What Is An Authorized Suite in Nanaimo?

Real Estate Agent with Royal Lepage Nanaimo Realty

What Is An Authorized Suite in Nanaimo?

Nanaimo is such a popular location almost year-around that many savvy homeowners create secondary suites as short-term vacation rentals.

Doing this brings in some extra income, helps defray the monthly mortgage and also gives you a chance to meet new people from around the country and the world.

City of NanaimoHowever, there's a right way and a wrong way to set up your secondary suite and today I wanted to discuss just what an 'Authorized Suite' is.

First, the bad news.  If you've got a secondary suite that was constructed before 2005 it's going to be considered illegal by the City of Nanaimo.  

Now the good news.  As long as you're in a zone (check with the City to find out for sure) that allows for secondary suites you'll be able to make your suite 'legal' by getting a permit from the City - current cost about $500- and having a BC Building Code inspection done that will address any visible building standards and life-and-safety issues, things like fire detection and safe exiting.

Because an existing suite has already been built the City of Nanaimo inspector won't be able to view the underlying work to be sure that it complies with current building codes, so a notice will be placed on your title that alerts potential future buyers and lenders to the fact that a building permit was not obtained and that the full required inspections were not done.

After this, it's possible to apply to the City to have the notice removed.  The building inspector from Nanaimo will inspect the land, building and structure to verify that all requirements have been met.

Now that you now what an Authorized Suite is, stay tuned for my next post where we discuss what a "Legalized Suite" is.



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