Occupancy permit

Moving truck

An occupancy permit ensures that a building complies with the relevant bylaws and codes, and is safe for people to live in or to use.

An occupancy permit is required for

  • All new commercial and multi-family buildings
  • Buildings which have undergone a change of use
  • Buildings which have undergone major renovations 

An occupancy permit can be requested for

  • New one-family and two-family homes
  • Existing buildings (other than those described above), if you receive a special inspection first

Re-occupancy permits

If a building has been declared unsafe by the City, you will need to get a re-occupancy permit, not an occupancy permit, before you can live in or use the building.

The City is here to help

For specific information about your situation, contact the Occupancy Permit clerk directly. Our staff will help you determine which permits you need, and help navigate you through the process, so you can speak to your contractor with confidence.

Process and timeline

You can apply for an occupancy permit after your building permit has been issued, or after you have requested a special inspection.

  1. The first step of the process depends on the type of building you need a permit for:
    • New one-family and two-family homes: Fill in the occupancy permit application, and bring it to the occupancy clerk's office with the fee.
    • New commercial buildings, new multi-family buildings, buildings which have undergone a change of use, and buildings which have undergone tenant improvements: Fill in the form and submit it by regular mail, fax, email, or in person. 
  2. It will take at least three (3) weeks for your occupancy permit application to be processed. Once the application is processed, the permit will be mailed to you, unless you ask to pick it up or have it faxed to you.

Download an occupancy permit application


Type of occupancy permit Fee
New one- and two-family homes $87.00
New commercial buildings No charge
New multi-family buildings No charge
Buildings that have undergone major renovations No charge
Buildings that have undergone a change of use No charge

Tax is not charged on occupancy permits.

You pay the fee when you apply for the permit. You can pay by cash, cheque, credit card or debit card.

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More ways to contact us

Contact the Occupancy Clerk

2nd Floor, East Wing
2675 Yukon Street
(at W 11th Ave and Yukon St)

Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone: 604-873-7539

Fax: 604-873-7100


Did you know?

According to Statistics Canada, the City of Vancouver had more than 260,000 occupied dwellings in 2011.

This included apartments, row houses, semi-detached, and single detached buildings.

Last modified: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 21:19:26