CMHC announces new rules making it easier to purchase homes with secondary rental suites

Finally! A rule change by CMHC that actually puts less resistance on the borrower. Effective September 28, borrowers aiming to purchase properties with legal, secondary suites, will have a bit of a boost qualifying for their purchase.

A release from CMHC said, “Many municipalities across the country now formally recognize secondary rental suites as a source of affordable housing. Rents in secondary rental suites are often lower than those for apartments in purpose-built rental buildings.”

These changes will allow homeowners to count more of the income from a property’s secondary unit when qualifying for a loan. Previously, 50% of a secondary unit’s rental income would be eligible to use for qualification. Canada’s largest mortgage insurer has now indicated that they will consider up to 100 percent of the gross rental income from (the subject property of a loan application) two-unit, owner-occupied properties.

CMHC has suggested this would target two unit owner-occupied homes and would likely include basement rental units, in-law apartments and garden suites known as laneway homes. They generally classify secondary units as “self-contained with separate kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities.”

The legality of the secondary suite is a key component. CMHC only recognizes units that are legal or conform to local municipal standards. The Crown Corporation says that it’s up to lenders to exercise judgment, when it comes to borrowers proving the units are legal.

Homeowners with less than a 20 per cent down payment and borrowing from a regulated financial institution must get government backed mortgage default insurance. Even financial institutions not regulated by Ottawa, like credit unions, must abide by CMHC rules to be covered by the government backing.

Questions? Call me at 306-341-3539. I’ll be happy to help.

Tawny Bley OneSt Mortgage (Assoc #316137)

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