Buying Homes with Suites

In Nanaimo there are many different types of suites. Legal, authorized and unauthorized suites are all common in the Nanaimo area. A legal suite would be considered the most desirable. With legal suites, every stage of the building process is inspected by the City inspectors for confirmation it has been built to the BC Building Code, until the occupancy of the home. What should you look for when buying homes with suites?

Buyer be informed when buying homes with suites

There are also many suites that are unauthorized in Nanaimo.  This means the owners have built the suite on their own and without permits or following the building code.  These types of suites can be at risk for loss of income.  The reason for this is that the City requires certain safety features in order to qualify and must go through a permit process to authorize an existing suite.  These safety features are ¾ inch fire rated drywall between the main part of the home and the suite, interconnecting smoke detectors, and a maximum of 968 square feet.  For a full list of conditions you can visit

Authorized suites

Authorized suites are preferable over unauthorized suites because it removes the risk of being shut down by the City. Unauthorized suites will likely have a “bylaw contravention” notice on the title to the home, notifying potential buyers that the City has not approved the construction of the suite. Most lenders will not allow the use of the income towards mortgage qualification to the degree that a legal suite would be able to. [su_divider size=”1″]

Click here to view our properties for sale.  Need more information about a proper you are interested in? Contact us at (250) 751-1223.