Registering Your Second Unit

A second unit is a self-contained residential unit located within a house.  The unit may be in any part of the house, including the basement. Second units provide an affordable housing option for many people in Brampton.

A second unit is not legal unless it has been registered with the City and any work has been approved and inspected by the City.  These policies are intended to make units safe, legal and livable.

Two-unit registration and building permit applications are accepted in person at the Flower City Community Campus, Unit #1, 8850 McLaughlin Road.

The Two-Unit Dwelling Registration and Building Permit Application processes are consolidated into a single application stream as described below.

You have up to 18 months from the date of application to complete the Registration Process to ensure your Second Unit meets all of the mandatory requirements. 

Pre-application Review and Verification of Zoning Compliance

Second units are permitted in detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, subject to zoning requirements and restrictions. In order to be legal, second units must be registered with the City of Brampton. Please see the Zoning Examiner at the Building Division Customer Service Counter for the pre-application review and determination of zoning compliance.

Under the Zoning By-law, the following conditions apply to second dwelling units:

  • Only one second unit is permitted in a two-unit dwelling.
  • No additional parking is required for the creation of a second unit. The minimum number of parking spaces required by the General Residential Provisions (Section 10.9) of the Zoning By-law must be maintained on the lot.
  • The second unit must be smaller in floor area than the principal unit.
  • The entrance to the second unit can be located in the side or rear yard provided there is a 1.2m unobstructed path of travel to the principal entrance located entirely on the subject property. A landing serving a second unit entrance must be less than 0.6m above ground level and is limited to a maximum length and width of 0.9m. Steps shall be provided at the front and rear of the landing.
  • Two-unit dwellings are not permitted on lands zoned Open Space, Floodplain or within the area identified as the Downtown Floodplain Regulation Area.

Where Zoning By-law compliance is verified at the pre-application review, please proceed to submission of building permit application for Change of Use to Two-Unit Dwelling.

An Application for a Permit must include:

Building permit applications are broken down into 3 major requirements:


Building Permit Issuance

  1. Once your application is approved you will be called to pick up your building permit. Your permit is not issued until you have picked it up and paid the outstanding permit fees.
  2. Where an existing water service must be upgraded to meet the increased demand to the house, a connection approval from the municipal water supply to the property line is required. Contact the Region of Peel, Engineering Development Services at for information and arrangements for the new water connection.
  3. Note regarding sample drawings: The sample drawings do not cover all of the requirements for accessory apartments. The person taking responsibility for the design should refer to the 2012 Ontario Building Code (updated to July 1, 2017) for a detailed listing of all requirements. The most current Building Code is available at e-Laws - Ontario Building Code.
  4. Construction must be carried out in accordance with the approved permit drawings, including any required changes that are identified through the application review process.
  5. The approved permit drawings and documents must be kept on site at all times during construction and must be available during inspections.

Inspection Requirements

  1. You must call to arrange for all required inspections. The required inspections will be indicated on the inspection list provided with the issuance of the permit. Inspections are booked by calling the Building Division at (905) 874-3700.
    Typical Second Dwelling Unit inspections can include (depending on the scope of work):
    • Underground Plumbing
    • Above Ground Plumbing
    • Framing
    • Insulation & Air Barrier
    • HVAC Rough-in
    • Occupancy Building, HVAC, Plumbing
    • Final Building, HVAC, Plumbing
  2. Following the successful completion of all required inspections, an Occupancy Permit for the second unit will be issued. The Occupancy Permit will be required to complete the Final Registration of your two-unit dwelling.
  3. Where construction has previously taken place without a building permit the work may be required to be uncovered so that the inspector can verify compliance with the building code in accordance with the Building Code Act and the inspector’s duty of care.

Electrical Safety Authority

Verification of compliance with the Electrical safety Authority (ESA) requirements is mandatory prior to final registration of all second dwelling units in the City of Brampton. The purpose of the ESA review process and inspection is to ensure that the electrical wiring servicing the second unit is safe and properly installed.

Depending on the age of the house, a specific type of electrical inspection from the ESA must be requested. Click on the link here to assist you to determine the most appropriate type of electrical inspection for your house.

The ESA Customer Service Centre may be contacted at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233). Electrical inspection forms can be downloaded from the Electrical Safety Authority’s website at Navigating the electrical inspections process can be challenging for the homeowner. It is recommended that you consult with a licensed electrician to help guide you through the inspections process.

Final Registration

The registration process must be finalized for the Two-Unit Dwelling to be legally registered.

Final registration requires:

  • Occupancy permit
  • Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) inspection report

Please submit the above items to the Zoning Examiner at the Customer Service Counter at the Building Division. Once received, a Certificate of Registration will be issued.