Calgary Renews Push for Secondary Suites

by | Sep 14, 2015 | Rental Property Management Tips

tenant screeningCalgary officials announced that the city is temporarily waiving certain requirements and fees associated with permitting secondary suites.

These rentals, located within existing homes, may help to alleviate the shortage of housing within the city, while providing an opportunity for homeowners to earn extra income.

The new program will waive one step in the process, and in turn, make secondary suite approval a little faster and less expensive for Calgary property owners. Cliff De Jong, Special Project Coordinator with Planning, Development and Assessment at The City explains, “This permit exemption can save homeowners an estimated $2,200 in associated fees and weeks in approval time by moving them right to the Building Permit application step.”

However, the city will waive the Development Permit application and fee only for properties that already have the proper zoning for secondary suites and meet all the requirements of the Land Use Bylaw. This summer, City Council failed to pass a measure that would have eased zoning restrictions and simplified the process for secondary suites in some of the most crowded areas of the city.

While current restrictions will limit many property owners from applying for secondary suite approval, the waiver of the Development Permit process likely will fast-track thousands of others.

Officials have indicated that they hope the overture will encourage those owners with illegal secondary suites to come forward and finish the process and bring those units up to standards. “Secondary suite owners are accountable to provide residents a safe place to live, which enables them to escape in the event of an emergency, like a fire,” says De Jong. “The Development Permit exemption simplifies the application process for eligible candidates, which we hope will encourage the development of more safe secondary suites in the city.”

Bureaucracy is not the only challenge landlords face when converting rooms into secondary suites. Learning the basics for property management, like how to screen tenants and ensure tenant safety, are crucial steps in the process.

The exemption program is set to expire on March 3, 2017.

To learn more, visit or contact The City’s Planning Services Call Centre (403.268.5311).

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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