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Secondary Suite Program

Supplementary Utility Fees Declaration Form

Starting in October 2019, owners of single- and two-family homes in Burnaby were asked to fill out a declaration indicating whether or not they are renting out their home or any suite on the property. If you have not filled out the form, or there has been a change in the rental status of your property, please complete the declaration form » 
(Please note: apple device users must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to complete this fillable form. This app is available via the app store.)

For 2020 the declaration also addresses those homeowners who rent out their home and do not live on the premises. Instead of additional utility fees, homeowners renting out the home will be required to purchase a House Rental Licence. If there’s also a suite on the property they are required to pay the Supplementary Utility Fee. Learn more »

If there is a change in the rental status of the property, a new declaration must be submitted within 30 days of the change.

View our frequently asked questions for more information. For additional assistance, please email or call the Tax Office at 604-294-7350.

What is a Secondary Suite?

In Burnaby, a secondary suite is defined as “an accessory dwelling unit fully contained within a single family dwelling.”

 A secondary suite includes: 

  • One or more habitable rooms;
  • Bathroom facilities;
  • Kitchen or cooking facilities; and
  • A separate entrance, either interior or exterior.

Why are Secondary Suites permitted?

Secondary suites provide a number of benefits. They provide affordable rental housing, a “mortgage helper” for property owners, and can facilitate ageing in place. As such, secondary suites are valued by both homeowners and tenants.

Where can they be built?

Secondary suites are permitted within single-family dwellings in the following zones: R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R9, R10, R11, R12, A1, A2, A3, and RM6.

To find out the zone district for a property, go to BurnabyMap, click on the search button, and type in the address. It will be listed under Zoning in the right hand panel.

Are there any other requirements?

Requirements for secondary suites are provided in the Secondary Suite - Building Information Guide. Key considerations include:


The maximum size for a secondary suite is 90 m² (970 sq. ft.) or 40% of the total gross floor area of the principal building (whichever is less).

The minimum size for a secondary suite is 32 m2 (344 sq. ft.)

The minimum ceiling height is 2.0m (6.6 feet).


An additional off-street parking space will be required for the suite. This must not restrict access to other parking spaces.

Number of Suites:

Each single-family home can have one secondary suite or in-law suite, but not both.

BC Building Code:

Secondary suites must comply with the BC Building Code to ensure that they provide a safe and healthy living environment. Requirements include providing adequate fire separation, exit doors and windows, smoke alarms, heating and ventilation.


A building permit and any related plumbing, electrical, gas or heating permits are required. View more information »

Supplementary Utility Fees:

Supplementary utility fees for water and sewer charges are billed with utility notices. View more information »

Contact Us

General or Building Permit Inquiries
Telephone: 604-294-7130

Supplementary Utility Fees Inquiries
Telephone: 604-294-7350 (Tax Office)