YYC Real Estate - During & Post COVID-19

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We're living in a time when there are more questions than answers and from two different directions—the unknowns of COVID-19 and the outcome of our Oil & Gas sector in the most recent tailspin.

Current events are so unpredictable that industry experts are giving a series of possible outcomes instead of one opinion.

One of the many questions being asked is, what's going to happen to YYC's real estate market? Every day I search for answers and opinions from industry experts from all sectors, and here is a summary of seems most realistic to me with what we know now.


For the last two weeks, the number of firm sales and conditionally selling are moving up and forward. 

Who's buying?   

Former sellers that sold this past December, January, and February. 

Another category of buyers will be investors jumping back to real estate from the even more volatile stock market. These buyers include institutions such as hedge funds, trusts, etc., which don't just purchase one or two properties, but hundreds. 

And buyers taking advantage of the low-interest rates and opportunity to borrow more.


At this point, everyone has the same odds at guessing how everything is going to unfold, and here's mine.

Best Case Scenario


As we get closer to the core of the peak with COVID-19, the overall market activity will flatline as sellers and buyers camp out on the sidelines and watch how events unfold before taking any action.


Days on the market will start adding up as the lull period sets in, and buyers will need more time to weigh the pros/cons of purchasing now or waiting it out.


Because of the new protocol to work from home, commercial real estate will take a hard hit as companies will rethink all the space they are paying for to create the same or better results.

Second-home markets (i.e., vacation homes), will also be negatively affected along with other discretionary spending.


Eventually, inventory levels will begin to decline as many sellers will come off the market because they question their timing due to the market's slower response. Many others will not enter the market because of the unknowns. And, the low-interest rates can make it very easy for everyone to refinance while they wait for more direction.


Because there will be fewer properties on the market to sell, the number of sales will decline. The decrease in sales volume will likely be what the mass media promotes during this phase.


The lower inventory levels will help to stabilize prices, and there's even potential for upward pressure while supply is low. This trend played out in the detached market from June - September 2019' when the Benchmark Price stabilized because inventory levels were low.


Some buyers will try to time their purchase with "the bottom" of the market conditions. Unfortunately for them, the only way they will know that point is when it's passed them by because this timeline can only be defined in historical data.


As more sellers come to market, more buyers will soon follow because they have more selection and will want to "get in" before the banks start to raise rates again or change mortgage policies.


Despite the sluggish economy, Calgary's population increased by approximately 1.4% or 18,000 plus people by September 2019, and all these people will help fuel the economy in some form or another.

We'll temporarily lose some buyers do to job losses; however, these numbers will rebound once the rehiring begins, people diversify their careers, and overall balance is restored.


The market may also lose some first time home buyers because "bank of Mom & Dad" took big hits during the stock market crash this go- around and no longer have the ability to fund their kids down payments, or will take some time to rebuild the cash-stash.


With all the unknown variables today, the Conference Board of Canda issued two forecasts.  One based on the virus containment of six weeks and another of 24 weeks to level-off.  

Regardless of the timeline, they anticipate a full economic recovery and growth in Canada.

CLICK HERE to access the recording of - The Economic Outlook: Canda's Economy to Navigate Rough Seas

In the meantime...

Government stimulus packages and other fiscal measures (i,e low-interest rates, deferred taxes, etc.) are being issued on a worldwide scale with the intention to "slingshot" economies forward once recover from COVID-19 begins. Negative side- effects are impossible to avoid, yet the goal is to minimize them and rebound faster.

Alberta's Economy

For the time-being, Alberta's projected growth has been downgraded from 2.2% in 2020 to 0% because of the drastic negative impacts from COVID-19's decrease in global O&G demand layered on top of an abundant over-supply.

Do I have any good news?

The Economic Recovery Council has been appointed by the Kenny government to provide insight and expert advice on how to protect jobs during the economic crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent collapse in energy prices." And, Canada's federal government is reportedly preparing a $15 billion bailout package for the oil and gas industry. The funds will not help with the long-term solution but will help in the meantime.

Internationally, it seems that Putin and the Prince of Saudi have recently realized that by threatening to continue to flood the global market with more oil, they are drowning themselves. Recently, the Prince reached out to Texas and invited them to the next Opec meeting in June for discussions. And, Putin is rallying to widen Opec + membership, which may help stabilize the oil market.

Why does this matter to you?

Since none of the players are happy at the current prices, perhaps, collaboration and long term solutions are on the horizon...even a distant one.

In the meantime...

We'll enjoy low gas prices, practice social distancing, keep our dogs happy with unlimited walks, and a slower pace for more quality time with our loved ones.

Adding some hope that the solutions to our problems are closer than they appear right now, there will be collaboration from parties that don't agree, and our leaders have the forward-thinking, so history doesn't repeat itself.

At the moment, I am focused on the best-case scenario, as I think it's too early to forecast otherwise accurately. I'll continue to search for new information and share it along the way.


What To Know About Condos With Post Tension Cables

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If you're shopping for a condo, you've likely come across units you've like in buildings with Post Tension Cables (PTC).  You may have also heard concerns, warnings, and stories about them, which makes you question if they are right for you.  Let's take a look at the pros and cons so you can make a confident decision on if they are right for you.


Post-tension cable concrete is a construction method used in condos, parking garages, and also office buildings, bridges, etc. It's a process by which sleeve- covered steel cables stretch along the width of a structure, anchored at either end and encased in concrete. Because the cables add strength to the slab, longer spans are possible, and fewer supports are needed. The benefits are lower construction costs and more design versatility.


Some of the considerations for this construction method are the ongoing maintenance/costs and potential for corrosion and deterioration of the cables if exposed to water and oxygen, which can lead to expensive repairs. For these reasons, some lenders are cautious, and fewer mortgage insurers provide coverage. As of this writing, Genworth Insurance does not consider buildings with post-tensioning, and Canada Guaranty will consider an exception, a building constructed in 2001 or after. Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the only mortgage insurer for buildings between 1970'-1985'.


If you have less than a 20% down payment, the mortgage will need insurance, and you are limited to only lenders that work with CMHC. This limitation can also come into play when you sell and potentially reduce the number of buyers that qualify to purchase your property.


Because some of the older buildings offer greater affordability and benefit from larger square footage, ideal locations, quality construction, and features like underground parking, etc. which can add value and increase the quality of living.

Some people may focus only on buildings without post-tension concrete; however, that does not protect you from all risks as other systems could fail (i.e., plumbing, HVAC, patios, envelope membranes, roofs, etc.). These repairs can be equally as expensive and require additional funding from owners.

If you decide to consider buildings with post-tension concrete, confirm your options and the policies with your mortgage broker or bank. And below are other resources that will help you make an informed decision.

  • Post-Tension Cable Report with engineer's feedback on the overall condition, if there are potential concerns and funding requirements for future repairs.
  • Details of repairs maintenance and funding can are in the audited financial statements, operating budget, and reserve fund study (a physical inspection of the building's depreciating property every five years).
  • Review the Board and AGM Minutes for related comments.
  • Condo Document Review - Along with reading all the documents yourself, I recommend having a condo document specialist review all information for an objective summary on the financial health, Bylaws, management, etc.

Because condos in older buildings with PTC are often larger than newer and have ideal central locations, I would consider them. Iunderstandthatonresalethat there may be fewer buyers; however, if the property itself offers a higher quality of life than that is a trade-off, I am willing to consider for the right property. I would undoubtedly have the condo documents reviewed by a specialist and get their opinion.

Defects and expensive repairs and replacements can happen in buildings of any age, so the PTC is not the only potential risk.

Give yourself the most options by doing your own research, talk to a specialist in all related areas for their feedback, and be clear about your risk tolerance and capacity. Then you can make a confident decision if condo buildings with PTC are right for you.


RoyRasmusen-ExpertCondoReview 403.383.2920|

Condo Check

Condo Document Inspection Centre

Condo Doc Review


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There seems to be more criticizing than applause, so let's discuss some of the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself if the program is right for you.


The Liberal government introduced the FTHBI program in September 2019' intending to make it easier for first-time homeowners to purchase a property and lower the monthly payments through a shared equity mortgage.


  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) administers the program that offers qualified first-time home buyers a 10 % shared equity mortgage for a newly constructed home, 5 % existing homes home in exchange for an equity stake. Consider the Incentive as a second mortgage.
  • The Incentive must be paid in full when the property is sold, after 25-years, if you are buying out the co-borrower, porting your mortgage, or there is a change in use.
  • A qualified buyer can withdraw funds from an RRSP to purchase or build a home without having to immediately pay tax on the withdrawal.
  • The property must suitable for full-time and year-round occupancy, and not a revenue property.
  • Additional fees will be insured upon closing because your lawyer will need to process two mortgages. And, you may also incur additional appraisal charges.


Anita wants to buy a new home for $400,000.

Under the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, Anita can apply to receive $40,000 in a shared equity mortgage (10% of the cost of a new home) from the Government of Canada.

The Incentive lowers the amount she needs to borrow and reduces her monthly expenses.

As a result, Anita’s mortgage is $228 less a month or $2,736 a year.


  • When the home is sold, the government takes back the same percentage amount on the new value. So if your home sells for a higher price, they get more than they initially invested while you paid for all the related costs, mortgage insurance fees, renovations, and upgrades costs, plus you did all the maintenance.
  • On the Incentive program, if your property value increases, then you're forgoing a portion of the tax-free benefits on the appreciation value.
  • If the value of your property goes down, you still owe the government the same percentage amount on the new value, and their money comes out first, which will affect how much you walk away with.
  • It could take much longer to be approved for this program than for a normal mortgage loan, and sellers may not be willing to wait.
  • At this time, it's not clear if the government will allow refinancing on the first mortgage and postpone their security on the new financing, which could create more risk and complications for the lender on the first mortgage.


It seems like the new program could help some first-time buyers focusing on lower price point properties get into the market because it can lower monthly payments. However, the opportunity does not come without costly strings attached and unknowns that I am not comfortable with.

For me, the potential risks are higher than the possible gains.

The Incentive does not help buyers save for, contribute to the down payment or lower the bar to make it more feasible.  And it also doesn’t help buyers in Canada’s most expensive cities like Toronto, Vancouver, etc either because property value far exceeds the limit.  It's also interesting that they share the gains on resale when the homeowner invests all the time, money and effort. Yet, they don't take less if the property loses value on resale.  Interesting...


Do your research and educate yourself on all the details of the program then speak to different industry professionals for their feedback and insight on various aspects of the program.

  1. Contact your mortgage broker and bank for all your options.
  2. Reach out to your real estate lawyer and get their insight.
  3. Plan out the potential best and worst-case scenarios.

Once you've gathered all the information, you can decide if the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Program is right for you.

Get in touch with me if you have any questions.


Do Open Houses Work To Sell Homes?

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This is one of the most common questions I receive, so let's talk about the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.


Once upon a time, Open Houses were effective selling tools because it was one of the few ways buyers could see properties, so they increased the home's marketing exposure. However, technology has drastically changed how buyers shop for their new home now; in fact, statistics show that less than 4% of buyers attend.


With the latest viewing tools, buyers have full exposure to property details, an endless number of still and panoramic photos, videos, 3D tours, conveniently available 24-7, and from anywhere and at their convenience.

Because there is so much information available now, one could consider online viewings to be the buyer's first showings. After researching the property, if buyers are interested in a walk-through, they will book a private showing with the listing Realtor or ask their own to organize one.


The tech-tools save everyone time and effort. Buyers can rule out properties that are obviously not suitable, and that saves sellers from preparing their homes and vacating for unmatched buyers.


Buyers actively shopping and ready to purchase will organize private showings so they can explore properties at their own pace and undisturbed by others. These are quality buyers that have spent some amount of time pre-qualifying the property to have some of their criteria. They have also chosen to commit their time and energy for a "second viewing", and this matches the seller's efforts of preparing and leaving for the showing.

In Open House, your doors are wide open to unknown visitors. There's no way to know if they can afford the property, if it's a suitable match or their intentions. Plus, there are potential security risks as you are allowing strangers into your home.



If a seller sees benefit in opening their doors to everyone (including curious neighbours, dreamers, people out for a walk, or driving by), then having their Realtor host an Open House may give them peace of mind. However, they must also understand Open Houses don't actually work as they do on HGTV shows where the seller has an offer by the end of the day. In fact, some stats show the odds of receiving an offer because of an Open House is less than 1%, excluding super-red-hot market conditions.


In a super-red-hot seller's markets, (THINK - the heydays for Vancouver, Toronto), Open Houses can be effective tools. They provide access to all potential buyers at one time, which can boost the sense of urgency or FOMO to work in the seller's favour.


Some Realtors® volunteer to host an open house because during them they get exposure to new prospective purchasing clients and introduce themselves curious neighbours that may sell in the future. Open Houses are also opportunities to market themselves and boosting their brand recognition.

There are some Realtors® that believe Open Houses help the sale; however, the majority do not. Some stats show as many 63% of Realtors® do not recommend them to their clients.


When I sell my properties, my philosophy for buyers is "quality over quantity," and I do not host Open Houses.  I choose to focus on private showings for qualified buyers that have pre-determined that my property is a good match for them or at least has the potential to be.


I spend thousands of dollars are year on security systems to keep strangers out, so I'm not going to throw all that away to let unqualified randoms wander through to scope out my property.


I also do not host Agent Tours (an open house for only other realtors) because if Realtors® have qualified clients, the property will come up in their custom searches, and they will request a private tour if it's a suitable match.


  1. Effective pricing on the open market.
  2. Prepare the home to show in it's best showing condition (i.e., declutter, neutralize, refresh, carpet cleaning, etc.).
  3. Get the property ready to pass inspection (i.e., clean gutters and functioning downspouts, fix leaky toilets and faucets, replace failing window hinges, etc.).
  4. Professional photos to maximize online marketing and first impressions to drive traffic through your front door.
  5. Be flexible with showing requests to give buyers access they need and leave it in it's best condition for the viewing.


Open Houses are not on my "to-do list," but they could be on yours.


If it's to provide access to all with hopes of improving marketing exposure, then hosting on Open House is likely the right answer for you.

If you're hoping for an offer at the end of it it, you have very long odds.

Get in touch with any questions or feedback.


How Albert's New Condo Regulations Could Affect You

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Changes have been made to Alberta's condominium legislation, and it seems more are on the way. As for the recent revisions enforced as of January 1, 2020, CCI (Canadian Condominium Institute) worked directly with the Government of Alberta. The goal for the new legislation was too...

“significantly improve the lives of condominium owners, boards, and industry members. These changes will help simplify condominium governance for volunteer boards, especially regarding voting procedures, conducting AGMs efficiently, and clarifying the insurance claims process.”


  • The Board can issue "chargebacks" to owners deemed responsible for the damages without having to go to court. This new legislation takes some of the burdens off bystanders.
  • The Bylaws will stipulate the offenses and fees. Regulations cap the fines up to $500 for a first infraction, $1,000 for subsequent violations of the same act, and up to six times for the same offenses.
  • For extensive damage caused by a unit owner that affects common ground of the building or other units, the condo corporation can now chargeback or make the owner responsible for the corporation's deductible amount (regardless of proven to be negligent).  For example,  let's say Unit owner A is responsible for an overflowing bathtub and causes damage to hallways, units B, and C; the condo corporation can chargeback unit owner A for their deductible up to the $50,000 maximum.
  • IMPORTANT FACT  - The Regulations do not require all unit owners to have personal insurance to include the $50,000 deductible coverage.

  • Transparency - The Board must be more transparent to unit owners and provide Minutes, Budgets, and Reserve Fund Studies at no charge, which will save sellers hundreds of dollars when providing condo documents to prospective buyers. And there are restrictions on how much condo corporations and management companies can charge for others.

  • Age Restrictions - Bylaws on new buildings are no longer allowed to apply age restrictions unless it is a 55+ only building.  Buildings currently with age restrictions have a 15-year deadline before this Bylaw will be removed.

QUICK FACTS - From the Government of Alberta
  • Adjustments have been made to regulations covering everything from the disclosure of information to how annual general meetings are organized, sanctions, fees for documents, and the qualifications for those who conduct reserve fund studies.

  • Removing the requirement to provide the minutes of all board meetings in the package for annual general meetings (AGMs).

  • Changing the requirement to disclose draft AGM minutes from 30 days to 60 days after the AGM.

  • Regulations stipulate the fees condo corporations and management companies are allowed to charge for copies of requested paper documents.  

  • Change to the maximum fee for an estoppel certificate from $100 to $200, or $300 if rushed, and add a disclosure statement document fee of $100, or $150 if rushed.  Changing the per-document cost for paper documents from a $10 flat fee to $0.25 per page, or $10, whichever is more.

  • Eliminating tiered rates for deposits condominium owners provide to their corporation when renting out the unit they own and setting the maximum for these deposits at $1,000 or one month’s rent, whichever is higher.

  • Allowing condominium corporations to borrow up to 15 % of their annual revenue as the default limit but also allow that limit to be changed through their bylaws.

  • Broadening the list of those who can conduct reserve fund studies.

There's more good than bad.

Overall, I see the changes to be more good than bad.   As a former condo owner, I like that some of the condo documents will be provided free of charge, and there is a cap on the ones I have to purchase.  

I am also a fan of the changes to the chargeback rules, so I am not penalized for others' negligence.  Yes, my personal insurance costs will go up but that is life plus I get peace of mind that if I am responsible, then I have coverage.   

I also see a benefit of removing the 60-day notice on AGMs to be proactive on issues that need immediate attention and collaboration.

  1. Call my insurance broker to confirm the coverage I currently have and add the $50,000 deductible coverage. I'd also contact my condo Board to see if they have a record of which owners have the "absolute liability" insurance coverage. There's nothing I can do about the answer, but the answer may help me prepare for different scenarios.

  2. Water Damage - Roy Rasmusen of Expert Condo Review recommends each owner needs to be diligent and inform their insurance provider the amount of the water deductible for the condo corporation policy because this is the maximum amount that can be assessed to the owner.

  3. Age Restrictions - Unit Owner

    If I owned a unit in a building that currently has an age restriction (other than a 55+ plus)  then I need to understand that when the removal of this age restriction comes into effect that my quality of life could potentially go down, depending on the demographics in the building.  Granted, a 15-year deadline is still a generous amount of time; it could still affect my resale because there is a variable of when it will be lifted.

  4. Age Restrictions - Purchaser

    If I was buying a condo,  this new regulation will only affect me is if I am specifically looking for an adult-only building and I am under 55 years old now or will be in 15 years because this lifestyle has a limited shelf-life. I may seriously consider purchasing a duplex without a condo corporation or detached property as these new rules do not apply, and I won’t have to move when the age restriction Bylaw is lifted or potentially lower my quality of life.

Get in touch with any questions or feedback.
Check out the links below for more information.
I do my best to ensure all information is accurate, and it is not guaranteed.


Should You Be Concerned About Radon?

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Dr. Aaron Goodarzi is an expert in radon and recently spoke at the Calgary Real Estate Board. He explained that it is an invisible and odourless radioactive gas with the potential to cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. 

Yes, that statement got my attention too. 

CLICK HERE  for Dr. Aaron Goodarzi’s TED Talk, and below are other useful resources.

Check out the links for more information.

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

Health Canada 

Radon Safety



According to Dr. Aaron Goodarzi, Health Canada and the real estate industry's governing bodies, the best practice is to test for a minimum of 90 days. They do not believe short-term tests taken during home inspections or over a few days collect sufficient data for accurate and reliable results. Health Canada suggests testing between October - April with an acceptable level of 200 becquerels per cubic meters (200 Bq/m3). 


The solution is relatively simple and inexpensive. 

A radon mitigation device is installed to vent the gas from the basement to the outside. How much? Well, that depends on the scope of the work, and I've heard quotes from $500 - $3,000. 

CLICK HERE to find a Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program C-NRPP) technician in your area. 


It could.


If the seller has not completed or is in the process of testing, the results are not available for the initial transaction, so there are no guaranteed outcomes during the offer and negotiation phase. 

As of this writing, radon testing is not mandatory for sellers; however, that doesn’t mean the topic is over for them. Why? 

  • Some prospective buyers may ask if tests have been completed, and become hesitant if confirmed long-term results are not available.

  • If test results are not available, some buyers may request a holdback until radon levels are confirmed. If the results are high (i.e., greater than 200 Becquerels), they may ask the seller to incur the costs of mitigation or that the holdback funds will be used radon mitigation.  And, if the results are low (i.e., less than 200 Becquerels), the funds will be released to the seller.

  • The Real Estate Council of Alberta's (RECA) guidelines state that "if the radon test showed high levels of radon (higher than 200 Becquerel), that's considered a material latent defect that MUST be disclosed to prospective buyers unless a radon mitigation device is installed prior to listing."

  • Some buyers may take on the long-term testing and potential mitigation themselves, so they have peace of mind.

If I was selling a property, the questions I'd be asking myself is...

a) Would I rather get ahead of a potential problem by start long-term testing now, undergo mitigation (if necessary), and potentially before a sale. 

The con - spending money upfront without knowing if the radon issue will arise. 

The pro - have more control over the testing, mitigation process, and share the low test results with potential buyers as a selling feature.   Also, I benefit from living in a low radon environment.

b) Or wait and see if radon is an issue for buyers, then work with a holdback, potentially take responsibility for mitigation before closing,  accept there could be delays throughout the process, work with the buyer on solutions, etc.


Buyers can ask the seller if they have completed a 90-day radon test and request to see the results.

According to RECA, if the levels are greater than 200 Becquerels, sellers must disclose it as a material latent defect.

What are your options?

  • Many buyers will choose to complete the radon testing themselves, so they have peace of mind in the process and mitigation. 
  • Some buyers may ask for a holdback until confirmed long-term testing can be confirmed.  If the radon levels are low then the funds are released to the seller.  And, if the radon levels are high (i.e., greater than 200 Becquerels), they may ask the seller to incur the costs of mitigation or that the holdback funds will be used radon mitigation.  The seller's agreement is not mandatory.
  • During the seminar, Dr. Aaron Goodarzi suggested that extensive renovations (especially in the basement) could alter radon levels, so pre-renovation testing is not as important and recommends post-renovation testing.



As you know, you can find articles and research online to support any belief, so it's challenging to know "the truth." But because of the potential risks, I ordered the Evict Radon ($54.59 plus return shipping) and took the first step in doing my own research and conclusion.

I started testing once it was delivered, effortless to set up, and I'll send it back after 90 days. If the results come back above 200 Bq/m3, then I'll hire a C-NRPP technician for mitigation. 

Sure, all this publicity could be "proven wrong" and retracted later (like vaping is good then shortly after it's a bad idea, wind power is all the rage then not, eat wait, etc.), but even if that does happen, I won't regret taking action because I have peace of mind now.


Do your research and educate yourself on all the details and talk to different industry professionals for their feedback and insight on various aspects.  Then weigh the pros and cons with each option then decide what's best for you. 

I do my best to ensure all information is accurate, but it's is not guaranteed.


$500 Referral Program to Unlicensed Individuals


Royal LePage Solutions is now offering a referral fee to unlicensed individuals.

When you refer a client, you'll receive a $500 referral fee upon closing - it's that simple.   Just make the introduction, and we'll do the rest.

Get in touch for more information.


Is Now The Time To Legalize Your Secondary Suite?

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Do you have an existing secondary suite that is not currently on the City of Calgary's Registered Secondary Suite list? 

If your answer is yes, then you may want to seriously consider legalizing it before June 1, 2020, because the City will have a new approach to illegal secondary suites.

Why Now? 

There are two good reasons.  First, until May 31, 2020, the City is discounting and waiving fees and using the current Building Code. Any existing suites submitted for approval after  June 1, 2020, no discounts will apply, and the new building code will be affected (National Building Code - 2019 Alberta edition). One of the significant changes in the new building code is that secondary suites a dedicated heat source, such as a furnace, for each unit = $$$ 

The second reason is that as of June 1, 2020, the City of Calgary will be actively pursuing illegal suites that are not on their registered list.  

What does this mean for you?   

Because the City will be actively seeking illegal suites, your suite could be shut down, and there will be tighter restrictions and cost you more to legalize it later.


Applications and properties are considered on a case-by-case basis and below is a basic outline of the general process as described to me by the City of Calgary.


CLICK HERE and type in your address in the “Step 1” section to confirm your land use district.  If your land use is for only one suite on the property  (example R-C1 or R-1) or DC (the City has Direct Control), the City will need to a) approve the usage and b) a Development Permit is required.  

If only one suite is permitted on the property, there is no guarantee the City will approve the secondary suite

because it does not comply with the current land use.


Contact the City of Calgary directly by calling  403.268.5311 or using their 311 Online Services site.  For this appointment, a Bylaw and Safety officer will review the suite, advise on the outstanding items and land use policies.


If your land use is discretionary and approved at the coordinated inspection, a Development Permit (DP) application will be submitted. The timeline for DP application review is 60 days to approve and CLICK HERE for more information about the process.

Development Permit?  Think = Can it be there?

A Development Permit is an authorization from the City of Calgary, showing that proposed construction work is approved and complies with the Alberta Building Code. Work may include construction, demolition, alterations, relocating buildings, and sometimes repairs of buildings.


Once the DP has been approved, a Building Permit (BP) application is submitted.  There will be another inspection to review the work recommended by the safety officer, and if everything meets the requirements, then final approval will be granted.    Your property will be added to the secondary suite registration list.  The timeline for BP application review is approximately one week.  CLICK HERE for more information.

Building Permit?  Think = Is it safe?

A Building Permit is designed to address life and safety issues of a structure. It gives the authorization to erect, demolish, relocate, alter or repair a structure, or change the use or occupancy of a space.  The building permit application is reviewed for compliance of the Alberta Building Code by a plans examiner to ensure safety.



If the secondary or mother-in-law suite has both a bathroom and cooking facilities, the secondary suite permits are necessary.


If you’re offering a short term rental or lodging house, then you’ll need to follow the respective guidelines about egress, maximum guests, advertising, etc. CLICK HERE for more information.  

For more information, go to the City of Calgary's secondary and backyard suite webpage CLICK HERE

What does this mean for you?

If you proceed with attempting to legalize your illegal secondary suite and your land use district only allows for one, there is no guarantee the City of Calgary will approve because the property does not comply with the current land use. However, with the new approach to illegal suites, the risk of getting shut down and incurring more costs and facing tougher rules is also a consideration.   


Do your research and get informed now, then call the City of Calgary to confirm the details. Give yourself time to discover all your options so you can make a confident decision on what's best for you.

I do my best to ensure all information is accurate but it's is not guaranteed.

Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.