“For Rent… On A Few Conditions”

I have a daily habit of combing through Craigslist. Not the classifieds in general, but the apartments for rent specifically. It’s partially because I’m always interested to see what kinds of places people are renting out, but mostly because I’m desperate to get out of my current abode.

For Rent

Photo: ♥ellie♥ on Flickr

One thing I’ve noticed is that the eye-catching apartments seem to be few and far between. Some words you might find in the initial line of an ad?

  • bright
  • lots of space
  • updated kitchen
  • renovated!
  • outdoor space
  • great location

More often than not, upon clicking the ad you’ll quickly discover that you’ve been deceived into clicking and that none of these descriptions are true. Further, so many of the photos feature over-stuffed studio apartments with one sad window trying its hardest to let a scrap of sunshine in through the bed sheet covering the pane.

My heart would pitter-patter should I just once click an ad with those very same descriptions and be presented with something such as this…

Kitchen-Apartment for rent-Barcelona
Photo: lucasfoxbcn on Flickr

And in those rare occurrences in which a potential apartment hunter find a gem of a home to call one’s own, the difficulty doesn’t stop there. Many rental ads will read something like this:

“We have a fantastic two bedroom apartment for rent with many updates throughout. You’ll be charmed by the character, the space, bright windows and brand new appliances. We are looking for a quiet, professional, long-term tenant.

Please be aware that there is no laundry on site. We do not accept smokers. ABSOLUTELY NO PETS! There is a great outdoor space but no BBQs allowed.

Thanks – we look forward to hearing from you!”

Do you see the problem?

Having a mortgage helper has become somewhat of an essential part of home ownership in Vancouver. And with that comes an incredible amount of hard-working, honest people who wish to have a place to call home but can’t pony up for mortgage down-payments.

We want a warm, homey space. We’d like to be able to live quietly with our dog or two cats or three parakeets. We’d love to open the back door and have a few friends over for a BBQ in the summertime. We’d love to wash our clothes without hauling sacks of laundry to the corner laundromat. We’d love to be a helpful, responsible contributor to your mortgage and we’d definitely like to stay a while.

When an apartment doesn’t offer any sense of a normal life, it is going to attract the kind of tenant a landlord probably doesn’t want. The solution is simple.

If you want “quiet, professional, long-term” tenants, entice those potential tenants with a truly quality home.

On September 11th I’ll be participating in the BC-SPCA’s Paws For A Cause fundraiser – for the fourth time! Please considering donating to this extremely worthwhile cause and offering support to Jordy and I! Click here to read more.

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11 Comments on ““For Rent… On A Few Conditions”

  1. Robyn’s mum rents out her ground floor suite and allows pets. But she’s out in Horseshoe bay (Copper Cove to be exact). Her’s might be coming available soon 😉 Own in-suite laundry too!

    Anyway… not having in-suite laundry is crazy. The place we’re moving into has in-suite in fact we’re having it moved to a better location to utilize maximum square footage! Shared Laundry isn’t bad as long as the people you’re sharing it with are reasonable.

    I don’t know if I would ever want to be a landlord after seening the things I have seen and some of the people you’d have to deal with. I think some people need to be pickier about who they rent to I guess, or at leat screen better for them.

    The pet thing is hard. I would love to find a place that allows pets, but so many people have had their homes ruined by bad pet owners. I understand having a pet-deposit, but I hear is harder and harder to find a place (especially in the downtown area) that allows pets.

    Where abouts are you wanting to move?

  2. I’d like to be in Kits.

    The argument over the destruction pets can cause is a bit moot. While some animals are out of control (which can largely be blamed on the pet owner), most are not. And if I had a two-year-old, I can guarantee you that the two-year-old could and would make a bigger mess than most well-trained animals. Jordy wouldn’t spill Kool-Aid on the carpet or draw in crayon on the walls.

    As a homeowner, it’s definitely crucial to be picky. However, if they want a good, quality tenant, they’re going to have to provide a home that reflects that.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree. I too, check the listings every single day. Victoria has the same issues and as a responsible (pet owner) tenant I find it very frusturating. You hit the nail on the head. Good luck with your search.

  4. It sounded crazy to me at the time but you know at the urging of our friend that posted my own want-ad on Craigslist and somehow managed my perfect apartment … perhaps lightning might strike thrice?

  5. I am totally with you on the renting quandry!

    For me one of the quality of life limitations with renting is related to art. I LOVE art!

    I need paintings, pictures, mirrors, frames etc. in my life and to sign a rental agreement that you won’t hang anything on the walls is absurd!

    P.S. I hang them anyway

  6. I think my 1.5 year old son and my 3 year old Golden Retriever make an equal amount of mess. Good luck on your hunt, Keira-Anne!

  7. I could not agree with this more. I have pets, but I keep things clean and pay rent I have an amazing reference. So then why is it impossible for myself, my fiance and our roommate to find a place to live that isn’t over priced and terrible?

    I wish so much for Vancouver to stop being such a terrible place to rent.

  8. vancouver is so behind in being a dog friendly/pet friendly city. I live in the West End and its impossible to find decent accomodations if you have pets. Kits is supposed to be better though.

    I lived in Toronto for a year and a half and while I love Vancouver, its my home I have to say that Toronto was a far better dog city! Almost ALL apartments for rent are dog/pet friendly!

  9. Finding an apartment in NYC was the biggest housing nightmare I’ve ever undergone (this includes Toronto, Halifax, San Francisco, Vancouver and Philadelphia). I have two gigantic huge gripes about the NYC process (and far too many smaller gripes to list). They are:

    1. Every single craiglist or rental site ad (in Brooklyn and Manhattan) says something along the lines of “for rent by owner”. This was never the case. It’s always for rent by a broker or ‘rental agent’. Of all the apartments I saw I never once met with an owner, even after we “passed” the various checks.

    2. 99% of the apartments listed in the ‘up-and-coming’ kinda cool artsy/musical areas are actually in the not-so-great to flat-out-scary neighborhoods relatively nearby. The ‘upper-upper West Side” is code for Washington Heights. Williamsburg almost always means Bedford–Stuyvesant. Now Bed-Stuy has won a lot of awards for most improved neighborhood in all of NYC, not just BK – but there are parts that are still a little too scary for me. Watching a 16 year old kid climb a street post and tie a coloured bandana around it was a bit off-putting.

    I gave up on the idea of having a pet the second day into the apartment hunt. I desperately want to help a shelter here in Queens by providing temporary housing for cats until they can get adopted, but it’s just not going to happen.

  10. This is a really good point that I am glad you brought up. I’ve struggled in the West End to find a place that will allow cats. Most won’t, or will with a pet deposit on top of the security deposit that is to be paid. The buildings that do are somewhat, in my experience, sub par to what I am ideally looking for. Just because one is a pet owner does not mean living in a ‘home’ that is below our means or needs.

    Good luck on your search. I hope Kits is more promising than the downtown area.

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