What Are The Requirements For A Legal Or Authorized Suite In Nanaimo?

What Are The Requirements For A Legal Or Authorized Suite, Nanaimo Real Estate

I am usually working for a few client who are looking for a home with an authorized suite In Nanaimo or would like to authorize or legalize an existing suite.  In the city of Nanaimo there are many different types of suites; legal, illegal, authorized, unauthorized and those flying under the radar of the city.

The first thing I do when looking at a potential home for my client is go to the description of the property on the assessment.  This will say either single family or single family + basement suite.  This tells me the city is aware of the suite and usually the seller is paying double user rates, in this case the city may look at the property in the future to request the seller to authorize the suite or shut it down.  If a suite is authorized usually the Listing Agent will put that in the comments on their listing.  Knowing what the status is really is the first step.

Requirements for a Legal or authorized suite in Nanaimo.

The city has certain requirements to authorize an existing suite.  Starting with a construction permit, here are some of the requirements;

  • the ceiling height must be a minimum of 2 meters or 78 ¾ inches
  • there must be an independent heating source for the suite
  • hardwired smoke detectors between the suite and the main part of the home
  • fire rated drywall on the ceiling and fire door between the suite and the main home
  • maximum of 968 square feet
  • maximum 2 bedrooms and an extra parking space

If you are putting in a new suite, and wanting to legalize that suite there are more stringent requirements through the city and a permit for each step of the construction process needs to be obtained through the City of Nanaimo.

As the prices of homes go up in Nanaimo the more attractive a suite becomes for most buyers.  If you would like a copy of the requirements for suites in Nanaimo you can go to their website www.nanaimo.ca, under Secondary Suites for their full requirements click here.


I specialize in Secondary Suites in Nanaimo and if you are looking for a REALTOR® to help you find the best property for a suite please call or text me at (250) 619-1220 for a list of ideas and potential options.