Was browsing some new listings today and saw one that describes the property as being "non conforming" (This particular listing, since people will probably be curious.) I assume the non conforming wording is due to the fact that it has a secondary suite, which is not allowed under its current zoning.
I'm curious to know what the larger implications of having a non conforming property might be. First off, does this wording imply that a variance has been granted for the non-conforming aspect, or simply that they acknowledge it does not meet current zoning requirements?
Does it impact how easy it is to get a mortgage, or how much a lender might provide?
Could the suite be rented out legally?
Will it be harder and/or more expensive to insure the property?
I suppose the answer to those may depend a lot on whether or not a variance was obtained but am generally interested to know what to look out for in these types of properties.
Mortgage; typically no.
Insurance; typically no.
Variance; typically no.
A few years ago Saanich did a study and found that there was approximately 9,000 suites and only 98 had a permit on file which would make 8002 suites non-conforming. Probably similar situation in the City of Victoria. I show houses for a living and it is fairly rare that I show a pre-2000 built home with a legal suite with the permit in place.
It seems as if people won't pay a premium for a permitted suite, it won't rent for more than an equivalent illegal suite, and the costs in getting the permits for a suite are absolutely insane and often it is not feasible. 100s of reasons behind this but I'll give you one example. Older homes either have a 1/2'' or 3/4'' cooper water supply. If you want to legalize your suite most likely the city, amongst many other things, will decide because of your plumbing fixture load you need to upgrade to a 1'' line. Their connection fee alone is $3,000 to $4,000 plus have you to trench your property, etc. The cost for this item alone could run upwards of $7,000 to $10,000. To legalize a suite can sometimes be in excess of $40,000-$50,000 so no one bothers to do it.
For the most part municipalities turn a blind eye to non-conforming suites.
That being said that link you provided is to a duplex which can be more interesting especially if your neighbour doesn't have a suite and you have to share the building insurance, etc.
Edited by MarkoJ, 15 February 2017 - 10:56 PM.