighbours report your construction activity?
  2. Will a relative or friend report what you are doing?
  3. Will you be renting the constructed space to a third party?
    (The renter may turn adversarial because of some dispute)
  4. Will you have a flood or some other event that causes you to make an insurance claim?
    (Insurance companies may require proof of inspection for occupation later.  Insurance companies may deny your claim because you didn’t follow Building Code, and register the apartment with the municipality)

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you could face some profoundly serious consequences.  Things have changed over the last few years, and one of those changes is the obligation of municipalities to enforce the Ontario Building Code as mandated by the Ontario Building Code Act S.O. 1992 ( https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/92b23 )

Here is a story about a landlord that did not follow the Ontario Building Code and municipal regulations regarding rental suites.