• Nathan Mol

Changes to Secondary Suite Rules

Updated: Sep 12, 2018

City Council voted on August 20 to allow secondary suites in single family homes on narrow lots and in semi-detached, duplex and row houses, effective immediately.


This is designed to “provide all neighbourhoods in Edmonton with a range of housing choices.” It is

also aimed at addressing the issue of poor-quality suites that do not meet building codes, posing danger to the residents.


The City’s report showed that McKernan already has the one of the highest percentages of secondary suites: 6% of single–detached houses in the community have a legal secondary suite (compared to 1.7% of single–detached houses across the city). The City also predicts

that between 10 and 19 suites might be added in semi-detached and duplex housing in McKernan.


Secondary suites will still not be permitted in apartments, boarding/lodging housing or a home with a major home-based business. A secondary suite will continue to require at least one off-street parking space.


A maximum of three unrelated people are permitted in a single-family home or in a secondary suite; more people than this makes the building a lodging house, which requires a development permit,

building permit, and rental accommodation business licence.


Any suites that are investigated by the City and found to not hold a valid development permit are subject to an initial fine of $1000, with increasing fines for ongoing offences.


Homeowners with existing, unpermitted suites now may apply for permits and become regulated; if they apply before September 1, 2019, the City will waive application penalty fees. Funding is also available to help homeowners cover construction costs to build a new suite, or upgrade an existing one.


More information is available at edmonton.ca/secondarysuites. The

site also allows tenants to check to see if a suite has the proper permits

in place before renting.

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