In June 2018, the City of Calgary announced a two year amnesty program to bring thousands of illegal secondary suites across the city into compliance. City council approved this amnesty program in hopes of legalizing more secondary suites in the city. One of the purposes of these secondary suite applications is to ensure illegal suites meet current safety codes. Calgarians can complete the application process online, without attendance at City Hall. Rezoning by the City is no longer required as part of the application. The deadline is June 1, 2020.
A secondary suite is a single family dwelling unit contained within the main residence, that includes bathroom, kitchen, sleeping and living space, these are often basement suites. A backyard suite (aka in-law suite) is detached from the main residence, and could include a garage suite, garden suite or lane-way home. The benefits of these suites includes the ability to earn rental income, or increasing the value of your home.
To encourage compliance, fees are waived (up to $900) until May 31, 2020. Failure to register before June 1, 2020 could result in fines. The City of Calgary website has useful information on this topic:
BEING A BYLAW OF THE CITY OF CALGARY TO ESTABLISH A REGISTRY OF SECONDARY SUITES AND BACKYARD SUITES
What is the secondary suite registry?
The secondary suite registry is an online, searchable list identifying legal and safe secondary suites in Calgary. These suites have been registered and inspected to meet Alberta’s safety code requirements. View the suite registry bylaw and go to www.secondarysuites.calgary.ca to view the registry.
Legalize an existing secondary suite
If you have an existing secondary suite (built before March 12, 2018), this is the right page for you. If your suite was built after March 12, 2018, please visit Build a new secondary suite.
We’re waiving up to $900 in fees until May 31, 2020
There’s no better time to legalize your existing suite. We’re waiving the development permit and secondary suite registry fees until May 31, 2020. For existing secondary suites, the building permit fee is a flat rate of $202.
What’s changing in 2020?
In June 2020, we will reinstate fees for the development permit ($471) and suite registry ($232).
Starting in June 2020, all secondary suites (regardless of construction date) will need to comply with the National Building Code – 2019 Alberta edition. The most notable change is that homes with a secondary suite will need to have a dedicated heating source, such as a furnace, for each unit. All secondary and backyard suites must be on our suite registry by May 31, 2020 in order to avoid fines. Please contact us if you have any questions about secondary and backyard suites.