The City of Maple Ridge is hoping two new bylaws create more housing opportunities for the growing community, while still maintaining a level of responsibility for property owners.
Council voted to remove the owner occupancy requirement for secondary suites and detached garden suites, while making it mandatory to obtain a business licence for home owners who want to take advantage of the new allowance.
City councillors had expressed interest in making the amendments since September 2019. Previously, the city required owners of single detached dwellings, who were interested in renting out two ore more units, to live on site.
Two separate amending bylaws were approved: one eliminates the owner occupancy requirement for secondary and detached garden suites, while the other requires these owners to obtain a business licence.
As this is a new requirement, the city will be waiving the $500 application review fee for the first year.
This does not, however, pertain to the cost of the licence itself.
In order to ensure the property is still properly managed, owners must enter into a Good Neighbour Agreement (GNA) with the city, as a condition of the licence.
Under the GNA, owners recognize they are responsible for addressing the conduct of their tenants and ensuring their property adheres to the city’s maintenance standards.
In addition, the GNA assists the City with suspending or terminating a property owner’s business licence for continued bylaw violations.
“This decision is another example of Council’s work to implement our Community Social Safety Initiative,” said Mayor Mike Morden.
“It expands the local housing continuum in a responsible way by enabling the creation of more rental suites, along with the introduction of accountability measures for property owners to ensure neighbourhoods are kept safe.”