No suite deal for family members
Two years ago, my husband and I decided to renovate our basement for our adult daughter. As there are no options in Surrey to create an independent living space in your home for a family member other than to build a legal basement suite, we paid for the permit and began working on it as time allowed.
Although the permit remains open, each year the city charges us $1,400 in taxes to provide services for a suite that is under construction. When our daughter moves from an upstairs room to downstairs, we will continue to pay even though the household occupancy hasn’t increased and we aren’t generating income revenue.
While it doesn’t make sense to pay for utilities for an unfinished suite, “the City does not have a mechanism to change the way the charge is applied”, according to the City of Surrey.
Appreciating my dissatisfaction, it was further suggested that our utility bill could be approximately three times less if we let the city install a free water meter. Not only are we are being charged for the services we aren’t using, we are being overcharged. Two wrongs and no right for the City of Surrey.
Karen Janeway, Surrey