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Surrey looking online to crack down on illegal suites

SURREY (NEWS1130) – By-law officers in Surrey are going straight to an online source as a way to crack down hard on people who have illegal suites in their homes

There are two officers working full-time to track down home owners; they’re using Craigslist and going through local papers to find listings

Councillor Barinder Rasode says one of the main issues is the inconvenience it’s causing neighbours when it comes to parking. As a result, City Council is now looking at implementing permit-only spots in some neighbourhoods.

“I think we have to be very mindful about what sort of impact secondary suites have on a neighbourhood. But what we’re saying is if you’re a home owner who chooses to have a suite, then we expect you to pay your fair share.”

She adds it’s a delicate situation. “We also recognize the people who rent the secondary suites and that it’s of no fault of their’s that the home owner has chosen to do an illegal suite and then you’re displacing families and seniors.”

Anyone with a secondary suite simply has to register it with the City of Surrey and pay $400 fee. If they’re caught with an illegal one, they can be fined $1,000.

Since the beginning of the year, when a new by-law came into effect, about 3,000 people have registered. But Rasode hopes that number will go up.

Secondary suites are legal in other parts of the province like in Victoria, Vancouver, and West Vancouver.