Council unanimously votes to extend Secondary Suites Amnesty Program until Dec. 2023

CALGARY – The City is extending the Secondary Suites Amnesty program until December 31, 2023 to give owners the opportunity to legalize their suites at a reduced cost and in scope with the minimum life safety requirements.

A secondary suite is a self-contained dwelling unit within the main residence that has separate living, cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. These are often referred to as basement suites or in-law suites. Secondary Suites are allowed in most low-density residential districts.

“Extending the amnesty until the end of 2023 encourages property owners to bring existing suites into compliance, creating safer communities and more affordable housing options for Calgarians,” said Brenda Desjardins, Director of Calgary Building Services.

In addition to Development Permit and Registration fees being waived until 2023, existing suite owners can take advantage of relaxed building code requirements. Owners of a suite constructed prior to March 2018 must ensure their existing suites meet the minimum life safety requirements including: providing a bedroom window exit, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, a protected exit route from the basement to the exterior, drywall barriers between suites and drywall barriers in the mechanical room.

“There are many reasons to consider legalizing your suite. Going through the bylaw and code review ensures your suite meets the requirements for the Land Use Approval and that it is safe to live in. Legalizing your suite protects your investment from enforcement action and possible impacts to insurance coverage,” said Cliff De Jong, Manger of Building Safety Services.

At present, there are over 6,700 legalized suites in Calgary. Renters can confirm if their secondary suite is compliant by checking the Secondary Suites Registry, an online map that shows all registered suites in Calgary.

More information about developing a new secondary suite or legalizing an existing suite is available on