If your suite was built without building or plumbing permits and you do not want to legalize it, you can remove the suite and take advantage of this space for your own personal use. You may still require building and plumbing permits for any work that was done to your home after it was originally built. If you are unsure if your secondary suite or basement finish is legal, please email the Building Division. If you have a legal secondary suite and no longer wish to rent it out, you can decommission it. The benefits to you are the additional space available for your personal use and that you will no longer be charged the 40% tax surcharge that was added to your utility bill.
Important: Ensure fire safety standards in the bedroom or sleeping area of the decommissioned suite meet current standards. The requirement for smoke alarms is mandatory in homes built after December 1981, and is strongly recommended in all homes irrespective of age.
You must apply for suite removal by December 31 to qualify for an adjustment in the next year.
Choose from one of the following options to remove a secondary suite:
- Option 1: Remove Cooking Facilities
- This option involves removing all types of cooking facilities.
- Obtain a gas or electrical permit from the Technical Safety BC (TSBC) for the removal of a stove.
- Remove the stove and terminate all associated gas piping or wiring at the wall.
- Call the Technical Safety BC Inspector for inspection.
- Once approved by Technical Safety BC, fill out the Suite Removal Form (PDF), and submit it to Building Permits Counter at City Hall or email to Building Permits.
- Option 2: Remove Locks to Create One Dwelling
- The unauthorized suite has to be permanently open and accessible to the rest of the house.
- Remove the locks from doors between the suite and main dwelling. If a door does not connect the suite and the main dwelling unit, a passageway between the two units must be established.
- Fill out the Suite Removal Form (PDF) and submit it to Building Permits Counter at City Hall or email Building Permits.