Seafield Apartments, Vancouver Rental Housing Market, Rental Assistance Program for BC, Vancouver Condo Rents &Vacancy Update, Residential Tenancy Act
Vancouver Seafield Apartments West End Residents Protesting Rental Rent Hikes
According to the Vancouver 24Hours newspaper: The owner of a West End rental apartment building in downtown Vancouver has no reservations about raising tenants’ rent by up to 73 per cnet. Jason Gordon, of Gordon Nelson Investments, took ownership of the 12 suite Seafield Apartment building in the Vancouver West End rental apartment market at 1436 Pendrell Street last year and says the proposed rent increases is fair. “It’s a competitive business and the West End is extremely desirable,” Gordon told 24Hours Vancouver. “This group [of tenants] pays 50 per cent of what’s on the market. I think they should pay what everyone else is.” But the residents at Seafield Apartment Vancouver West End rental suites of the ight knit building have opposed the rent hikes, and have enlisted the likes of Gregor Robertson, when he was a mayoral candidate, and new Vancouver-Burrard MLA Spencer Herbert to champion their cause. “The Residential Tenancy Act is completely out of balance,” Herbert said outside the West End Seafield Apartments for rent yesterday. “The only reason the landlords are seeking these increases is gree.” Herbert is lobbying to eradicate the geographic area clause in the Residential Tenancy Act, which allows landlords to raise below market rents up to the same levels of neighbouring units. “B.C. is the only province in Canada that allows this to happen,” Herbert claims. In the meantime, the residents of the downtown Vancouver rental building at Seafield Apartments West End will be making their case to the Residential Tenancy Branch in March and they’re ready to take their fight to court. “There is very little else that we can do,” said David Bronstein, whose rent for a one bedroom apartment at Seafield Apartments West End Vancouver rental suites will jump from $1,100 to $1,880. By Matt.
Metro Vancouver Rental Vacancy Rates Tightening
According to the Real Estate Weekly, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp’s Fall 2008 Rental Market Survey shows tha the apartment vacancy rate for the Metro Vancouver rental condo market moved lower in 2008. The average apartment vacany rate in Metro Vancouver apartment rental market moved from 0.7 per cent in 2007 to 0.5 per cent as of October of last year. Low vacancies are keeping rents rising at above the rate of inflation right now in Metro Vancouver rental market. “There are several factors driving demand for rental accommodations in Vancouver,” said Robyn Adamache, senior rental market analyst with CMHC. “Job growth and a steady inflow of new residents ot the region are keeping demand for rental housing robust. The large gap between the cost of a home ownership and renting in the Greater Vancouver region is also causing some people to stay in rental housing.”
Vancouver Rental Market Remains Tight – Rental Vacancies Drop Throughout Canada
The average rental apartment vacancy rate in Canada’s thirty four largest major centres has decreased to 2.2 per cent from 2.6 per cnet a year earlier in 2007, according to the Rental Market Survey by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Metro Vancouver rental market, at 0.5 per cnet has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, with Kelowna leading the way at 0.3 per cent. The annual CMHC survey found that the rental vacancy rate for Greater Vancouver condominium rentals is even lower than the conventional apartment market. Greater Vancouver vacancy rates for rental condominium apartments were below one per cent in four of the ten centres surveyed. Rental condominium vacancy rates were among the “lowest in Metro Vancouver.” The highest average monthly rents for two bedroom condominium apartments were in Troonto ($1,625), Vancouver ($1,507) and Calgary ($1,293).
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Rental Assistance Program for BC
Making a difference for fa milies in BC real estate. If your household income is $35,000 or less, you may be eligible to receive cash assistance with your monthly rent payments in the province of BC. Effective April 2008, the Province has increased the maximum household income level for the BC Rental Assistance Program for low-income working families. To qualify for the Rental Assistance Program of BC, families must have at least one dependent child have lived in B.C. for the past 12 months and have spend part of the last year working. For more information about the BC Rental Assistance Program, call 604.433.2218 in the Lower Mainland or 1.800.257.7756 elsewhere in B.C. You can also visit www.bchousing.org as Housing Matters.
Vancouver Rental Market Tightens
Apartment vacancies across Canada’s major cities fell to 2.6 per cent in April form 2.8 per cent in the same month a year ago, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “The Canadian economy remains very supportive of strong demand for both ownership and rental housing thnaks to solid job creation and healthy income gains,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said. “High levels of immigration and the increasing gap between the cost of home ownership and renting continue to drive rental demand in 2008. These factors have put downward pressure on vacancy rates over the past year.” The vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver is in the 1 per cent range in most municipalities.
B.C. Real Estate Has Lowest Rental Vacancy Rates
Apartment vacancies in Canada’s major cities fell in April as solid employment numbers and increasing incomes pushed demand higher. About half of BC’s cities record either a decline in the vacancy rate or no change compared to one year ago. The average Vancouver rental apartments vacancy rate in 35 major centres fell to 2.6 per cent in April from 2.8 per cent in the same month a year ago, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “The Canadian economy remains very supportive of strong demand for both Vancovuer ownership and rental housing thanks to both solid job creation and healthy income gains,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said Thursday in a statement. “High levels of immigration and the increasing gap between the cost of home ownserhip and renting continue to drive the rental demand in 2008.” The lowest vacancy rates were to be found in Victoria (0.3 per cent), Kelowna, B.C. (0.3 per cnt), Sudbury, Ont., (0.7 per cnt), Vancouver (0.9 per cent) and Saskatoon (0.9 per cent). Rising migration and the high cost of Vancouver home ownership in British Columbia has pushed apartment vacancies there below one per cent in all major centres save Abbotsford. The province’s overall rate stood at 1.1 per cent in April. The Western provinces typically saw the lowest vacancy rates in the country, with Manitoba at one per cent, Saskatchewan at 1.2 per cent. Alberta real estate logged an increase in vacancies to 2.9 per cent from 0.9 per cent in the April a year earlier “mainly due to reduced migration into the province and increased supply of rented condominiums and basement apartments. Vacancies in Calgary increased to 2 per cent from 0.5 per cent and in Edmonton to 3.4 per cent from 1.1 per cent. The highest apartment vacancy rates were seen in Windsor, Ont (13.2 per cent), Moncton (5.5 per cent) and Hamilton (4.7 per cent).
Oh, and by the way, Rent Rules Vital
An important column published in the 24 Hrs newspaper in Vancouver by Siobhan R. though our society pays homeage to the God of home ownership, it’s interesting to note how many people still rent their homes – 57 per cent of households in Vancouver have landlords. Even if, as predicted, Vancouver house prices do level off, asking prices have reached altitudes that prohibit many people from buying a home in Vancouver – a situation that isn’t likely to change for some time in the Lower Mainland. Given all this, and the fact that one third of householders in B.C. rent, it’s infuriating that we have a provincial government that has actually made Vancouver renters more vulnerable to eviction and rent increases. When, in 2004, the B.C. government weakened the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), it did this knowingly and deliberately. Changes to the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) allowed annual rent increases that tenants no longer had the right to dispute, even if repairs hadn’t been done. Don’t take my word though. Just last week, on the City of Vancouver website, I found a letter from Mayor Sam Sullivan to Premier Gordon Campbell (written May 14) urging the Premier to better protect Vancouver tenants and renters in the Lower Mainland area by amending the landlord tenant law of BC. According to the letter, some landlords in B.C. use provisions in the B.C. RTA to increase rents far in excess of what is allowed. They accomplish this by evicting Vancouver tenants on the pretext that major renovations need to be done. This allows them to create a new tenancy at a significantly higher rent. The major’s letter refers to cases of “mass” eviction reported in the Vancouver media but also admits the city has no idea how many tenants of individual or smaller rental units suffer the same fate.
The mayor urges the premier to tighten up the rules around these so-called “renovations.” He also suggests that Vancouver tenants who do have to move are given 90 days notice instead of 60 days, too short a time under the current scarcity of rental Vancouver accommodations to find somewhere new. Sullivan’s letter explains that some landlords coerce tenants, who often feel like they don’t have much choice, into signing tenancy agreements that end at a specific date rather than ongoing tenancies with no definite end. The former type allows landlords in B.C. to raise rents as uch as they wish once the end date comes – even if the tenant in Vancouver remains the same. As if all this isn’t bad enough, in 2004, the B.C. government closed the Vancouver branch of the Residential Tenancy Branch, a service that assists with landlord tenant disputes in Greater Vancouver. Now there is only one such office to serve the entire Lower Mainland. Though the City of Vancouver itself has much to do in terms of housing – its letter to the Premier spells out quite clearly that the B.C. government must amend the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act in order to protect B.C.’s increasingly vulnerable renters, with one third of British Columbians renting their homes. I couldn’t agree more.