What are the benefits of legalizing my secondary suite?

There are numerous advantages to legalizing a secondary suite in your home. Most relate to the protection of your financial investment, but more importantly, the safety of your home’s occupants - both your family and your tenants:

  • Safety of occupants: You comply with a variety of safety standards designed to provide minimum levels of health and safety to occupants.
  • Adequate property and home insurance coverage: You can obtain the proper insurance coverage that will protect you in cases of emergencies and/or disasters caused by either a tenant or a member of your family.
  • Reduce neighbours’ complaints: You can provide adequately for your tenants so their impact on the neighbourhood is minimal; for example, providing parking (one space is a requirement) reduces street congestion.
  • Maintain your home’s value with potential to increase it: Legalizing your suite is often perceived as a value-add since work undertaken has been completed and inspected, and gains potential for supplemental income.
  • Avoid costly penalties: Upon complaint, the City will investigate whether a secondary suite is permissible and/or legal. A homeowner found with an illegal secondary suite will be required to legalize or remove the suite, and may be faced with bylaw compliance fine.