Housing

Housing is really intriguing in Vancouver. Mostly due to the fact that there is such an unnaturally high demand combined with a large number of units which are unused by their owners yet they are unavailable for rent. Reason is that their proprietors live overseas and are extremely wealthy. They have their own reasons to own property in Vancouver and are not interested in generating revenue from it.

Renting is done in a variety of ways – Kijiji and Craigslist are two online resources which are helpful. Most reliable is networking with friends and relatives who sometimes get access to hidden housing market listings (almost identical to the labor market arena). Rental agencies and realtors are of limited use in this city – the margins on rental contract must be insignificant compared to what they can make when selling. Consequentially, realtors appear disinterested in renting properties. This would certainly have its exceptions depending on the situation.

Another unbelievably popular method for finding places to stay is walking the neighborhoods of interest and looking for vacancy signs – they are often abundant and hanging near apartment building entrances. This has been the most successful and direct style of finding housing for many with its evident shortcomings – it is really time consuming and physically taxing. For a family of a few members – it may not even be possible. Many of these condo buildings are designed for single people so the majority of the units there are one-bedroom and bachelors. A bachelor is also sometimes referred to as a studio – it is typically one larger living area with a kitchen corner and a bath. Laundry facilities are in the basement; they are coin-operated and often have sing-up sheet. Some of them are not accessible 24hrs. Upscale living units often have their own in-suite washers and dryers

Here is the standard British Columbia tenancy agreement. It is a general practice that landlords ask for first rent and a half as a security deposit at time of move-in. They may have an additional agreement to the one above and nothing should be in violation of the provincial regulations. Building property managers tend to be most resourceful with unusual clauses and interesting wording on agreements. It is a good idea to understand what one is signing. Most condo buildings include the heat in the rent price. Anything else is extra – electricity (the electrical company is called Hydro for some really odd reason:), phone and internet bills etc. Internet tends to be expensive and local providers really like to make customers sign these long binding agreements. Before you sign – scan the air for wireless networks. Pick out the strongest one and offer your neighbor fifty dollars – it is likely they will give you the password…