It’s official.  The City of Kelowna will no longer get excited about your illegal… I mean NON-CONFORMING basement suite.

An excerpt from about the significant changes:

“A secondary suite is a dwelling unit contained within a single family house, that has a kitchen, bathroom, living area and its own off-street parking stall.

Recent changes to the process now does not require property owners of a suite to have a business license.  Secondary suites are now allowed in most residential zones without needing to rezone the property including Quail Ridge, Tower Ranch, Kettle Valley, the City’s hillside zones and bareland stratas.  It should be noted that Bareland strata’s have the ability to restrict suites within their own bylaws should they so choose.

Suites are still prohibited in the Gallagher’s Canyon neighbourhood and the adjacent Eastwood subdivision.

A secondary suite must have an occupancy permit issued by the City to have legal status.”

I have heard quite the rumbling about these new changes.  Some feel that this will flood inadequate parking stalls. Others think it is needed with the Kelowna rental vacancies sitting at less then 1%!!!

My thoughts:  90% of basement suites in the greater Kelowna area for years have been “non-conforming” for years.  No doubt this will help encourage home owners to rethink there investment strategies and produce some new rental properties, but it will not be as dramatic as some predict.

People need a place to live.  That is affordable.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with raising the rental vacancy percentage rate slightly.  This will at least give tenants an opportunity to actually “shop” for a place, and not get kicked out every 3 months of their lives because the homeowner thinks it is time to sell.  Maybe home owners will need to be more competitive and step up their game?  Actually fix something when its broken, or better yet… put flooring on the ground for their tenants.

Whatever the case is, it wont be a dramatic change.  The City of Kelowna is on the right track implementing this, and I hope to hear more and more that people can find a place live in this beautiful City.

Let us know what you think!  Hey, we’ve been wrong before!

Would you like to have your basement suite conform to the City of Kelowna’s standards?  Check out their checklist.  Or better yet,  contact us for a free consultation using our purchase plus improvements mortgage and renovation contractors!