Township considers charging suite licence fee

An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 unlicensed secondary suites have been built in the municipality

Langley Township is considering charging a licence fee to every single family home that has a rental suite.

On Oct. 22, council voted unanimously to authorize staff to draw up a bylaw amendment to implement an annual licence fee for secondary suites.

The fee is likely to be approximately $400 a year. The range among municipalities is $500 to $900, with the fee added to property taxes.

In 2007, when council first considered amendments to allow legal rental suites in a single family home, there were between 5,000 and 8,000 illegal suites in the Township.

Since then, only 1,000 permits have been issued. The number of suites that have been built without permits is estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000.

A report to council noted that illegal suites “most likely do not meet the minimum health and safety standards set out in current bylaws, codes and standards.”

Furthermore, among them are many houses where there are two or more suites, which contravenes the Building Code.

There are landlords who have converted their houses to rental suites but don’t live there themselves. This violates municipal laws.

The change does not require a public hearing as it is a licensing issue. However, the public will have an opportunity for input as part of next year’s budget discussions.

One change which council may consider is charging a utility fee, based on the notion that single family houses which do not have secondary suites are subsidizing those which do, and yet pay the same.

These utilities include garbage and recycling collections, water and sewer.

Councillor Kim Richter wondered if, using the money from the annual fee, the Township could hire staff to identify illegal suites and bring them into compliance. This could include reviewing Craigslist, and real estate listings that advertising nanny suites.

Councillor Grant Ward added that if a homeowner has an illegal suite and does not declare it to his house insurer, it could invalidate coverage in the event of a claim.

The Township has proposed the changes largely in response to a Langley Tomorrow survey in which a majority of respondents agreed that owners of homes with secondary suites should pay an annual fee. Fifty-six per cent agreed that charging homeowners a fee for water and sewer was reasonable.

The council report also noted that residents complain to the municipality that secondary suites generate more parking and traffic problems.

But, the report noted, the real reason for parking chaos in residential streets is that areas intended for parking cars, i.e.. garages, are being used for storage.

Just Posted

Langley single mom given aid to achieve what’s in her heart

Each year Langley Soroptimists give grants to local mothers going back to school

VIDEO: Highway One to be widened east to 264th Street in Langley

The $235 million project includes upgrades to overpasses and a rail bridge

Three Langley communities included in 30 kilometre Canada Day parade route

The expanded parade is being organized by a sub-committee of the Aldergrove Fair.

U.S. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into Canada, granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Suspect stole lingerie in Langley heist

Langley RCMP is also looking for someone who bought $6,000 in goods with a stolen credit card

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

One million recyclable bottles “lost” daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Most Read