Bidding wars have erupted between people looking to rent apartments in Metro Vancouver.
In an effort to understand how renters are faring in the city’s hot housing market, the Lynda Steele Show had listeners to call in and share their experiences. But first, the CKNW’s program director Larry Gifford shared his experience of being a newcomer trying to rent a house.
“We got into a bidding war for the rent,” he says. After submitting an application Larry says he received a reply from the landlord saying “Well we really like you but there’s other people who are willing to pay more.’”
Larry says he coughed up the extra cash because “This was the first great home that we saw, and we wanted it.”
Renters must be strategic
Listener Melanie Sauvé called in and shared some of her tips for finding a place in Vancouver.
“While at work you have to have Craigslist up in the background and essentially refreshing your browser every hour,” she says, and if you’re interested you have to reply immediately.
Sauvé says most showings happen the same day the ad goes up.
“These were mass showings, where you’d be shoulder to shoulder with other people in a small unit.”
Communicate with landlord
Another recommendation she makes is to stress that you’ll be the only person residing in the apartment (if that’s the case) and she says “you have to compete, you have to be aggressive…perhaps you’ll need to offer extra money.”
Sauvé said she thinks there isn’t enough government regulation of the rental process.
“Perhaps there’s not enough people from the landlord-tenancy act who can regulate what’s going on,” she says.
Langley landlord favours personality over finances
But it’s not all bad news for renters. One listener, Corey, a landlord in Langley says that he focuses on character and good references when choosing tenants for the unit located on his home property.
Corey says he has been shocked by the response to an apartment he listed recently.
“We had a showing and the response was huge. I had at least 50 different groups of people applying for this one place…and three different groups offering more money than what we were asking for the place, a couple hundred dollars (more), and they’re saying this in front of everyone else who was applying for the place. Offering to pay several months of rent in advance.”
Larry attributes the uptick in interest to the affordability crisis in Vancouver moving outwards.
“I’ve never seen people appearing that desperate to get a place and I’ve been doing this for quite a few years.”