Pros and Cons of Secondary Suites

Posted by Kamil Lalji on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 3:53pm.

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For the most part (well, at least until the Oil and Gas industry hit a recession) Calgary is a popular place to live, with more people migrating into the city than migrating out each year. However, the ever-growing population leaves city officials scratching their heads, thinking “where do we put all of these bodies!?” Secondary suites is one good solution to this problem, although unsurprisingly, there is potential for causing-havoc about the idea as well. You may be indifferent to the idea, but like anything else, there are both pros and cons surrounding secondary suites to be aware of. Below, we have compiled the most common arguments for both ‘for’ and ‘against’ secondary suites.



  • Creates Density

Mayor Nenshi is adamant about creating density inner city. If you drive along 26th St S towards city centre, you’ll see infills galore. Building a secondary suite into a property is less expensive than creating infills, and makes use of the space we already have developed, rather than building new neighborhoods farther away from the downtown core.

  • Affordable Housing Option

Secondary suites are perfect for low budget housing options. This is especially useful in areas surrounding post secondary institutes in Calgary, as students are always looking for affordable housing options.

  • Closeness to Loved Ones

A nickname for secondary suites is the “Mother-In-Law” suite, as it is often a great way to keep elderly parents in their home while being close enough to care for them. This is also great for parents of young adults looking to explore their independence, but may not have enough money to fully move out of their parents home.

  • Extra Source of Income

One of the best qualities of having a secondary suite in your property is the added income it brings in each month. The extra cash can make a big difference.

  • Versatility

There are multiple types of secondary  suites, meaning you can construct or invest in the best option for yourself. Check out our article on the basics of secondary suites to see the different types.



  • Additional responsibility

Being the landlord of a secondary suite definitely comes with additional responsibility, and if you will be living on the same property as the secondary suite, it will be hard to escape your tenant’s requests.

  • Hoops to Jump Through

Owing a legal secondary suite has many restrictions. You must comply with safety regulations, pay taxes on your added net income, and have the proper zoning certifications. Additionally, if you choose to place tenants in an illegal secondary suite, you could face large fines and even jail time.

  • Overpopulation

Picture this: if everyone in popular areas such as Inglewood, Ramsay, and Glenbrook had a secondary suite in their basement or backyard, there would be almost too many people in one area. Canadians value their space. Furthermore, overpopulation can create multiple problems; including not enough space for parking, extra litter and garbage, and higher noise levels.

So there you have it folks. If you would ever like to discuss secondary suites, or want a more comprehensive explanation of any of the above topics, feel free to contact us online or call 403.294.1500 . And, if you’d like to sign up for our personalized-for-you secondary suite email list, fill in the form below.


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