Category Archives: renting

You can buy, but you can’t rent

The BC Court of Appeal has upheld the right of a strata corporation to limit rentals in a condo building.

The ruling on Friday states that the strata council of Hycroft Towers in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood can restrict its owners from renting out their suites – without explaining why – because anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly can take their case to the B.C. Supreme Court.

The dismissal of the appeal reinforces the right of strata councils to stop rentals in their buildings, a tactic that experts say might be creating more pressure on the region’s extremely tight rental market.

The case centred around a family that began renting out one of the three units they owned at Hycroft Towers last September – despite an earlier rejection of their application to expand the rental pool in the building by the strata council.

The family argued that, under the province’s strata laws, the council must also provide the criteria by which it grants permission for owners to rent their units.

However, Justice Gregory James Fitch ruled that it is “difficult to imagine that an acceptable screening criteria for administering the rent restriction cap [such as the ‘needs-based’ system proposed by the appellants] could be devised that would comply with [provincial law].”

Ah, condo ownership, where you get all the bills without the hassle of all the control.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.

On a side note, we’ve disabled the inline image rendering in comments. We made it a surprisingly long time before it degenerated into out of control garbage and it was nice to be able to see the occasional graph rendered in a comment, but clearly you people can’t be trusted.

18-34 year olds more likely to live with mom and dad

It used to be that most parents would provide their kids with food and shelter until they left high school. Some would stick around home while attending higher education, but most would move out on their own and start taking responsibility for themselves.

Then a funny thing happened in the economy.  Stuff changed. Incomes declined while the cost of living went up.

For the first time in modern history 18-34 year olds in the US are more likely living with their parents than on their own, with roommates or with a romantic partner.

A big reason is a decline in economic opportunities. As the cost of living has escalated and wages have stagnated, young people face mounting student debt and daunting barriers to renting or owning a home, creating obstacles to cohabitation and marriage.

The trend is led by young men, whose fortunes have been declining since the 1960s. While they have always lived with their parents in greater numbers than young women, this setup became the dominant living arrangement for them in 2009. In 2014 35 percent of young men lived with parents, while only 28 percent lived with a spouse or partner (for young women, the percentages are flipped: 29 and 35, respectively).

read the full article here.

It’s a tough job to bust AirBnB listings in Vancouver

Short term AirBnB style property rentals are not permitted in Vancouver and the city can levy fines up to $10,000, but apparently there are still some of these short term rentals available.

“The difficult and complex thing comes when we move forward with prosecution,” Toma said, explaining that the city needs to connect the property owner to an online short-term rental listing without the help of a specific address.

Toma said a few cases against short-term renters are pending. Fines in those and other cases are up to the prosecutor, but staff recommend they recoup investigation expenses at minimum.

City staff are contemplating new tools to deal with the nuisance aspect of short-term rentals at the same time as assessing the industry’s impact, Toma said.

“We do have such a tight rental market,” Toma said, adding that she hoped staff could craft a smart and enforceable regulation that would also “find that sort of a sweet spot” for those sharing their home to meet their mortgage payments.

Of course there is one kind of short term rental that is currently allowed in Vancouver, but it comes with a few catches:

Bed and breakfasts are allowed in Vancouver, but under certain conditions. Homeowners need to live in the residence and they can host a maximum of four guests in two bedrooms, among other regulations. They also have to pay a one-time development and building permit fee, get a business licence and pass a safety inspection.

Read the full article over at the province.

More propaganda from the pro-renting cabal

The highly secretive pro-renting cabal that runs the local media have another article out comparing renting to owning with an obvious preference given to renting:

Not only did renting give her more options for places, put an extra $700 a month in her pocket and get her off the hook for repairs, maintenance, property taxes and the day-to-day responsibilities of ownership, it also gave her more options to live her life.

“If I had purchased in Vancouver, my future for the next many years is set (in stone),” said Yee, who is now happily living in a 685-square-foot, two-bedroom laneway house with her partner in her dream neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant for $1,650 a month.

“With renting, I can do whatever I want. It’s so freeing and valuable to me.”

They also paint ownership in a negative light:

Putting all your eggs in one very expensive and non-liquid item over the expense of other assets doesn’t make financial sense, say some experts.

Hannah says unprepared homeowners can end up more stressed and in debt than renters. Studies have also shown homeowners aren’t happier than renters. They have less leisure time and derive more pain than joy from their homes.

Will the media stop at nothing in their portrayal of renting as a superior life choice?

Read the full article here. Thanks to southseacompany for the link. Krystal Yee runs a personal finance blog that can be found at givemebackmyfivebucks.com.

The 140 sq ft apartment

‘Microlofts’ aren’t a new thing, but they seem to be getting smaller.

Enter the ‘Nanosuite’.

UBC has announced they will will be building 140 square foot apartments for student housing.

That’s still bigger than living in a van, but not everyone seems enchanted with the idea.

Reaction was mixed.

“I think they’re pretty cool,” said international economics student Raj Singh, 19.

“They have many things that you might not get in campus residences, for example a private washroom. But I’m like a really messy person, so if I were to move in there, it would be a disaster.”

“They’re very small,” said economics student Chun Lok Tse, 18.

“It’s kind of strange to not have a table and a bed at the same time. I’ve seen the prices online, $675 a month. For not a lot more you can get a better room, which shares a kitchen with three other people. I’d much prefer those to these.”

His friend Kennedee Fung agreed.

“Where I’m from in Asia, houses are famous for being small,” she said.

“And this is even smaller than the ones we usually live in. So it’s kind of ridiculous.

“I really don’t like the idea that you have to pull down your bed every time you want to work or sleep, I think that is quite a hassle. Also there isn’t much storage space.

“Although you have a kitchen and a bathroom, as an international student, you have suitcases, and you wouldn’t know where to put them.”

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.