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Sep 08, 2016 Return to Headlines

Is Your Suite Legal?

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, September 8, 2016 – The City of Coquitlam is launching an education and awareness campaign for industry stakeholders involved in real estate transactions and for homeowners adding a suite to their current home or those purchasing a home with a secondary suite.

Coquitlam has specific criteria for its secondary suite program:

  • all secondary suites need building permits to be legal,
  • only one suite in a single family home is allowed,
  • no suites in multi-family buildings such as duplexes, townhouses or apartments are allowed, and
  • illegal suites need to be removed.

Coquitlam adopted a Secondary Suite program in 1999 and it is designed to balance the needs of the homeowner with the health and safety requirements that apply to all housing. The program recognizes that neighbourhoods must also be protected from potential negative impacts that unregulated suites may cause such as parking congestion and noise.

A legal suite complies with safety standards and can increase the value of a home.  Illegal suites may pose safety risks for all occupants of the home and can invalidate homeowners’ insurance and result in substantial bylaw fines and remediation costs.

In 2016, Coquitlam reviewed and simplified its enforcement approach for suites and supported that direction with funding for increased inspection workload.

For more information on the secondary suite program and a comprehensive brochure to guide homeowners through the permit process to legalize a secondary suite, please visit coquitlam.ca/secondarysuites.

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Media contact:

Stephanie James
Acting Director Legal & Bylaw Enforcement
P: 604-927-3092