Inspection Services

City Inspection Services

Realty Glimpse LIVE
Thursday, February 28, 2018
Annie Arsenault, Operations Manager for City Services

Presentation Slides

Annie Arsenault is the Operations Manager for Inspection Services at the City of Grande Prairie. At this Realty Glimpse LIVE, she shares on permits, building codes and secondary suites, plus answers questions from the audience. Tanis Fletcher also from the City of GP in attendance for questions that cross over to Development Services. If you’re buying a home, or looking to make any changes, watching this video or purveying the questions below will be worth your time.

3:13 What is a permit, and why do I need one?

3:55 Is there an advantage to having the required permits when you sell?

4:38 What provincial legislation is in effect (Municipal Affairs & Safety Codes Counsel) that makes it so that a city is required to issue permits?

6:19 Who determines what is on the safety inspection reports?

7:10 Would the inspections be the same from one town to the next?

7:28 What is the building By-law?

8:20 What inspections does the city do, and what is the liability of those inspections?

10:13 Could I check on a neighbor to see if they pulled a permit?

12:05 What is the difference between the Inspection Services department & the Development department? (Physical footprint vs. Physical building)

13:20 What is an occupancy certificate?

15:00 After the city does a final inspection, there may be some things a builder will need to address, does the builder get something at the end stating those things have been addressed, or is the occupancy permit basically that?

16:20 Does the City take into consideration the history of the builder (when inspecting the property)?

17:13 It used to be that if there was a door on a second floor for the purpose of a deck, that there would need to be a deck, or there couldn’t be an occupancy permit. Is that the case still?

17:55 What are permits required for (or when are they not required for decks & sheds)

20:52 Regarding commercial, is a permit required when there is a change of use (e.g., adding a coffee shop in a building that never had a coffee shop in it before)?

21:30 Do I need a permit for tenant improvements (TI)?

22:44 Do I need to get a city permit if I am purchasing a commercial building, but not changing the use?

24:12 When it comes to subtrades, when do I require a permit?

25:06 Is the subtrade responsible for getting the permit, or the home owner?

27:40 How long do I have to complete the work once I pull the permit?

29:39 What are some of the inspections that I might expect?

30:15 What if I have a house that has a developed basement, but there were no permits pulled?

36:55 Do you need a permit if you replace your hot water tank with a hot water on demand?

37:38 Secondary Suites

37:38 What secondary suites are allowed?

40:30 As far as inspection services is required (not touching on development), what requirements are there for a new secondary suite (or built after 2006)?

42:48 Is a supplementary heat source still permitted for a secondary suite (as opposed to an entirely separate heat source), and, if it was built prior to 2006, would that suffice?

43:25 Is there a requirement as to where the furnace must be (and if it must be accessible by both the owner and the person living in the secondary suite)?

44:08 Separate hot water tanks and separate electrical panels are not required. Would this cause issues where someone might not be able to access a panel if a breaker blows – why is it set up this way?

46:10 Is there something you can get from the city that shows that a secondary suite is permitted?

46:45 How long does inspection services keep permits (or final inspection reports) for, are they only held for 7 years?

47:30 How long does Development Services keep their permits for?

47:50 Is there a size requirement, such as the secondary suite cannot exceed a certain size?

48:27 Is there a limit to the number of rooms, and parking requirements?

49:05 Does the number of rooms and parking requirements apply to secondary suites older than 2006?

49:44 The listing agreement says “do you know of any lack of permits”. Maybe this isn’t the best question. What should the wording be, and what might you ask if you notice something that you’re not sure is built correctly?