Tenant Improvement Permit System (TIPs)

For lease sign

The Tenant Improvement Permit System (TIPs) is an alternative permit-issuing process for renovation projects which require a building permit or a development-building permit.

The TIPs list of eligible buildings and/or spaces was updated to reflect the changes from the 2007 Building bylaw to the 2014 Building bylaw.

TIPs Eligibility

Eligible spaces include non-residential and non-assembly spaces within buildings constructed under the 1999 - 2014 building bylaws.

Eligible buildings are buildings constructed under these building bylaws that also have commercial spaces eligible for the TIPs process. This includes residential buildings with commercial spaces, known as "mixed use" buildings.

  • View a list of buildings and spaces recognized by the City as being eligible for the TIPs process. It will be updated to include new construction projects under the 2014 Building bylaw.
  • Submit all enquiries about TIPs eligibility in writing to the Building Inspections Branch,

Older building may become eligible for the TIPs process by fulfilling the following requirements to the satisfaction of the Chief Building Official:

  • Qualified consultants must demonstrate that the building current complies with the F4, S4, N4, A4, and E4 levels of upgrades as defined by Part 11 of the 2014 Building Bylaw.
  • The reports are to be submitted by email to the Building Inspections Branch.
  • These reports will be reviewed by the Building Inspections Branch, and you will be contacted directly, as necessary, to make a final determination for TIPs eligibility.

Not eligible?

Renovation projects not eligible for the TIPs process may need to follow the field review process.

Need assistance?

For information specific to the proposed project on your property, call the Development and Building Services Centre at 604-873-7611. Our staff will help you determine which permits you need, and help you navigate through the process, so you can speak to your contractor with confidence.

TIPs projects are required to comply with the energy requirements of the Vancouver Building Bylaw. Learn about these requirements and exemptions in step 4.

Process and timelines

  1. Confirm your building is on the Tenant Improvement Permit System list:
  2. Review the TIPs Application checklist (142 KB)
  3. Prepare these forms:
  4.  Review the energy requirements for TIPs projects and how to submit energy documents  (131 KB) 
     Beginning January 11, 2016, all renovation projects (TIPs and Field Review) will require the energy documentation to be submitted, in hardcopy format, at the building permit application stage.
  5. Book an appointment to submit your application. Phone the Development and Building Services Centre at 604-873-7611.
    • If the building does not qualify, we will refer your application to the standard permit-issuing process.
  6. Have your building professional or contractor prepare the relevant energy forms in step 4.
  7. We review your application, and if everything is in order, we will:
  8. Request a site meeting with your inspector by phoning 3-1-1 (or outside Vancouver,
    • Learn more about requesting and cancelling an inspection
  9. At your site inspection, the inspector brings your drawings and either issues the permit immediately or discusses any deficiencies and further instructions.
    • The length of the appointment varies depending on the amount of work and what the inspector observes.
    • Where appropriate, the inspector may also add conditions to your permit.


Inspection fees are included in the cost of the Building Permit or Development-Building Permit.