Charlottetown hopes new rules make accessory apartments safer

Charlottetown residents have started taking advantage of new rules around what are known as accessory apartments, small units built into private homes, says the city.

Officials believe there are hundreds of illegal apartments in the city

Charlottetown plans to create a registry of accessory apartments. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Charlottetown residents have started taking advantage of new rules around what are known as accessory apartments — small units built into private homes — says the city.

The new rules allow people who own a single detached home to create an apartment within their existing building with up to two bedrooms and as large as 861 square feet. The minimum rental period is 30 days.

For Coun. Greg Rivard, chair of the planning committee, the key change is the safety regulations.

"There's lots of illegal apartments in town. We just want to make sure that they're safe," said Rivard.

"There is a bunch and we're hoping that this gives an avenue for those folks to be able to come in [and] register with us, become part of the registry,"

Coun. Greg Rivard said safety is his main concern. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

The registry is still being set up. Officials believe there are currently more than 500 illegal apartments in the city.

Since the new bylaw passed last October, two applications for accessory apartments have been approved, with three in progress.

Rivard said he hopes to the have the registry up and running soon.

The city is in talks with the provincial government about short term rentals, said Rivard, and he hopes the city will have some new rules around those in place before the summer.

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With files from Island Morning

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