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legal illegal suite calgary

Calgary was clamping down on illegal rental suites long before the Globe and Mail filed a report on May 9, 2018. This recalled the story of a Calgary builder who built a dozen ‘[rental] suites’ on client properties. However, when he purchased a bungalow in the Glamorgan neighbourhood, he found the basement unit in awful condition.

“The plumbing was atrocious, the electrical was dangerous and most of the windows had fire-safety issues,” he told Globe and Mail. “I imagine a lot of people will take advantage of the new rules.” These new rules are a two-year amnesty for Calgary home landlords to literally get their houses in order, by meeting building codes and hence becoming legal.


Will Fixing an Inconsistent System Lead to a Building Boom?


Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi condemned the old process homeowners had to endure as “political, inconsistent in its results, and often created an incentive for applicants to tell emotional stories.” That’s stories where they had to disclose personal details in order to convince council to support their application.

Homeowners may be able to increase their rentals by 15% by going legal, now the barrier is down according to the Calgary builder. However, the cost of making good can be surprisingly high. This is yet another reason to find an honest broker when seeking to purchase a new home.


More Interesting Facts about Legal and Illegal Suites


Historically-legal suites were built according to the rules, and met requirements after perhaps needing a relaxation of the development permit. Illegal suites sometimes referred to as ‘mother in law suites’ bypassed this system, and may or may not have met building standards.

There’s a third category called ‘non-conforming’. These met the requirements at the time of construction, and had the applicable building permit. However the rules changed since then, and they no longer conform. Therefore they need some or other upgrade during the two-year amnesty that ends in June 2020.


How Calgary Home Buyers Could Ensure They Are Safe


A responsible realtor or real estate broker should check the legality of a property before offering it for sale. They should also reduce the sale price by the cost of making any deficiencies good, especially if they valued the property using the comparison method. Always ask your agent for proof of doing this.

You can write to Stonegate Equity anytime for more advice, or to view details of our legal homes for sale in Calgary.

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