Currently, if you’re building an Ancillary Secondary Dwelling Unit (such as a laneway suite) in the City of Toronto, you can defer the payment of any development charges for 20 years from the date that a building permit is issued for the unit. But really what this means is that, if you don’t do anything bad for 20 years (event of default), you won’t have to pay anything. The payable charge goes to $0 at the end of the term and the agreement goes away. Cool.
So what are some of the bad things that you’re not supposed to do?
Well the main thing is that you’re not allowed to create a new lot at any point during the 20-year deferral period. This is because the laneway suite policies are designed to encourage the creation of new rental housing and not new for sale housing. So you can’t sever off the back of your lot. The other thing you need to do is make sure that if you were to ever sell your property that the new owner(s) assumes these same obligations.
This all makes sense.
There is some fine print to consider. The payable development charge amount that the City enters into these agreements is the rate for single detached dwellings. Currently that figure is $76,830. This is more than double what you would have to pay if you, well, just paid the DCs for your ancillary secondary unit instead of deferring them. The reason for this is because, if you do do something bad such as sever your property, you’ve now no longer built an ancillary secondary unit. You’ve built a detached dwelling. Rates go up.
Moral of the story: Don’t create a new lot. For more information on the program, click here.
P.S. I’m not a lawyer. Please don’t take this post as any sort of legal advice. This post was also revised from its original version to correct a misunderstanding on my part.