Surrey launches Illegal Construction Enforcement Team (ICET)

THE City of Surrey announced on Wednesday that it has launched a new Illegal Construction Enforcement Team (ICET) to crack down on unpermitted residential construction in Surrey.

The move follows a recent update to City bylaws doubling fines (from $500 to $1,000) which now can be issued daily for each infraction, including construction without a permit, ignoring a stop work order, preventing an inspection, and occupancy without a permit.

“Illegal construction threatens the safety and wellbeing of occupants, site workers and surrounding neighbourhoods,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “In fact, illegal unpermitted construction is six times more likely to result in serious safety issues such as injury or death and can also cause dangerous environmental issues. Illegal construction is just not worth the risk to yourself, your investment, or occupants.”

In addition to charges and injunctions resulting in court action that could lead to fines up to $50,000 per offence, property owners are subject to deconstruction and removal costs of unauthorized structures. Unpermitted construction could also jeopardize the future sale of the home and insurance companies may refuse to pay for claims resulting from problems associated with work that was performed illegally without proper inspections.

In 2021, Bylaw received 617 complaints relating to construction activities and the city issued over 600 stop work orders.

To file a complaint about construction you suspect has been done without permits, email or call 604-591-4370. Complaints can also be submitted online through the Report a Problem application. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.