Legal, Income & Secondary Suites!

Legal, Income & Secondary Suites!

Posted: July 14 2021

Legal, Income & Secondary Suites

How to pay of your mortgage faster, or get approved for more with a secondary income suite! If you’re thinking about developing a secondary suite in your new home, keep reading!

What is an Income Suite?

A legal income suite is more than just renting out a room to a good friend! A secondary suite is an additional dwelling that is part of an existing home. They are either constructed as an addition to an existing house or incorporated during the construction of a new house–that’s where we come in!

What's required to build in Income Suite?

In order to build a secondary legal suite (legal being the key word here), there are many steps to meeting code requirements, which is why it’s best to plan for a secondary suite during construction (rather after). Adding upgrades like a side entry and plumbing rough-ins are important to consider when building, and more cost effective opposed to going back and altering your completed home.

The guidelines are tricky! A secondary suite must include a kitchen, bathroom, living and sleeping space as well as a separate entrance. They can be on the same level as the house or built above or below it. Below is considers a basement legal suite, and above is typically above the garage or a garden suite. These suites can also have more than one storey. As long as the space is accessible without passing through the main house. Entry through a common interior space, or directly into the suite from outside is acceptable.

You can build your secondary suite within a single family attached, or detached garage home, duplexes, and even freehold townhomes. Keep in mind, some communities allow legal suites and others do not! If you’re adamant on owning a home with a legal suite, be sure the development you plan to build in allows secondary suites!

How does an Income Suite pay off?

Let’s do the math! If we assume you have a household income of $100K, and you rent out your secondary income suite for $1K a month (for easy math), your total annual income is now $112K. This additional income will increase your home affordability, and if you apply all the rental income to your mortgage payment your monthly payment will be almost half!

Overall, secondary legal suites are a great investment and payback quickly! They allow you to get ahead of your finances and increase the value of your overall new home investment. Plus you can pay your mortgage off faster and even qualify for a more expensive home!


“Secondary Suites.” Secondary Suites | City of Edmonton, 

Sebastiano, Craig. “How to Offset Your Mortgage Costs with an Income Suite.”, 1 May 2017,


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