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Victoria rental housing market and related issues discussion


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#21 aastra

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 01:04 PM

A lot of the problems mentioned in this article don't really have anything to do with this building in particular. You'll find the same things happening in rental/condo buildings all over town.

The company was also publicly criticized earlier this year after numerous vehicle break-ins at the underground parkade.


some tenants reported people wandering the halls late at night, trying doors and robbing unlocked suites.


The public washrooms, which are often used by homeless people and drug addicts according to other businesses,



#22 gumgum

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 01:19 PM

^True, but when the retailers start complaining, you know things are serious.
You should never mess with your commercial tenants. You shouldn't mess with any tenant, but espescially commercial tenants.

#23 D.L.

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 01:20 PM

TransGlobe sux because they plaster those blue signs with their stupid logos all over their buildings. Drive down Gorge Road and you are mentally bombarded with TransGlobe, TransGlobe, TRANSGLOBE!! Probably a reflection of the twisted minds which run the company.

#24 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 06:20 PM

And it seems to me that you have to be really frustrated as a commercial tenant/ restaurant owner if you're willing to be quoted in an article that talks about proliferation of rats in the garbage room. Ewww. I mean, a restaurant must be pretty desperate for something to get fixed if it's willing to be on the same page with that, no?

PS: I should add that Heron Rock is pretty interesting, and the people who opened it have worked like crazy to make it good. They shouldn't have to put up with this.
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#25 mat

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:19 PM

The Heron Rock is a very good restaurant doing some interesting (for Victoria) variations on menus, and the feel/approach of the place. It is very much like a mid-level cafe in any town in Belgium of France. That is a compliment.

The cafes in Europe are not only the 'local pub' but places where families will gather, often 2 or more times per week. With competition, the menus, quality of food and ambience, made many of these establishments homey in feel, exceptional in food. HR does much of that.

The Heron Rock has without doubt some of the best dishes in Victoria - it lacks in location, and the building management is laughable.

Mat

#26 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:40 PM

Interesting letter to the editor in today's T-C, from Al Kemp:

New condos increase rental stock in Victoria


Times Colonist

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Re: "City council seeks ways to aid tenants," Dec. 9.

The article cites Coun. Chris Coleman as noting that Victoria is losing rental stock through conversion to condos. While this might be true in Vancouver, it is not the case in Victoria.

In fact, about 35 per cent of the units in each new condo building are rented out by their owners.

Consequently our rental stock is increasing by hundreds of units, not decreasing through condo conversions. I know of not one large apartment building in Victoria that has been converted from rentals to condos.

Further, Coleman and Coun. Dean Fortin need to ensure they do not advocate penalizing the entire industry, which provides homes for 60 per cent of Victorians, based on their perception of the problems that might exist in one building.

Al Kemp,
CEO,
Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C.,
Victoria.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

http://www.canada.co...f3-585ff1699cf3


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#27 Mike K.

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:47 PM

Weren't those 10-storey apartments on Johnson (near Cook) converted to condos from rental?

#28 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 05:52 PM

^ I wouldn't know -- would the conversion have been recent? Maybe someone else can answer this one.
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#29 Holden West

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 06:04 PM

Oh, you mean the two Sutton towers next to the Volvo lot. They were rehabbed but I don't know what they were.
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#30 G-Man

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:11 PM

^ I believe that they were converted to condos.

#31 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 07:18 PM

^ I believe that they were converted to condos.


Correct. Sort of. They were both built strata titled. I lived in WEST in the mid-80's and my unit was already individually owned. EAST was only recently sold as individual units in the last 7~8 years.

#32 Caramia

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

Not terribly recent.

So I guess then the next question is, what percentage of the condos are now rentals?

#33 Mike K.

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:54 PM

I seem to recall a rather concerted sales effort through the MLS in the Sutton towers (or maybe it was just one of them) 2004-ish. There was a large banner hanging off the side of the east tower advertising units so I imagine it wasn't just a few existing owners getting together to sell a limited number of units, but rather converted apartments being sold as condos by the management.

#34 G-Man

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:50 AM

Were there JBNEA protests when Roberts House went condo?

#35 Mike K.

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:02 AM

Not when their own members purchased the condos ;)

#36 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 06:49 PM

On the previous page of this thread, we discussed TransGlobe, which owns James Bay Square and many other properties around town. T-C reports that they just bought the Board of Trade building at 31 Bastion Square, too:

Heritage building at Bastion Square sold to TransGlobe


Times Colonist

Published: Friday, December 21, 2007
TransGlobe Property Management has added the Board of Trade building at 31 Bastion Square to its stable of Victoria properties.
The Mississauga, Ont.-based company has been buying buildings in Greater Victoria over the last year and is one of the city's biggest landlords with more than 1,000 rental units. It has said it intends to double that number by 2010.
The latest acquisition, designated a heritage building, was built in 1892 and is home to 11 companies including Tourism Victoria, IBM Canada, Bayview Properties and Pace Group Communications.
31 Bastion Square is under new management.

Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist




The building has been managed by Midwest Property Management, though it's not clear if TransGlobe will take over the job.
The Board of Trade building is a four-storey property with more than 34,000 square feet of rentable space.
"We are thrilled to acquire such a historic and beautiful building in Victoria in such a prestigious location. It is definitely a new gem in our portfolio of properties and we intend to maintain it with the attention and care that it deserves," said Daniel Drimmer, president of TransGlobe in a release.
"This acquisition further advances our growth strategy for the B.C. region where we are continually looking to grow."
TransGlobe has commercial and residential properties in Victoria, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Surrey and Port Moody.

http://www.canada.co...bae4abf&k=15193


Ok, it's not rental housing, but TransGlobe came up earlier and we don't seem to have a Bastion Square thread, unless I just couldn't find it, so I posted this item here.
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#37 gumgum

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:14 PM

Rental Crunch
By Rebecca Aldous - Victoria News - January 16, 2008



People calling for help over rental disputes can expect an hour of lounge music before being served by a government agent.

B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch’s phone queue averages a 52-minute wait and the province’s low vacancy rates are not helping.

Over the last year the volume of inquires the branch dealt with increased by 80 per cent over the previous year. Its websites has become one of the most visited government sites.

“Typically people are more likely to stay and have a dispute with a landlord if they know that it is going to be very difficult to find another place to live,” said Suzanne Bell, the branch’s executive director.

In 2007, the branch handled 28,000 disputes. An order of possession file averages 2½ weeks to resolution and monetary concerns can take up to two months.

These waits are sucking money out of both landlords’ and tenants’ pockets, said Al Kemp, CEO of Rental Owners and Managers Society of B.C.

More frequently landlords are finding themselves stuck with bad tenants while awaiting hearings, he said. The price of a bailiff alone can cost $3,000.

On the flip side, tenants owed money from safety deposits or property repairs are waiting longer to be reimbursed.

In 2001, the branch’s staff was reduced. The government recently added nine members totaling 69 staff throughout the province.

Kemp said the increase is not enough to deal with current market conditions.

“(The branch) is grossly understaffed,” he said.

Waits have been reduced in recent years, but Kemp said they are still long.

Bell agrees. She hopes the government will increase staffing levels to reduce the phone queues, which 80 per cent of tenancy business is conducted on. The branch has requested money for staff in its upcoming budget.

“We will have to wait and see,” Bell said. “We are hopeful.”

In the meantime, the branch’s three offices – in Victoria, Burnaby and Kelowna – intend to focus on educating tenants and landlords as to their rights.

The more people know, the less they will need the branch’s services, Bell said.

raldous@vicnews.com

..

#38 LJ

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 08:48 PM

A young friend of mine, a female university student from abroad was looking to rent an apartment for herself and her brother, also a student.

Some of the questions the property managers ask seem quite inappropriate to me, is this the norm now?

How much money do you make?

How much money do your parents make?

Are you Chinese? We don't like Chinese because they call home at 3am, and disturb the other residents.

How old are you?

What was your address for the last 8 years?

What was your parents address for the last 8 years?



Is this the result of a .1% vacancy rate or is this business as usual?
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#39 Mike K.

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:04 PM

Apart from the question about ethnicity, the other questions are standard (I recently heard these exact questions when a friend was looking for an apartment). In this market landlords can be picky and will choose the best tenant (whatever best may be, which is subjective) from a list of applicants (for a decent apartment near or in downtown there can be a half-dozen applicants within a day of a unit being listed).

Your friend should also expect a credit check (especially when dealing with a rental agency like Quadra Pacific, Brown Bros., Devon, etc) and may need to provide information about her parents (income, potentially a credit check) in the event the agency feels a co-signer will be required.

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#40 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:26 PM

Sounds OK to me.

(for a decent apartment near or in downtown there can be a half-dozen applicants within a day of a unit being listed).


Uh-oh, someone priced their unit way to low! Probably bad advice from a Realtor.

China has 5 time zones, so I would be even less enthusiastic about renting to Chinese. They could be on the phone at 3am, 4, 5, 6.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Time_in_China

But they are 13 hours+ ahead, not sure the necessity for a 3am call. But you know those orientals, always causing trouble.

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