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Inside an apartment suite with a kitchen, dining room, and living room

Create or legalize a secondary suite

What you need to know
What you need to know

COVID-19 update

The Development and Building Services Centre is currently closed except for those with an appointment or providing payment. Many services are available online, by phone, or by appointment. Our staff continue to process and review applications to help ensure businesses can continue to operate. Inspections continue daily with enhanced safety precautions.

Construction and COVID-19 safety from WorkSafe BC 

What is a secondary suite?

A secondary suite is an approved dwelling unit (with its own kitchen and living area as well as separate external access) within a larger one-family or two-family dwelling.

Secondary suites may share internal access with the main dwelling unit.

Add a new secondary suite to your home or legalize a secondary suite that was created without permits.

What you need to know:

  • A secondary suite cannot be strata titled
  • A third suite is not allowed under the Zoning and Development By-law
  • A duplex may have two suites; however, only one suite is allowed per primary dwelling unit
  • Secondary suites in duplexes or two-family homes are not approved in all zones
  • Secondary suites not approved through our permitting process are not legal dwelling units and not eligible for short- or long-term licences
  • A secondary suite must comply with all City by-laws prior to legalization (These items are usually addressed during the permit application phase.)

Are you creating a secondary suite as part of building a new house?  Review the steps to building a new house

Steps to creating or legalizing a secondary suite

PERMITS ISSUED IN 2020
for suites in newly constructed homes
PERMITS ISSUED IN 2020
for suites added to existing homes
PERMITS ISSUED IN 2019
for suites in newly constructed homes
PERMITS ISSUED IN 2019
for suites added to existing homes

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre

csg.enquirycentre@vancouver.ca

Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Transit nearby

  • Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station
  • 99 B-line, #15, and #9 buses

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot, 
between Cambie and Yukon

Permits, inspections, and forms

Apply for and manage permit

Review regulations and apply for the required permits for your construction or renovation project.

Inspections

Book or cancel an electrical, plumbing, building, fire sprinkler, gas, or sidewalk inspection for your construction or renovation project.

Forms, checklists, and bulletins

View and download the building or development permit application forms and submission requirements.