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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I have been getting into more and more investing since the beginning of this year. One thing I was planning on doing as well is getting my own property (House/condo). I had one idea and I wanted to run it by people here and see what they thought of it.

Probably not this year but next year I am thinking of getting a property and currently am saving up for a down payment. My idea for a place was either a house or condo with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Or 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I wanted a setup like this so I can rent out the other bedrooms for income and keep the master bedroom for myself. I am currently not in a relationship but the way I am thinking about it is that when I am in a relationship in the future or have a family or something (Way down the line) the property will work out in that way as well. I am probably going to look for something inside GTA or on the perimeter if the GTA is too pricey (which it may be). I just wanted to know if people here thought there are any flaws in this plan or if I am thinking too ambitiously or if I missed something.
 

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Check the laws for rentals/boarding. Be VERY careful, the governments are swinging ridiculously pro-tenant.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm isnt the laws for tenants living in the house alone vs tenants living in the house with the landlord and sharing the same space different? In the latter I believe the landlord has most rights unless things have changed recently because of covid?
 

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Hmm isnt the laws for tenants living in the house alone vs tenants living in the house with the landlord and sharing the same space different? In the latter I believe the landlord has most rights unless things have changed recently because of covid?
Generally those are boarding rules, and they have different laws, also not all properties can get licensed.
I think there tend to be municipal restrictions.

It's important to understand if you have boarders or tenants as the laws are very different.
 

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Your proposal would be anathema to some. There are those on this board who say you should never share the place in which you live with anyone who may broadly be described as a "tenant", and to allow anyone in that category anywhere near you or your family will put you on the road to perdition. Those members here go so far as to say you should never own a duplex or triplex that you live in, while renting the other units. I have broken the latter rule on occasion, with no ill effects.

What you are contemplating is really bringing in a roommate or two. I have been a roommate in premises owned by others. Never in my own home. But I have seen it work out okay.

If you take in roomies, you are not creating a tenancy, but granting a license. I wrote more on that topic in response to another post, some time back. Instead of repeating it, you may read it here:


Mr.Matt refers to "boarding rules", but I doubt you will be taking in boarders. That usually implies providing services such as meals, etc. Certainly, local governments can have a say in creating boarding houses. I doubt you'll need a licence to take in a roommate or two.

Because a roommate situation contemplates a sharing of the premises apart from bedrooms, you need to exercise more care when selecting roommates over tenants. They'll be sharing kitchen, including refrigerator space, laundry, maybe a bathroom, the living room, etc. There needs to be a good measure of understanding, cooperation, accommodation, etc. if it is to work well with no interpersonal conflict. But it's done all the time and often works well.
 

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I always wondered why low income seniors live on their own and barely scrape by every month, when they could share a place with another low income senior.
 

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I always wondered why low income seniors live on their own and barely scrape by every month, when they could share a place with another low income senior.
True. Often those seniors are living in a house they don't want to give up, yet keeps them broke. Sometimes a good solution is to bring in a compatible person to share.
 

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Mr.Matt refers to "boarding rules", but I doubt you will be taking in boarders. That usually implies providing services such as meals, etc. Certainly, local governments can have a say in creating boarding houses. I doubt you'll need a licence to take in a roommate or two.

Because a roommate situation contemplates a sharing of the premises apart from bedrooms, you need to exercise more care when selecting roommates over tenants. They'll be sharing kitchen, including refrigerator space, laundry, maybe a bathroom, the living room, etc. There needs to be a good measure of understanding, cooperation, accommodation, etc. if it is to work well with no interpersonal conflict. But it's done all the time and often works well.
It matters what jurisdiction you are in.
Typically the rules are different if the owner is also one of the residents for the shared accomodations. Picking a compatible person is key.

In some areas with severe student housing shortages they implement a lot of rules.
For example they restrict rental housing, and lodging houses and how close they are, to prevent an overconcentration of temporary students.
So some wealthier parents buy a house and their child rents it out while remaining a resident. Which of course ends up with the same concentration problem, so they implement more restrictions.
Also they've implemented AirBnB targetted rules in some areas.

Roomate and rental laws do vary between jurisdictions,, and I think you need to be careful exactly where you're looking. Also be aware of Condo rules if you get a condo.
That being said, if you get a good roomate, it can be mutually beneficial. But be sure to budget enough that you can afford to reject second rate roomates.
 

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It matters what jurisdiction you are in.
Typically the rules are different if the owner is also one of the residents for the shared accomodations. Picking a compatible person is key.

In some areas with severe student housing shortages they implement a lot of rules.
For example they restrict rental housing, and lodging houses and how close they are, to prevent an overconcentration of temporary students.
So some wealthier parents buy a house and their child rents it out while remaining a resident. Which of course ends up with the same concentration problem, so they implement more restrictions.
Also they've implemented AirBnB targetted rules in some areas.

Roomate and rental laws do vary between jurisdictions,, and I think you need to be careful exactly where you're looking. Also be aware of Condo rules if you get a condo.
That being said, if you get a good roomate, it can be mutually beneficial. But be sure to budget enough that you can afford to reject second rate roomates.
Here, the OP is referring to the GTA and to having one or two roommates. So I won't resile from my comment that I do not think a licence will be required. Now, I'll go further and say I know a licence won't be required. My authority for that bold statement is here:


Toronto says no licence required if under 4 unrelated people sharing and paying rent.

Vancouver draws the line at 3.


I suppose it might be possible to investigate every local government across the country and find one that says you need a licence to have even one roommate. If I lived in such a place and wanted a roommate, I am sure I would engage in an act of civil disobedience and not comply. That, to me, would represent a case of extreme overreaching, for some local government to purport to tell me I cannot share my home with one other person sans permit.

The advice to be wary of condo rules is sound. They can be harsh and oppressive, depending on one's own views, and the rules are subject to change quite easily. Condo ownership tends to be a minefield that I have always avoided, but some seem to deal with it quite well.

Lots of stuff on YouTube these days about how condo prices and rents in Toronto are on the decline. I always love the florid terms used when the real estate naysayers get going. They talk about prices "plummeting", "skidding", "crashing", & c. All of that, and worse, is said to be taking place in the Toronto condo market. Might be time to swoop in and pick up a few 3 BR units at $45,000 a copy before you-know-who gets them all.
 

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Here, the OP is referring to the GTA and to having one or two roommates. So I won't resile from my comment that I do not think a licence will be required. Now, I'll go further and say I know a licence won't be required. My authority for that bold statement is here:
To be pedantic, he said GTA, not city of Toronto.
Many cities have quite unique circumstances and different rules.
I know he said one or two roomates, and up to 3 seems to be "okay", but I think they should be careful.

For example Mississauga.
2.1 "No Person shall own or operate a Lodging House unless the Person is licensed under this By-law. "
https://www.mississauga.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/18114807/Residential_Rental_Accomodation_Licensing_By_law.pdf

 

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Casting the net wide enough to capture Mississauga does not advance the thesis that a licence will be required. The material to which you make reference refers to "lodging houses" thus:

“Lodging House" means a dwelling unit containing more than three (3) Lodging Units each designed or intended for the lodging of Persons in return for Remuneration.

So, unless I seriously misconstrue the import of those words, our OP, if in Mississauga, is permitted 3 lodging units (and, since he's not likely to collect "remuneration" from himself) in addition to his own lodging unit. Again, he was talking about one or 2 roomies, so he's still under the radar.

All I said in my post was that I doubted he would need a licence. I did not tell him no need to check. To me, the licence requirement seems an even more doubtful proposition now that your post has prompted me to do a bit of research. That has reinforced me in the no licence required view.

I'll get even more reckless here and say that, in a condo situation, I would not worry too much about a strata bylaw ordaining that thou shalt not have a roommate. Unless there is a valid and enforceable bylaw limiting the unit occupancy to one, I would not fret about bringing in a roommate. Not that the nature of the relationship and whether any money is changing hands has to be posted on the notice board in the lobby. I suppose an overzealous strata council could say that, if I got married, and my wife moved in and shared expenses, then she is a roommate and I face excommunication from the strata corporation.
 

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I think you need to run the numbers carefully. I have worked with people who owned Toronto property and rented rooms. Generally, the rent just covered costs and their aim was to eventually make capital gains on the property. To make money as a rental, you have to avoid any extraordinary costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@MrMatt : I see. I will look into that as yes the situation will be that I will be living on property with 1 or 2 roomates. I will also watch out for where I get a condo/house and keep in mind what you said about condo rules.

@Mukhang pera : I see. Well I am glad you did not have any bad experiences regarding that. Thanks for the link I will check it out. Yes if this scenario is one that happens then I will be very thoroughly going through prospective roommates and just choosing the best as I dont want things going bad especially in terms of money and having a good relationship.

Good tip about the condos. Also, I heard the same thing about the toronto condo market so I may take a look into that as well.

@sags : Who knows. Maybe they dont feel comfortable with that.

@kcowan :Yes for sure. In this scenario I was thinking either way it would be good as the roomates can help pay toward the mortgage for a few years. I am not too sure if I am looking for capital gains from this scenario as I still live on the property but yes I am planning on keeping most costs down.
 
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