Secondary Suites

What is a secondary suite?

A secondary suite is a separate living area contained within a single family dwelling and functions as a self-contained living unit.

Can I have a secondary suite in my home?

The City of Courtenay Zoning Bylaw regulates the zones (locations within the City) that allow secondary suites. Not all properties in the City of Courtenay are zoned to allow for secondary suites.  Please confirm the zoning of the property before planning any alterations or applying for a building permit.

Do I need a building permit to put a secondary suite in my home?

A building permit [PDF - 136 KB] must be applied for and approved  by a City of Courtenay Building Official for a secondary suite prior to installation. The purpose of the building permit is to ensure that all health and safety requirements have been met.

What if I purchased a home with an illegal suite (unauthorized suite)?

If you have purchased a home with an illegal suite, an application must be made to ensure that the suite meets building code for safety compliance and zoning requirements. The suite should not be rented out until an approved building permit has been finalized with the City of Courtenay.

What if my property is not zoned to allow for a secondary suite?

Application for a Zoning Amendment can be made though the Planning Division. Contact Planning Division staff for a consultation.

How do I decommission a suite?

You will require a building permit to decommision a suite. Decommisioning a suite involves: permenantly removing all cooking facilities, removing spatial separations and completing a Statutory Declaration confirming that the suite has been removed from the property and that it will not be inhabited or rented as a secondary suite.

Decommissioning a Secondary Suite Information Handout [PDF - 119 KB]

More information: