Vancouver has a dire shortage of affordable rental housing and has an express mandate to increase the supply of such housing. So, shutting down basement suites seems counter-intuitive. However, a recent complaint brought to the city by a tenant is evidence that Vancouver is taking action to combat this issue.
Dangers of an illegal basement suite
If you are considering building a secondary suite in your home, it is important to understand that a basement suite is not an SOHO. This means that you need to follow certain regulations that apply to secondary suites, such as zoning regulations. The city of West Vancouver does not permit the building of an illegal basement suite.
Vancouver is a city with a severe shortage of housing, and it has an express mandate to provide more affordable rental housing. So, shutting down “illegal” basement suites seems counterintuitive. However, the City of Vancouver is actively investigating complaints of these suites.
Having an illegal basement suite can lead to serious problems. One recent case involved a woman named Carolyn Goss. She had to pay nearly half of her income to landlords who were absentee. She lived in four rental properties, and twice had her landlords evict her.
Aside from the legal implications of running an illegal suite, you risk losing your insurance coverage. This can result in fines and orders for you to stop operating the suite. Even worse, you may be unable to claim compensation from your insurance provider if an unexpected disaster occurs. Moreover, most policies require that you inform your insurer about any changes to the use of the property.
One of the most common mistakes that people make is adding a secondary suite to their home without determining if it is legal. The city requires owners to hire an inspector to check whether their suite is legal or not. This inspector will identify the main issues with the suite and give you advice on how to make it legal.
Benefits of legalizing an unauthorized basement suite
If you have an unauthorized basement suite, you should consider legalizing it. This process can have many benefits, including helping you qualify for a mortgage. If you qualify, you will have extra income and may be able to afford a bigger home. However, there are a few factors that need to be considered when making this decision. In Vancouver, secondary suites are classified as either unauthorized or authorized. According to the British Columbia Building Code, an authorized suite can only be 90 square metres in size and cannot occupy more than 40% of the habitable floor space of the home.
Another benefit of legalizing your basement suite is that you can avoid penalties for living in an unauthorized suite. Not only could you be fined by the city, but you may even be charged extra water and sewer fees for the suite. In addition, you might have to go through bylaw compliance proceedings.
Moreover, a legalized basement suite will increase the value of your home. This will decrease the cost of ownership and help you sell your primary residence more quickly. Furthermore, you can avoid any problems with neighbours or the City by legalizing the suite. Your property will be more valuable and more affordable once you get a legal basement suite.
Legalizing your basement suite will remove the barriers to building a secondary suite. You’ll no longer need a building permit for the secondary suite. The process is quick and easy. You can get the legalization of your suite in about a month. During the process, you can also save a lot of money on construction costs and fees. And remember, if you are going to hire a general contractor, make sure the work is compliant with all laws and regulations.
Before you can start the process of legalizing your suite, you should consider the legal requirements in your area. First of all, it’s important to make sure that your suite meets fire safety standards. This means that it should have smoke alarms and other safety measures. In addition, it should have proper plumbing and electrical systems. Next, you should contact the city of Vancouver to ensure compliance with building codes and zoning bylaws.
Impact of legalizing an unauthorized basement suite on home ownership
There are many advantages to legalizing an unauthorized basement suite. In addition to adding value to your property, it will make your house more affordable. It will also provide you with adequate insurance coverage and parking. You’ll also have a better chance of attracting potential buyers.
However, it’s important to keep in mind the disadvantages of legalizing an unauthorized basement suite. The process can be costly. You could be charged extra for water and sewer services, and you could be subjected to bylaw compliance proceedings. Lastly, you’ll have to disclose the suite to the city.
However, legalizing an unauthorized basement suite can be a better solution for both homeowners and tenants. Many basement suites in New York City are unsafe and unprotected. In fact, last year alone, 11 people drowned in basement apartments in New York City. This is why AARP New York supports legislation that would make them safe. Albany should promote the creation of safe accessory dwelling units in owner-occupied homes statewide.
The BASE Coalition, a coalition of community organizations that advocate for basement apartments, formed in 2006. The group released a report in 2008 entitled “New York’s Housing Underground” that listed the problems and suggested solutions. Since then, the coalition’s demands have evolved but have remained similar.
Legitimately legalizing unauthorized basement suites in New York will help alleviate the housing shortage and stabilize affordable housing in the city. It will also provide the opportunity for homeowners to improve their homes. Moreover, it will enable seniors on fixed incomes to age in place.
Cost of legalizing an unauthorized basement suite
Legalizing an unauthorized basement suite in West Vancouver can be a tricky process. It takes time and money to get everything done. There are several requirements that homeowners must meet. First, they need to have their suites inspected. Inspectors with the Secondary Suite program will assess the property and give advice regarding the suit’s compliance. In some cases, homeowners may be subject to bylaw compliance proceedings if they have an unlicensed suite.
Another benefit of legalizing your suite is that it can help to increase your home’s value. A legal suite comes with a variety of benefits, such as adequate insurance coverage, adequate parking, and reduced neighbour complaints. Legalizing your suite will also reduce the cost of home ownership by allowing you to rent out your space legally.
Legalizing an unauthorized basement suite in West Vancouver is a complicated process that will require a lot of paperwork. Once you have completed the paperwork, you will have to pay a fee. You should expect to pay a few hundred dollars. You will also need to spend a lot of time working with a lawyer who will help you with the process.
It’s not easy to find a lawyer who will handle this process. Fortunately, there are a number of legal services in the area. These specialists can help you get a legal basement suite in West Vancouver. Once you’ve paid the fees, you’ll be ready to apply for legalization.
The city of Ottawa should stop shutting down new basement suites. Their conflicting objectives are confusing and wasteful, and they are not doing their customers any favors by shutting down newly constructed units. This practice is causing confusion, and it’s not worth the money and time.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.