A secondary suite is a self-contained, accessory dwelling unit located within a single-detached house (sometimes referred to as a “basement suite”). It has a separate kitchen, sleeping, and bathing facilities. The suite must have at least one access door leading directly outside the suite. A secondary suite does not have a Certificate of Title and it cannot be stratified. A secondary suite will be assigned a separate address at the building permit.
To create a legal suite, you must obtain a Building Permit. As well, your property must be zoned to allow a secondary suite.
Review the Getting Started page for frequently asked questions and the potential benefits of accessory dwelling units.
Developing a Secondary Suite
Check out the City’s full Accessory Dwelling Unit How-To guide and creating legalizing a secondary suite information guide for more in-depth information.
The guide includes pre-planning considerations, including the steps involved to build n accessory dwelling unit, servicing feasibility, zoning bylaw regulations, design tips, getting your permits, useful resources, and questions to ask yourself when considering your future responsibilities as a landlord.
Contact the Development Department at 250-992-2111 and firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or are interested in discussing the possibility of a suite.
For questions regarding the Building Code, contact the Building Department at at 250-992-2111 and email@example.com.
If you own a rental property with two units and you do not live in one of the units OR if you own a rental property with more than two units, you must obtain an Accommodation Business License. To discuss what you may need before applying for a Business License, contact the Bylaw Department at 250-992-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is my Secondary Suite Legal?
You should contact Development Services at 250.992.2111 or email@example.com to determine if your suite was constructed with a permit and if not what your next steps are to ensure your suite meets the BC Building Code.
You should book a pre-inspection with the Building Department to determine the existing construction and materials needed to bring your suite back up to Code. To book a meeting contact the Building Department at 250-992-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the end of 2022, building permit fees will be waived to convert an illegal suites to a legal suite or create a new suite in the existing house. Following the two year grace period, there will be a surcharge added to permits for illegal suites that have not complied.