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2022 City of Victoria Election


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#541 spanky123

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 12:23 PM

^ It was 2008 when Sid Tafler's article in Monday blamed the housing shortage on vacant condos. He based his opinion on looking at the number of suites with lights on vs lights off. Despite being soundly debunked, it is a claim that just won't go away. We now have the empty homes tax, the spec tax and restrictions on short term rentals yet vacant condos and Airbnb are still getting the blame! In fact none of these have had any measurable impact on availability or pricing. That in itself is probably the best indication that there are other issues at stake. 


Edited by spanky123, 11 October 2021 - 12:25 PM.

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#542 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 12:30 PM

^ It was 2008 when Sid Tafler's article in Monday blamed the housing shortage on vacant condos. He based his opinion on looking at the number of suites with lights on vs lights off. Despite being soundly debunked, it is a claim that just won't go away. We now have the empty homes tax, the spec tax and restrictions on short term rentals yet vacant condos and Airbnb are still getting the blame! In fact none of these have had any measurable impact on availability or pricing. That in itself is probably the best indication that there are other issues at stake. 

 

There are definitely much larger other issues at stake - namely a residential tenancy act that removes most incentives to provide residential rental housing.


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#543 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 12:32 PM

That in itself is probably the best indication that there are other issues at stake. 

 

i have said it in similar terms here before.  if today we had an extra ten thousand $200,000 1-bedroom condos for sale, they would all be bought up right away.  


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#544 Mike K.

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 12:43 PM

Right. That’s why the market in Victoria plateaus when things go sideways, it doesn’t collapse. This is the one market difference between us and the rest of the Canadian market, and which has caused plenty of market watchers who’ve arrived here from wherever else to wrongly play the real-estate game.

Juno, tenancy is a provincial issue. Short term non-vacation rentals are not going to change anything, and landlords won’t be incentivized to manage short term rentals unless there is a large premium (and that’s where AirBnB is miles ahead with a platform managing short term rentals [be they vacation or otherwise]).

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#545 mbjj

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 02:53 PM

Re AirBNB. Every trip we've taken to Europe over the past almost thirty years, we've rented flats or cottages. We love doing our own cooking (food allergy makes dining out difficult), we have way more space, sometimes a swimming pool, and love to visit local markets to bring home wine, cheese, desserts, etc. If the only places to stay were hotels, we likely wouldn't be going anywhere - too expensive, no space, stuffy rooms, no ability to bring home amazing raw ingredients and cook them and we dislike eating in restaurants. We've only ever stayed in one place that was an actual AirBNB as Europeans have had lots of their own rental agencies for years. If you look at a place like Garmisch in Germany, there are dozens and dozens of places to rent. It's how the town survives. I can't imagine how anyone can afford to travel to Victoria or Vancouver and stay in a hotel. 


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#546 Nparker

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 03:03 PM

...I can't imagine how anyone can afford to travel to Victoria or Vancouver and stay in a hotel. 

Thanks to the Province and the CoV, there are many fewer hotel rooms in Victoria, so problem solved I guess.  :blink:



#547 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 08:15 AM

Air BnB where a person is letting their property be used for vacation purposes while they're on vacation is one thing, where a suite's sole purpose is to be used as vacation rentals is another and brings a whole raft of issues - including making the housing crunch more acute. It doesn't help that rental laws have moved too far in the direction of giving near ownership tenure to residential rentals - and that the rules governing vacation rentals are far more respectful of the owner's rights to property use, have less risk of damage that cannot be recovered (via insurance), and have far less risk of having a painful situation endure. The city cannot govern residential tenancy (although they can lobby for changes), however, does govern vacation rentals - and its encouraging to see some regulation of that market.

 

It would be encouraging for the province to recognize how the gap between the vacation rental market and the residential housing market is exacerbating the residential rental housing market. It would be encouraging to acknowledge that the more similar rental tenures are to ownership tenures, that the discount for being a rental diminishes and that we are losing what has been an affordable alternative to home ownership (that was less expensive in part because there was risk of being asked to move). A bit more balance in regards to those laws would be helpful - and perhaps some pages should be taken from employment law where length of tenure often governs the amount of notice that is needed to be given. Further, it might be helpful if the damage deposit system was retired and an insurance system (for both landlords and tenants) took it's place. Lastly, there's a gaping hole in the RTA with respect to room mates - which generally are not given any protections under the RTB. I fully acknowledge that all of that is provincial domain, however, unless the province fixes residential tenancy law, why would we expect there to be a greater supply of residential rentals?



#548 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 08:21 AM

 Further, it might be helpful if the damage deposit system was retired and an insurance system (for both landlords and tenants) took it's place. 

 

No.  If a person you are renting to cannot come up with a 1/2-month deposit, that is already a huge warning sign.  just like a poor credit report is.

 

no reason to run an entire insurance system with costs and overhead over a half month's rent.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 13 October 2021 - 08:35 AM.


#549 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 08:25 AM

Lastly, there's a gaping hole in the RTA with respect to room mates - which generally are not given any protections under the RTB. 

 

That's a bit more complicated, depending on exactly who the room-mates are. 

 

But it would be bad general policy that the RTA forces residents to continually cohabitate and share kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces for an extended period.  That's asking for violence escalation.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 13 October 2021 - 08:25 AM.


#550 Mike K.

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 08:28 AM

But again, Juno, you are making claims without presenting any evidence. Do we have local data on this acuteness of impact from vacation rentals on rental housing?

We currently have the largest infusion of rental properties under development than at any time in recent history. Where is the notion coming from that we are under-building? There are 4,000-units of rental housing currently under construction in the CRD, and there can only be so much output, physically, at any one time.

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#551 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 09:16 AM

That's a bit more complicated, depending on exactly who the room-mates are. 

 

But it would be bad general policy that the RTA forces residents to continually cohabitate and share kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces for an extended period.  That's asking for violence escalation.

 

Saying they should be regulated, is not the same as saying that a person should be forced to cohabit with someone who is inappropriate. I'll give an example, a landlord gives a break to a single tenant who rents out their two bedroom suite (lets say they're charged $1400 per month). That tenant, knowing the going rate for two bedrooms, then turns around and advertises for a room mate to pay $900 per month. The landlord has no ability to vet the room mate, but can evict the room mate (but not the tenant). The tenant is taking advantage of the landlord's property in ways that the landlord did not intend, but the landlord is without recourse against the tenant. To make matters worse, if the tenant has asked the room mate for a damage deposit - again the room mate is without recourse to the residential tenancy branch for return of the damage deposit. A relatively simple set of regulations - ie. requiring the landlord to be notified of the room mate, enabling some lift in rent when a room mate is added, rules around damage deposits, etc. 



#552 Nparker

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 09:18 AM

This seems like a provincial issue and not within the purview of the CoV.


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#553 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 09:38 AM

This seems like a provincial issue and not within the purview of the CoV.

 

Agree fully - and is part of the reason why efforts by the city to restore affordability to housing are likely to be futile without support from more senior governments.



#554 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 10:27 AM

A relatively simple set of regulations - ie. requiring the landlord to be notified of the room mate, enabling some lift in rent when a room mate is added, rules around damage deposits, etc. 

 

A landlord can do that now.  Specify - by name/names -  who can occupy the unit as a resident.



#555 Awaiting Juno

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 10:55 AM

A landlord can do that now.  Specify - by name/names -  who can occupy the unit as a resident.

 

However, when a non-resident occupies the unit for longer than 14 days (ie. a non-guest) - all the landlord can do is evict (the room mate) on grounds of trespass. The tenant is protected by the RTB and is immune to eviction for having a room mate without landlord's permission.


Edited by Awaiting Juno, 13 October 2021 - 10:56 AM.


#556 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:01 AM

However, when a non-resident occupies the unit for longer than 14 days (ie. a non-guest) - all the landlord can do is evict (the room mate) on grounds of trespass. The tenant is protected by the RTB and is immune to eviction for having a room mate without landlord's permission.

 

Doesn't that solve the issue though?  The unauthorized person has to leave. 

 

If the tenant does this continually or often, first of all they will have a lot of unhappy former room-mates, but the landlord can take them to RTB for evection, just like any ongoing or repeated infraction.   Like repeated late rent-paying.

 

 

 

You cannot rely on the five-day grace period for late rent each month. If you repeatedly pay your rent late – at least three times within an unreasonably short period – your landlord can give you a One Month Eviction Notice for Cause. See section 47 of the RTA and Policy Guideline 38 for more information.

 

 

https://tenants.bc.c...cy/paying-rent/

 

Or:

 

screenshot-www2.gov.bc.ca-2021.10.13-15_03_33.png

 

 

https://www2.gov.bc....ne-month-notice


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 13 October 2021 - 11:05 AM.


#557 Mike K.

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:36 AM

Most landlords will permit roommate(s), but for an added fee. The tenant has to advise the landlord of the individual(s) moving in, and an amendment to the monthly rent will then apply.

 

If the roommate moves in and is not on the lease, the landlord can evict them. If the roommate moving in is a partner, chances are the tenant on the lease will move out with the roommate/partner.

 

The onus is on the tenant to be up front with the landlord and usually things work out.


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#558 m3m

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 01:46 PM

Air BnB where a person is letting their property be used for vacation purposes while they're on vacation is one thing, where a suite's sole purpose is to be used as vacation rentals is another and brings a whole raft of issues - including making the housing crunch more acute. It doesn't help that rental laws have moved too far in the direction of giving near ownership tenure to residential rentals - and that the rules governing vacation rentals are far more respectful of the owner's rights to property use, have less risk of damage that cannot be recovered (via insurance), and have far less risk of having a painful situation endure. The city cannot govern residential tenancy (although they can lobby for changes), however, does govern vacation rentals - and its encouraging to see some regulation of that market.

 

It would be encouraging for the province to recognize how the gap between the vacation rental market and the residential housing market is exacerbating the residential rental housing market. It would be encouraging to acknowledge that the more similar rental tenures are to ownership tenures, that the discount for being a rental diminishes and that we are losing what has been an affordable alternative to home ownership (that was less expensive in part because there was risk of being asked to move). A bit more balance in regards to those laws would be helpful - and perhaps some pages should be taken from employment law where length of tenure often governs the amount of notice that is needed to be given. Further, it might be helpful if the damage deposit system was retired and an insurance system (for both landlords and tenants) took it's place. Lastly, there's a gaping hole in the RTA with respect to room mates - which generally are not given any protections under the RTB. I fully acknowledge that all of that is provincial domain, however, unless the province fixes residential tenancy law, why would we expect there to be a greater supply of residential rentals?

 

I'm not sure what more you want the city of victoria to do regarding airbnbs.  They've banned them.  Those that remain in operation do so by virtue of being grandfathered in under the local government act, which the city cannot change.  



#559 Mike K.

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 03:24 PM

Right, and the City cannot change that, because it was their own zoning that permitted it in the first place. The City didn't foresee a platform like AirBnB making vacation rentals much simpler to book and manage, but the practice of renting out an entire home is generations-old and far pre-dates the Internet.

Of course there's also the question of wether years of declining hotel room availability didn't push the open market to make even more AirBnBs available due to a lack of hotel room investment in a tourism-dependent city.
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#560 spanky123

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 04:10 PM

I'm not sure what more you want the city of victoria to do regarding airbnbs.  They've banned them.  Those that remain in operation do so by virtue of being grandfathered in under the local government act, which the city cannot change.  

 

Exactly. Hard to get a good read due to covid but likely 60%+ of airbnb's in Victoria were shut down yet we had no significant change in vacancy rates. False flag.

 

My $.02 is that I dislike politicians who just play the populace card to try and gain votes. I would far rather back someone who I disagreed with but who made an effort to try and solve problems with data.


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