For Homeowners

In today’s economy, every bit of extra cash can help. With the legalization of secondary suites in Richmond, more and more home owners are discovering the economic and social benefits of creating a secondary suite or carriage house.

Secondary suites have many advantages.  For homeowners, they are a mortgage helper. For seniors on a fixed income, renting out a secondary suite may help them remain in their home longer.  For tenants, they may offer an affordable rent and access to amenities which may not be available elsewhere. For the community, secondary suites increase density where affordable housing is needed without drastically changing neighbourhoods.

Homeowners play a key role in providing affordable housing in Richmond. Creating more rental stock in Richmond will help meet growing demand. Setting affordable rent can help you build a relationship with a long-term tenant you can rely on, and help a tenant save money.

Zoning bylaws in the City of Richmond now allow for a single secondary suite in a single family dwelling. The secondary suite must be completely enclosed within the same building as the dwelling unit and not in a detached accessory building. The secondary suite must be incidental and integrated with the dwelling unit so as not to externally appear as a separate unit. To be legal, the secondary suite must be inspected and upgraded as required to meet building code requirements. Our resource section provides links to information that will help you.

It should be noted that some houses in Richmond built during the 1960s and 1970s were constructed under a Land Use Contract (Bylaw 1430) which does not allow for secondary suites, despite the recent zoning enacted by City Council. If you are concerned that your home may be effected by the Land Use Contract, you should check with the Permits Department before you proceed with plans to build a secondary suite. Call 604-276-4285.