Guide to Residential Suites Now Available

Release date: 
June 4, 2020

To assist homeowners with building safe and legal residential suites, the City has developed a user-friendly Guide to Residential Suites. The guide includes information on the types of suites, where they are permitted, zoning and parking regulations, the process to build a new suite or to legalize an existing one, and answers to commonly asked questions.

In addition, a Residential Suite Registry map shows the location of legal residential suites (suites constructed under a building permit and in accordance with zoning regulations). Homeowners with a legal residential suite can use this tool to stand out in the rental market. Tenants looking for places to rent can use the map to see if a suite is legal and built to BC Building Code requirements under a building permit.

These educational materials, along with a technical guide of construction requirements for secondary suites and links to other resources, can be found on the new Residential Suites webpage at Kamloops.ca/ResidentialSuites.

Residential suites contribute to the city’s rental housing stock and can act as mortgage helpers by making home ownership more attainable. Suites built to BC Building Code standards under a building permit help to protect the health and safety of homeowners and tenants, and suites built in accordance with zoning regulations help to minimize their impact on neighbourhoods. Residential suites also help increase density in an efficient and sustainable way by making use of existing services and infrastructure.

Secondary suites and garden suites (one-storey accessory residential dwellings) are permitted on single-family lots that meet zoning requirements in most urban residential areas, in accordance with the City’s Zoning Bylaw.