2.3.3 Secondary Suites
A secondary suite could be a basement suite, laneway house, or other unit that is on the same property as a residential house. You may have heard about “illegal suites” or “unregistered suites”. These terms refer to secondary suites that do not comply with zoning and bylaw requirements, or haven’t been registered with the municipality.
It is very important to understand that illegal or unregistered suites are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act. That being said, it is not ideal to be living in one, and issues may arise if the municipality becomes aware of the suite. This can sometimes happen when disputes with neighbours turn into complaints to the municipality, or if the tenant goes to the municipality seeking help with repair or maintenance concerns.
When a municipality discovers an illegal suite, they may decide to shut it down. If this is the case, you will be given a One Month Eviction Notice, and the landlord will most likely not be responsible for paying your moving costs. For more information on illegal or unregistered suites, contact your City Hall.