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Renting a suite in Victoria, BC to help increase cashflow

Have you considered renting a suite in Victoria, BC to help increase cashflow and the overall value of your home? Victoria is one of the most beautiful placed on earth to rent out a suite and increase your investment at the same time.  With its picturesque landscape, relaxed lifestyle, and low crime rate, Victoria is a fantastic place to call home. However, as the costs of living increase and Victoria real estate prices rise, many people are looking at ways to supplement their income passively. Income suites are a fantastic way to do that. Provided you keep in mind a few details, you can legally rent part of your single-family home. Depending on where you live, this can result in $1,000 or more per month. It’s a win-win for both buyers and sellers. If you are buying in Victoria, BC, the ability to rent part of the house helps pay the mortgage. If you’re selling in Victoria, BC, homes with suites to rent fetch more money. When it comes to rental income suites, here are three things you need to keep in mind.

Legal vs. Illegal Suites

On real estate listings, you may see mentions of legal vs. illegal suites. 15% of all rental suites within BC are considered to be unlawful, and penalties for operating an unlawful suite can go as high as $2,000 in the Vancouver area [1]. An illegal suite is one that does not meet city bylaws and codes. For example, for a suite to be legal, there have to be proper fire separation materials. Just like with any multi-dwelling place, a fire on one floor should face resistance crossing over into the other storey. The zoning permits also need to be changed to allow your home to have multiple families living there.

When buying in Victoria, BC, if you are planning on having a rental income suite, look for homes with legal suites. These will not run afoul of the law. Or, if you see a home with an illegal suite, have an appraiser come out and tell you how much it would be to bring it up to code. Similarly, if you are selling, you are obligated to disclose the illegal suite, which has the potential to impact your sales price negatively. Depending on your property, you may wish to bring it up to code before selling.

Make Sure Your Insurance Policy Covers The Suite

If you are the one renting out your suite, make sure that your insurance policy covers the suite. If you lie to your insurance provider and assert that only you are living in your home, you could render your whole policy null and void. This omission could expose you to significant financial damage if something were to go wrong and your tenants sued you. Even if your suite is illegal, disclose it to the insurance company to protect yourself from financial harm!

Know The Law

Renting is not as simple as running an ad, finding a tenant, and making money. There are many rules that you need to follow to ensure that everything is above board. In BC, if the people living in your suite don’t pay their rent, for example, you would need to serve a 10-day notice to evict them [2]. However, if they pay in full within five days of receiving the notice, it no longer has any effect. Brushing up on these types of nuances before renting your suite will save you lots of time and aggravation.

Rental income suites Victoria, BC are fantastic ways to make some extra money. You can use the income to help pay your mortgage! Keep in mind when buying or selling that it is ideal if all suites are legal. Also make sure that, if you are renting your place out, you disclose it to your insurance company. Finally, make sure you have some familiarity with the Residential Tenancy Act, which governs BC rentals. No matter if you are buying or selling, discuss your rental income ambitions with your realtor so that they can find the perfect home for you!

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[1] https://globalnews.ca/news/3644308/disclose-rental-suite-breaking-law/

[2] https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/laws/stat/sbc-2002-c-78/latest/sbc-2002-c-78.html#section46

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.