Basements and Cellars are usually designed for storage and to host building’s utilitiess.
Living in a cellar or basement may be illegal in some jurisdictions due to safety concerns and building codes. Basements are often not designed or equipped to be occupied living spaces, and may not have proper ventilation, lighting, or emergency exits. Additionally, basements may be prone to flooding or other hazards that could cause harm to occupants.
Having a kitchen or a bathroom in a basement or a cellar without a permit may serve as proof that the space is prepared to be occupied for living purposes. This becomes evident, if occupancy can be visually proven. For example, a rental advertisement can serve as evidence that the space is converted for living purposes.
In many places, building codes require that habitable spaces meet certain safety standards, including minimum ceiling height, ventilation requirements, and egress requirements for emergency exits. Basements may not meet these standards, and may not be zoned for residential use.
Furthermore, living in a cellar or basement could also raise health concerns, such as increased exposure to mold, radon, and other environmental toxins. As a result, many jurisdictions prohibit or restrict the use of basements as living spaces.
However, bathroom and kitchen may be legalized in a basement or cellar, but for accessory use only. This means that the installation of these utilities will be permitted and they will be inspected to sign-off the permit, but it dies not give the right to homeowner to use the basement or cellar for sleeping, or to watch TV.
One of the major requirements to obtain an accessory use permit for a bathroom or a kitchen or both is to sign a Restrictive Declaration. By signing the declaration the owner agrees to restrict living occupancy of the building in the cellar or basement. In other words, to legalize bathroom or a kitchen in a cellar or both you need to agree that the space will not be rented to living purposes.
This project requires hiring an architect to prepare plans for filing, as well as hiring a General Contractor and a plumber; and provide them with permits.
Our proprietary web app Building Violation Expediter can help you legalize your bathroom, kitchen, or washer dryer, or even a recreational room in a basement or a cellar. If you already received a violation or simply thinking to prevent one, go to our homepage at BuildingViolation.com and enter violation address.