Legal Suites in Calgary - What You Need to Know

Legal Suites in Calgary - What You Need to Know

If you're considering renting out a legal suite in Calgary, there are a few things you need to know. First and foremost, all secondary suites in Calgary must be registered with the city. This is true whether the suite is registered as a separate dwelling unit or not.

Secondly, all secondary suites must comply with the Alberta Building Code and all other applicable legislation.

Lastly, when it comes to renting out legal suites in Calgary, you'll need to make sure you have the proper insurance in place.

The Process of Registering a Secondary Suite

In order to register a secondary suite in Calgary, you'll first need to submit an application to the City of Calgary. This can be done online or in person at the city's Land Use Planning & Permitting Centre.

Once your application has been received and reviewed, you'll be asked to pay a fee of $385. Once the fee has been paid, your application will go before City Council for approval. 

As part of the application process, you'll be required to provide several documents, including:

  • A completed Secondary Suite Application Form
  • Two sets of detailed floor plans for the proposed secondary suite
  • A Site Plan indicating the location of the proposed secondary suite on the property
  • An Owner Authorization Form (if someone other than the property owner will be submitting the application on their behalf)
  • A Development Permit Area Map (if your property is located within a development permit area) 


Once your application has been approved by City Council, you'll be issued a Certificate of Compliance. This certificate must be prominently displayed in your secondary suite at all times. 

Complying with Legislation

All secondary suites in Calgary must comply with both the Alberta Building Code and all other relevant legislation, such as the Fire Code, Plumbing Code, and Electrical Code.

In addition, all secondary suites must have smoke alarms installed on every level and carbon monoxide detectors installed outside all sleeping areas. 

It's important to note that any changes made to an existing secondary suite (including renovations) must also comply with all applicable legislation. This includes obtaining any necessary permits prior to beginning any work.

Failing to do so could result in having to undo any changes that have been made—and could even result in fines or legal action being taken against you. 

Renting Out Your Suite

If you're planning on renting out your legal suite in Calgary, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. It's important that you screen all prospective tenants carefully before making any decisions.

This includes running a credit check and verifying their employment status. You should also require that all tenants provide references from previous landlords (if applicable). 

In addition, it's important that you have a well-written lease agreement in place before renting out your suite. This agreement should outline expectations on both sides and should be signed by both parties before occupancy begins.

Moreover, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in place before renting out your space—you don't want to be held liable if something goes wrong! 

How to Legalize a Secondary Suite in Calgary?

A secondary suite is a self-contained living unit within a house or a secondary building on a property, such as a coach house, garage conversion, or basement suite.

Secondary suites can provide additional income or housing opportunities for families and individuals. If you're considering adding a secondary suite to your home in Calgary, there are a few things you need to know about the process.


  1. The first step is to check with The City of Calgary to see if your property is zoned for a secondary suite. You can do this by visiting the city's website or by calling 311.
  2. Once you've confirmed that your property is zoned for a secondary suite, you'll need to apply for a development permit. The application can be found on the city's website.
  3. If your application is approved, you'll need to obtain a building permit before beginning any construction work. The building permit application can also be found on the city's website.
  4. Once construction is complete, you'll need to have the suite inspected by The City of Calgary before it can be occupied. You can schedule an inspection online or by calling 311.
  5. Once the inspection has been passed and the occupancy permit has been obtained, you'll need to register the suite with The City of Calgary. The registration form can be found on the city's website.


Adding a secondary suite to your home in Calgary can be a great way to generate additional income or provide housing for family and friends. The process may seem daunting at first, but if you follow the steps outlined above, you'll be able to legalize your secondary suite in no time!

9 Reasons to Choose a Legal Suite in Calgary

If you're considering a legal suite in Calgary, you're not alone.

Many people are drawn to the idea of having a mortgage helper or generating rental income. But there are other reasons to choose a legal suit, too. Here are five of them.

Best Location

Calgary is a big city with a lot to offer. But not all neighbourhoods are created equal. When you're looking for a legal suite, it's important to consider the location carefully.

You want to find a neighbourhood that's safe and desirable so that you can attract quality tenants. But you also want to make sure that the neighbourhood is zoned for legal suites so that you don't run into any problems down the road.

More bang for your buck

Legal suites offer an excellent return on investment. Not only will you be able to offset your mortgage payments by renting out the suite, but you'll also be able to build equity quickly.

And if you ever decide to sell, you'll be able to command a higher price because of the suite.

Pride of ownership

When you own a home, it's more than just an investment—it's also a source of pride. A legal suite can give you the added satisfaction of knowing that you're providing a safe and affordable place for someone else to live while also building equity in your own home.

A sense of community

When you rent out a legal suite, you have the opportunity to get to know your tenants and develop relationships with them.

This can create a real sense of community in your neighbourhood—something that's often lacking in today's world.

Peace of mind

Renting out a legal suite can give you peace of mind knowing that your mortgage is being paid even if something happens and you lose your job or suffer an injury that prevents you from working.

It's also reassuring to know that you have someone else living in your home who can keep an eye on things when you're away on vacation or business trips.

Offset Your Mortgage Payments

One of the biggest advantages of owning a property with a legal suit is that it can help offset your mortgage payments.

When you rent out your suite, the rental income can be used to cover a portion of your mortgage, leaving you with more money in your pocket each month.

This is especially helpful if you're on a tight budget or if interest rates rise and you need to find ways to save money.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Another great reason to choose a legal suite is that it can increase the value of your home. When it comes time to sell, properties with legal suites tend to sell for more than properties without them.

This is because potential buyers know that they can generate rental income from the suite, which makes the property more valuable to them.

Get Extra Living Space

If you're looking for a way to add some extra living space to your home without having to move, then choosing a property with a legal suite is a great option.

You can use the suite as an extra bedroom for guests, a home office, or even just extra storage space. And, since the suite is its own separate space, you won't have to worry about disturbing your tenants when you want to use it.

Have Family or Friends Close By

If you have family or friends who live in Calgary but don't have their own place, then renting out your legal suite can be a great way to have them close by.

They'll have their own private space but will also be close enough that you can see them often. Plus, this arrangement can be less expensive for them than renting an apartment or house elsewhere in the city.


There are many reasons to choose a legal suite in Calgary—whether it's for the investment potential, the sense of community it can create, or simply for the peace of mind, it offers. If you're considering a legal suite, be sure to do your research and work with experienced professionals to ensure that everything is done properly and up to code.


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Spencer has been exceeding clients expectations since 2012. Transitioning his entrepreneurial skills developed from the fitness industry to real estate was habitual. Whether you are a first-time home buyer, investor, growing family, recent divorcee, or a retiring couple, he is here to work for you.

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