Creative solutions for accommodation are always popular — and who’s not on the lookout for a good property investment. One of the most attractive options right now are secondary suites because of the flexible options they present.
Secondary suites are self-contained units that are detached from the main residency — such as a backyard unit, a laneway house, a basement suite or an above-garage unit.
Secondary suites are gaining acceptance across the country and laws are slowly catching up to reflect this new reality.
In Edmonton, for example, there are about 3,500 registered secondary suites this year. The city is expecting 1,600 additional suites in the coming years.
Now is an opportune moment to jump on the bandwagon of building rental suites.
Councils in cities across Canada from Calgary to Edmonton to Vancouver are paving the way to encourage landlords to pursue this option — but the incentives won’t last forever.
Back in August 20, 2018, the council approved the amendments of the zoning laws to expand secondary suite opportunities in semi-detached, duplex, and row houses. The requirements on the minimum lot size and location on where you can build your secondary suite have been relaxed.
If this is a direction you decide to head in, keep in mind certain safety measures to protect life and property.
For example, the unit has to have an interconnected smoke alarm, adequate fire separation and proper ceiling height and window sizes, and at least one emergency exit that leads directly outside.
In order for a suite to be legal, there are several steps that must be taken. There is the application, permits, construction and inspections, and the final building inspection. For more info, you can download the city’s secondary suite guide here.
All this means that NOW is the perfect moment to look into legalizing a secondary suite. It’s not a difficult or complicated process but there are several steps and the sooner you act, the sooner you can reap the benefits of a rental investment.