Secondary suites offer many benefits to the community by providing different and more affordable housing options to residents. All existing and new secondary suites must conform to municipal bylaws and provincial standards for public health and safety.
As of May 2013, all secondary suites, existing or newly constructed, are required to have a Secondary Suite Licence. A Building Permit is required to ensure the secondary suite has been inspected and can be licenced accordingly. For application requirements, visit tol.ca
Secondary Suite Construction Requirements
Your request for a secondary suite will be considered if it meets all the following criteria:
principal dwelling is owner occupied
only one suite being constructed
suite must be located in the single family dwelling, not in a detached building
suite cannot exceed 90m² (968 sq ft) of finished living area, not including common areas
suite cannot exceed 40% of the total living floor space of the building, not including the garage
minimum ceiling height shall not be less than 2.0m (6’6”)
suite cannot be subdivided from the building under the Strata Property Act
suite is not permitted in a townhouse or multi-family unit including the R-CL (CH), (RH), or (MH) zones
Note: It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure all work in the construction of a secondary suite complies with the Part 9 Housing and Small Buildings requirements for secondary suites from the current edition of the BC Building Code and all other applicable Township of Langley bylaws, policies, and enactments.
Obtaining a Secondary Suite Licence
When a secondary suite has received an accepted final inspection in conjunction with a Building Permit, a Secondary Suite Licence must be obtained through the Township’s Permit, Licence, and Inspection Services Department. There is an annual licence fee of $350, plus an annual utility fee of 30% of the current rate for applicable water/sewer charges. The utility fees will be included on your Property Tax Statement.
Existing Authorized Secondary Suites
If you have an existing authorized secondary suite where a Building Permit application was submitted prior to March 5, 2013, the annual licence fee will be reduced. By obtaining a Secondary Suite Licence prior to December 31, 2013, the annual fee will be reduced to $175 per year for 3 years (if the house is sold within 3 years, the full fee will apply to the new owners). Additionally, utility fees will be deferred to the 2014 Property Tax Statement.
Family-Occupied Secondary Suites
Owners can request an exemption for secondary suites occupied by family members where there is no income or revenue generated from the secondary suite. A Statutory Declaration must be completed outlining specific information to obtain a reduced annual licence fee ($175) and utility fees exemption. The secondary suite is still subject to the requirements of a Building Permit and obtaining an accepted final inspection before occupancy.
Existing Authorized Suite Removal
Owners choosing not to licence an existing authorized secondary suite must apply for a Building Permit to decommission or remove the suite. There is no charge for this permit; however, an inspection is required to confirm removal of the secondary suite.
Unauthorized Secondary Suites Penalties
Unauthorized secondary suites are a contravention of Township bylaws. Owners will be subject to fines and/or other enforcement action, including fines up to $500 per day. Furthermore, a notice may be placed on the property tax information sheet which may affect the resale, refinancing, or sale of the property.
Submitting a Complaint for an Unauthorized Secondary Suite
Written complaints are accepted by the Township’s Permit, Licence, and Inspection Services Department at the Civic Facility. Complaints are handled in date order.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a secondary suite? A secondary suite is a separate residential unit within a home; it is generally located in the basement and is significantly smaller than the dwelling. The suite can be a maximum size of 90m2 (968 sq ft) of total floor space.
Can I put a secondary suite in my house? Properties must be reviewed for compliance with Township bylaws, policies, and enactments where applicable to determine if a secondary suite is permitted. Contact the Permit, Licence, and Inspection Services Department at 604.533.6018 to confirm if a building permit can be issued.
How can I determine if a house has an authorized secondary suite? Prospective renters and homebuyers can determine if a secondary suite has been inspected and received an accepted final inspection by contacting the Permit, Licence, and Inspection Services Department at 604.533.6018. The property address is required for this search.
Can a single family home have multiple suites? No, the Township’s Zoning Bylaw only permits one secondary suite per single family home.
What if I don’t get a Secondary Suite Licence for my secondary suite? Owners who do not obtain a Secondary Suite Licence will be subject to fines and/or other enforcement action including fines up to $500 per day. Furthermore, a notice may be placed on the property tax information sheet which may affect the resale, refinancing, or sale of the property.
More Information: Permit, Licence, and Inspection Services Department 20338 – 65 Avenue, Langley V2Y 3J1 604.533.6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org