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How To Prepare Your Home To Become A Rental Unit

How To Prepare Your Home To Become A Rental Unit

Interior of modern living roomIn today’s job market, more and more people are turning their attention to generating extra income by becoming a landlord, investing in rental property. While it can be a difficult process and requires constant attention and upkeep, owning a rental unit can prove to have its financial benefits. But before you go collecting rent cheques, you’ll have to jump through a couple of hoops to gain approval from the city of Barrie along with a mortgage to fund this new adventure. While all rental units, big or small, must be licensed by the city, let’s a take a look at the steps you should follow in order to obtain that license.

Start With The Applications

Like most changes in living situations, becoming a landlord requires an application process. The first step to renting out a unit in Barrie is to apply under the proper guidelines to the city of Barrie. The rules of what is considered a rental space or unit, can differ from province to province, even city to city, and each can require a different set of applications to be completed. In the city of Barrie, the first stop you’ll need to make is at your local By-law Services Office. Here you’ll be able to get all the necessary paperwork to fill out in order to be approved for a license.

Depending on the size and style of your rental unit, different approvals will be mandatory. For example, things such the number of kitchens, number of tenants and even whether or not the rental unit is attached to your primary residence are all factors considered by the city before granting you approval. Be sure you have all your unit information in hand before you hit the By-Law office to ensure you grab the correct applications.


In order to ensure your renters will be safe and to avoid any legal messes, the city will generally ask for several inspections to be done on the rental unit. To begin with, a zoning and property standards inspection must be completed and approved. Generally, this entails inspection of the building, the grounds, and the structural integrity of the unit. A prime example of a failed inspection would be trying to rent out your garden shed as a spare bedroom. While some renters may want to save some money and enjoy the brisk outdoorsy life, legally the conditions are not considered to be safe enough for you to rent it out to another party.

Additionally, you will have to get approval by inspection of your heating and electrical systems, in order to prove the safety of the unit and building. Going hand in hand with this safety check, is approval from an insurance company. Typically, the city of Barrie requires a rental property owner to have at least 2 million dollars in liability insurance coverage in order to give you a signed approval for the next step of their process.

Once all of these inspections are finished, there is one final look-over. Perhaps the most important of all the inspections, your local fire department will also have to inspect the unit and building to ensure all exits are properly identified, accessible and that everything is up to code. Even emergency lighting can be mandatory depending on the size and layout of your rental unit.

Measure, Plan, Plot and Record

Once all of the inspections have been completed, you’ll need to do a little measuring and recording of the property which will need to be submitted to the by-law office. You are required, with your applications and inspection approvals, to submit a detailed floor plan of both the building and the unit, with exact dimensions. While dependent upon the city, in the city of Barrie you are also required to submit a parking plan which follows the guidelines of street parking, permits, etc.

Lastly, you will need to submit a list of 24-hour contacts in case of an emergency. Whether this be yourself, a property manager or a superintendent, all parties must have a 24-hour contact number at which they can be reached should an emergency such as fire or flood strike.

Becoming a landlord of a rental property is a lot of responsibility,however it can prove to be a great source of extra income if done correctly. Always be sure to follow specific guidelines put forth by the city to ensure you, your family and even your tenant are fully covered no matter what issues may occur. If you have any questions about obtaining a mortgage for a rental property in the Barrie & Simcoe County area, feel free to give me a call at 705-315-0516. I am always happy to help answer any questions you may have, to assist you in securing the funding needed for your new rental property investment.

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