Category Archives: renting

BC Tables Speculation Tax on Vacant Second Homes

Will a new tax on vacant homes help solve the affordability crisis?

The speculation tax will apply to those who own multiple properties in Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca), Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.

The tax will apply at a reduced rate in 2018, based on property owned as of Dec. 31. It expands in 2019 to 0.5 per cent of assessed value for B.C. residents, one per cent for Canadians from outside B.C., and two per cent for non-Canadians.

Owners are exempt if they rent their properties for at least six months a year. And there is also a tax credit for B.C. residents with second homes valued under $400,000.

James pointed to exemptions she said will make the tax fair, including for people facing medical emergencies, people who have to relocate suddenly for a job, seniors who enter care homes, people undergoing a separation, and those with disabilities.

“If people choose to leave their homes vacant where the housing crisis is the deepest, we are asking them to pay their fair share. All that revenue will be returned to British Columbians in the form of affordable housing,” said James.

Read the full article here.

Legal rent increase to be reduced?

A BC government panel recommends reducing the maximum legal rent increase to help deal with the housing crisis:

The recommendation tries to strike a balance between renters struggling to keep up with rent increases and landlords who need to maintain their properties, Mr. Chandra Herbert told reporters Monday.

While some groups had called for a rent freeze, the task force decided that wasn’t a fair approach, he said.

“We tried to stake a bit of a middle path between those views – one that will allow increased affordability for people, as well as an ability to maintain properties,” Mr. Chandra Herbert said.

“We don’t want to lose rental properties in this province when for so many years, there was no focus on building them,” he added.

Read the full article here.

The hollowing out of Vancouver

Some smaller retailers are packing up and leaving Vancouveras rents rise and some owners would prefer to leave retail units empty:

“Certain areas of Vancouver are hollowing out,” Patterson said.

On Denman and Robson, he suggested it is due to higher rents, some of which is tied to rezoning potential.

“Some landlords don’t want to lower [retail] rents because it reduces the value of their building,” he said. “They would rather leave [storefronts] empty.”

Retail lease rates on Robson Street range from $120 to $250 per square foot, the second highest in the city behind Alberni Street, according to a recent survey by Cushman & Wakefield.

A second-quarter 2018 study by commercial realtor Marcus & Millchap showed the average price of a retail property sold in Vancouver this year was in excess of $1,000 per square foot, up 25 per cent from 2017. Average retail rents now average $30.10 per square foot, up nearly 10 per cent from 2017, the agency added.

Read the full article over at the courier.

30 years of vacant lots in False Creek

We may be running out of land, but apparently the old expo lands aren’t. The city has had tentative rights to 6 vacant lots intended for affordable housing for almost 3 decades:

Veteran architect and planner Michael Geller said it is “outrageous” that these sites haven’t been developed, but he believes talks could now be rekindled — even if the levels of government come up with a different plan for who might live in these future buildings, such as a mix of social, low-income, rental and affordable ownership. Some type of solution is required, he argued, if people are going to believe the affordable housing promises made for future developments in the city.

“When Northeast False Creek came up, I did say: Look, it’s great to promise all this affordable housing, but let’s not forget we still have these six sites undeveloped in the north shore of False Creek,’” said Geller, who was involved in the Coal Harbour development at the time.

Read the full article here.

 

Pro-tip: Don’t rent your ‘vacation home’ to a 14 year old

It’s kind of fabulous how easy it is these to days to rent out your spare homes as a vacation home with an online listing. And it’s easy to find a vacation home for a short term stay as well, all you need is a credit card… or your parents credit card.

Police say they were called around 8:30 Friday night to a home on Ottawa Avenue near 24th Street and saw 200 teens flooding out of the house.

Palmer says damage is now estimated at approximately $20,000.

“Walls were kicked in, furniture was smashed, artwork was smashed, furniture was tossed off the balcony into a hot tub,” he says.

The family has agreed to pay for the damage and no criminal charges will be pursued by the owner of the rental home.

Full article here.