What is a 1/2 Duplex?

East Vancouver Property: 1/2 Duplex (or Half Duplex)

There are many 1/2 Duplexes scattered across East Vancouver, and that number is only growing as small scale Developer’s look to maximize the revenue and build potential on East Vancouver Lots. What is a Half Duplex? It is one house with two separate homes, either built side-by-side (sharing a wall and the roof) or one on top of the other (sharing the roof). The size of the lot typically determines the orientation of the Duplex, meaning, a wide lot with significant frontage to the street will have side by side 1/2 Duplexes, whereas a lot that is long and narrow will have the 1/2 Duplexes stacked, or will build a front and back 1/2 Duplex.

City of Vancouver 1/2 Duplex Guide

1/2 Duplexes are also known as “Two Family Dwellings” in Vancouver (Zoning Code RT-) . Based on City of Vancouver Development Standards, each 1/2 Duplex should have its own private outdoor space to provide for the wide variety of outdoor activities that households pursue. Some privacy in outdoor spaces is important allowing for privacy and the ability for residents to express individuality and self-expression.

Each 1/2 Duplex also requires it’s own front door and they usually have their own parking spot (whether a garage, or dedicated spot in a driveway). Typically, 1/2 Duplexes are built to be of similar sizes with the same materials (which aids the developer’s during the build). They are built so that each unit has their own building components (i.e. hot water tank, heating, electrical panel, etc), meaning the 1/2 Duplexes only share the roof, building exterior (often each 1/2 Duplex maintains their own windows) and common yard or driveways.

Duplexes often do not confirm to standard BC Property Act Regulations (colloquially known as a “non conforming Strata” though they aren’t allowed to be non conforming). This means the duplex residents don’t often have monthly meetings, don’t have a budget, don’t have strata fees, don’t report on their financials like typical Strata does, and often don’t follow BC Strata Property Act Bylaws. Instead, owners typically source yearly common insurance and informally agree to maintenance and common costs as they come up (both owners should agree in writing prior to maintenance being done). This can make ownership complicated if owners aren’t of the same mindset when it comes to costs and maintenance, which is why the best practice is to hold a yearly AGM, craft a budget, collect strata fees, maintain minute and financial records, and hold a common Strata bank Account. The Owners (together known as the Strata) is still required to maintain all common property (the exterior and any common pipes/vents/etc) so if something happens to the common property both owners are required to pay their share based on the Unit Entitlement of the Strata Plan.

See the City’s website for more information about the City of Vancouver’s 1/2 Duplex requirements.

See the CHOA website for more information about Duplexes: https://www.choa.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/pdf/800/800-157-18122014-Non-Conforming-Stratas.pdf

The CHOA website is a great resource for all Strata information. Use a common term to search to find answers to similar questions you may have.

Half duplexes explained - East Vancouver

This Half Duplex is a Front and Back Duplex, meaning the Front Unit has private access to the front yard, whereas the Back property has private use of the Backyard. The two single car garages are facing the lane in the back. There are pros and cons to each home: the front unit is North facing and has the good street appeal, whereas the back unit has the sunny south facing exposure with the more private backyard.

1/2 Duplexes are great for people who want the feel of a detached house: families who need extra space but cannot yet afford their own lot, or down-sizers who want the feel of a house without the unnecessary space.

Search all 1/2 Duplexes for Sale in East Van.

If you have any questions about 1/2 Duplexes in East Vancouver, send the WeLoveEastVan team a message. With the number of new Half Duplexes hitting the market, we can help decipher value, the intricacies surrounding purchasing newly built homes and the information you need to know regarding 1/2 Duplex ownership.