Build and legalize your basement or secondary suite
Building more rental suites is an excellent way to reduce our carbon footprint, and expand affordable housing choices.
To accommodate this, the City now permits suites in every detached single-family home in Vancouver within the RS, RM, and RT zones.
Council has also relaxed a number of building codes to make creating rental suites easier. For instance, they have:
- Reduced ceiling height requirements
- Relaxed sprinkler system requirements
- Permitted full basements, to accommodate more functional, liveable basement suites
Learn about the permit, inspection, and approval process
If you would like to add a new secondary suite to your house – or keep an existing suite that was created without permits – start by reviewing the Secondary Suite Guide.
The guide explains the steps to create or legalize your suite, what the requirements are, and the fees you can expect to pay.
Learn what you need to install or approve a suite with a special inspection
To add a rental suite to your home or get an unpermitted suite approved for use, apply for a special inspection.
A City inspector will come to your home, examine your space, and explain the upgrades or changes you will need to make in order to create your legal, conforming suite.
Apply for a special inspection
- Download the application form (70 KB)
- Bring the form and special inspection fee in person to the Development and Building Services Centre (see contact on this page). You can pay the fee by credit card, debit card, cheque, and cash. Make cheques payable to City of Vancouver.
Special inspection fee
$174.30 (includes GST, effective January 1, 2015)