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Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

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Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby shaq » Aug 24th, 2012, 12:46 pm

Hi, I was wondering what you all think of having a basement suite in your home? Our neighbourhood has many and I see no issues. Several are being investigated and will be decommisioned (?) and have to pay to have it legal as per requirements. I am sure I heard that Kelowna was going to approve secondary suites due to the lack of affordable housing.
I am wondering where I can get this information. Thanks!
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby waterwings » Aug 24th, 2012, 1:15 pm

Secondary suites can fulfill a need in any community, however, many landlords only see the suite as $$$$$$ and make no renovations (sound, outdoor space,) to make the secondary suite a home. A friend lives in one.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby shaq » Aug 24th, 2012, 1:33 pm

I agree, just wondering if there is a way around the "law" and cash grab the city or regional districts want to decommission or make them legal. sometimes the owner needs extra moeny, in this economy and arent ripping people off. I am thinking about doing it and my suite is nice and bright clean and would be reasonable. my neighbours are being told they are illegal ..
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby grammafreddy » Aug 24th, 2012, 1:40 pm

It could be that safety and compliance with the building codes is what is prompting the city to force the issue of illegal suites. Many landlords ignore the codes and create fire and other hazardous issues. Building codes are there for a reason.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby keeny » Aug 24th, 2012, 7:56 pm

I believe a lot of "landlords" get nailed on one particular issue and that is there needs to be 2 readily accessible exits (unlockable from renter suite).
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby grammafreddy » Aug 24th, 2012, 8:01 pm

keeny wrote:I believe a lot of "landlords" get nailed on one particular issue and that is there needs to be 2 readily accessible exits (unlockable from renter suite).


Can one of those be a window or do they have to be doors?
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby dodgerdodge » Aug 24th, 2012, 9:53 pm

Call me stupid but why do we build such big houses in the first place? We build 2500 sq ft homes or bigger on 2 levels with way more room than the average family really needs so they convert the house and rent out downstairs. These homes are not cheap enough for one family to own so we end up with streets full of vehicles as each home that was originally designed for one family is now home to 2 families and all their stuff.
I haven't lived in other parts of Canada so don't know if this secondary suite thing is common across the provinces. Is it not possible to build sensible size housing for single families at a sensible cost?
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby grammafreddy » Aug 24th, 2012, 10:00 pm

dodgerdodge wrote:Call me stupid but why do we build such big houses in the first place? We build 2500 sq ft homes or bigger on 2 levels with way more room than the average family really needs so they convert the house and rent out downstairs. These homes are not cheap enough for one family to own so we end up with streets full of vehicles as each home that was originally designed for one family is now home to 2 families and all their stuff.
I haven't lived in other parts of Canada so don't know if this secondary suite thing is common across the provinces. Is it not possible to build sensible size housing for single families at a sensible cost?


Apparently not. Some people just gotta stuff a rolled-up sock in their pants.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby OnTheRoadAgain » Aug 25th, 2012, 9:42 am

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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby OnTheRoadAgain » Aug 25th, 2012, 9:45 am

I guess my sister is stuffing her bra with socks.
She has her daughter living in her basement suite, so is exempt from the illegal suite issue.
She is a single parent, and for her, to lose her home would be devastating so her daughter helps her out.
There is a lot of work to do to screen potential tenants, and if you don't do that work, you could find yourself in conflict with people who live in your home. Background checks and references are imperative.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby keeny » Aug 25th, 2012, 4:33 pm

grammafreddy wrote:
Can one of those be a window or do they have to be doors?

Pretty sure they have to be doors. You might be able to convince the Tenancy Branch or Zoning that a large, waist high window that opens enough for a human being to step through that it is an exit, but best of luck.

If you go down logan road, you'll see quite a few houses for sale, most of which were foreclosures. "They" hit that area hard, and did a sweep of the neighbor and cracked down on a large number of illegal suites. I believe the typical measure is to evict everyone, owner included.

Affordable housing would definitely help, and as someone else pointed out, lots of excessively large homes built with multi-levels and ridiculous price tags attached. Unless you're an alberta worker, or have a 40+$ an hour job here (LOL), good luck affording some of these suckers in Westbank.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby grammafreddy » Aug 25th, 2012, 4:37 pm

keeny wrote:
Affordable housing would definitely help, and as someone else pointed out, lots of excessively large homes built with multi-levels and ridiculous price tags attached. Unless you're an alberta worker, or have a 40+$ an hour job here (LOL), good luck affording some of these suckers in Westbank.


So does that take us back to this post... ?

dodgerdodge wrote:Call me stupid but why do we build such big houses in the first place? We build 2500 sq ft homes or bigger on 2 levels with way more room than the average family really needs so they convert the house and rent out downstairs. These homes are not cheap enough for one family to own so we end up with streets full of vehicles as each home that was originally designed for one family is now home to 2 families and all their stuff.
I haven't lived in other parts of Canada so don't know if this secondary suite thing is common across the provinces. Is it not possible to build sensible size housing for single families at a sensible cost?
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby gardengirl » Aug 25th, 2012, 8:54 pm

[quote="keeny"
Can one of those be a window or do they have to be doors?
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Pretty sure they have to be doors. You might be able to convince the Tenancy Branch or Zoning that a large, waist high window that opens enough for a human being to step through that it is an exit, but best of luck.

If you go down logan road, you'll see quite a few houses for sale, most of which were foreclosures. "They" hit that area hard, and did a sweep of the neighbor and cracked down on a large number of illegal suites. I believe the typical measure is to evict everyone, owner included.

Affordable housing would definitely help, and as someone else pointed out, lots of excessively large homes built with multi-levels and ridiculous price tags attached. Unless you're an alberta worker, or have a 40+$ an hour job here (LOL), good luck affording some of these suckers in Westbank.[/quote]

I don't think it has to be a door. Bedrooms must have an egress window. Apartments only have one door.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby Sn0man » Aug 25th, 2012, 9:07 pm

grammafreddy wrote:It could be that safety and compliance with the building codes is what is prompting the city to force the issue of illegal suites.

No, it's got more to do with the City wanting their cut.

Renters won't take a suite that isn't 'suitable' for them. Compliance with building codes is also an issue of $ for the city (permits etc) and not necessarily about safety.
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Re: Secondary Suites in West Kelowna

Postby graham2007 » Aug 26th, 2012, 8:47 am

I do beleive there are a lot of suites that may not be legal, but are perfectly safe, clean, and liveable. Having said that i also realize thats not always the case. So i am wondering why the city is going after everyone? Is this a money grab or do they not want affordable housing on the westside ?? Myself i had bought a house about 8 years ago now with a suite in it already, by todays standards if the suite had to be shut down i would be forced to sell my house as when i bought it i was counting on that suite income. Lucky me now i have family living in the whole house so there is no issues now, but cause its a duplex i was told could never be made into a legal suite. i wonder how many duplexes have suites in them, i know im not the only one..
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