450 secondary suites found in Langley Township so far

Inspectors have identified about five per cent of the estimated 10,000 secondary suites in Langley Township.

More than a year after a crackdown against illegal secondary suites was approved, Langley Township staff have located 450 of the estimated 10,000 currently being rented by owners without proper municipal approval.

That amounts to less than five per cent since the new regulations were approved in March of 2013, but a report to council says the number of complaints being filed is rising and predicts “900 to 1,000” suites, or about 10 per cent, will be identified by the end of the year.

The written report by Roberto Cesaretti, the Township manager of permit, licence and inspections services, says staff have been looking through newspaper and online rental ads for unauthorized suites, as well as following up on complaints made by phone or using the online “Report an Unauthorized Secondary Suite” form on the Township website.

Anonymous tips are allowed, both by phone and online.

When a secondary suite is discovered in a house where no building permit was issued for one, Township building inspection staff are hand-delivering notices to the owner warning they could be fined as much as $500 a ticket (with multiple tickets possible) for failing to obtain a licence.

Cesaretti says “significant” resources are being devoted to the campaign against the illicit suites, including re-assigning one current staff member to administer the program full-time.

Council has approved funding to add one person to handle the secondary suite work, but the job hasn’t been filled yet, Cesaretti says.

Of the 450 suites identified so far, the report says 150 are being brought into compliance with the regulations that require registration.

The crackdown was announced at the same time council approved an annual secondary suite licence fee on homeowners with authorized suites.

It requires the 1,100 homeowners who have properly registered their suites to pay as much as $580 a year.

Critics have called the new fee a cash grab by the municipality that penalizes the law-abiding.

Defenders say the new fees will generate enough revenue to cover the cost of stepped-up enforcement against law-breakers.

Just Posted

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to the Lower Mainland, again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

Vancouver G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Man sentenced for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Most Read