Additional Residential Units (ARU), also known as accessory residential units, accessory apartments, granny flats, in-law suites, laneway suites, and/or coach houses, are self-contained residential dwelling units, with their own cooking facility, sanitary facility, and sleeping area, and that it is located either within a single detached, semi-detached or townhouse dwelling (attached ARU) or within an ancillary building (garden suite).
A total of two additional residential units are permitted per residential lot that contains a single, semi, or townhouse either in the form of two attached ARUs (formerly “second units”) or one attached ARU and one garden suite. ARUs are subject to meeting zoning requirements, completing registration, and permits.
An additional residential unit is not permitted within or on the same lot as a lodging house or supporting housing residence; or on properties located within a floodplain zone or open space zone.
Please refer to the
Building & Permits page for more information about constructing an ARU.
Additional Residential Unit Registration
All additional residential units must be registered with the City of Brampton, including all those previously deemed as legal non-conforming second units.
Additional residential units, including attached ARUs and garden suites, are required to follow the established building permit and registration process. Each ARU is subject to a one-time registration process ensuring that the ARU meets the requirements under the Ontario Building Code and Zoning By-law, which are intended to make these units safe, legal, and livable.
An additional residential unit is not legal unless it has been registered with the City and any work has been approved and inspected. A building that does not comply with the regulations and lacks the required safety features may put the occupants and neighbourhoods at risk of severe damage, injury, or death.
The registration of additional residential units is enforced by Property Standards. Failing to comply with these by-laws may result in administrative monetary penalties or charges.
For information on how to apply and construct an attached ARU, email
A Garden Suite is an Additional Residential Unit (ARU) ancillary to a single detached, semi-detached, or street townhouse unit, that is located in a building detached from the principal dwelling and located in the rear or interior side yard, and which may be freestanding or attached to a detached private garage.
Architectural Control, zoning compliance, and engineering review are required for new Garden Suites prior to submitting a building permit application.
A Custom Home – Garden Suites review application will consider an architectural control review, zoning compliance, grading, servicing, and site drainage.
For information on how to apply and construct a garden suite, email
Also commonly referred to as rooming, boarding, or multi-tenant houses.
Landlords are permitted by the City of Brampton Zoning By-law to provide residential accommodation to any group of persons living together as a single housekeeping or household unit.
Single-room accommodations are permitted to be offered without a licence for up to four (4) lodgers, in up to four (4) bedrooms per dwelling unit. If a property contains an additional residential unit, this applies separately to each unit. These policies are intended to make units safe, legal, and livable for occupants.
Please note that the number of occupants alone, or their relationship with one another, does not constitute a contravention of the Zoning By-law. The Ontario Planning Act does not grant authority for a municipality to pass a by-law that has the effect of distinguishing between persons that are related and persons that are unrelated in respect of the occupancy or use of a building. As such, there is no effect on the legality of accommodations being provided.
The Planning Act also requires that an officer have reasonable grounds to believe that a by-law passed under the Act is being contravened before entering and inspecting a property. Therefore, if a resident believes a violation has occurred, detailed information should be provided about the specific use and violation, as well as the manner in which this information became known.
If there are by-law contraventions related to the exterior use or maintenance, please contact 3-1-1 to submit the offence-specific complaint.
Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants and Landlords
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants of residential properties in Ontario. It provides rules for increasing rent, evicting a tenant, maintenance, and more. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the Landlord and Tenant Board was created to resolve disputes between tenants and their landlords.
Students and Landlords
There are many reputable platforms to find legal rental accommodations in Brampton. Sheridan College has partnered with Place4Students to provide students and landlords in the City of Brampton with a free service platform to post and browse safe, available, and vetted rental accommodations.
Landlords can create and post free rental listings for students with access to many tools such as Google Maps, live up-to-date databases, descriptive listings with photos, floor plans, and customer service support.
Sheridan College has also partnered with Canada Homestay Network (CHN) to offer an all-inclusive housing option for students. Students that choose a homestay with CHN can become a member of the family they are with, and part of the community in which they live.
Please visit the Sheridan College
Off-Campus Housing for more information.