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When i first moved to Victoria around 10 years ago, the rental market was pretty tight.  My first apartment here was small and crummy, but nearby to work (which as a guy just moving from Vancouver, knowing the hell of commuting from it’s suburbs, was important to me.) It was tiny and expensive and rent was actually going UP after a year of living there – luckily instead i decided that i loved the island and with some (a lot of) help from my folks, bought a nice little condo in the Quadra Village and happily escaped my brutal bachelor pad.  I did have a dream of being a young 22 year old hot shot radio deejay who lived in a small rental space above the garage of a young family.  I’d ride home on my motorcycle, be friendly with the parents, help the teenagers with their problems with bullies, encourage them to be themselves and always have free concert tickets in my cool denim jacket (denim because leather is associated with dangerous gangs) – essentially be the Fonz in living situation.  Totally regret not chasing that dream harder.

That was near a decade ago and by all accounts the rental market in Victoria has only got worse.  Like, a LOT worse. I happened upon a thread on Reddit last night about this very thing.  Mostly i was attracted to the Simpsons macro image meme and how it perfectly summed up trying to find a place in Vic;

windows

With school about to start back up and the flood of students to the lower island, things are only gonna get tighter and worse.  What can be done about trying to find a place to live in Victoria?  Well further down in the Reddit post a commenter who is a landlord had a long post with advice for renters seeing their prospective place.  Some of it was a downright bummer:

“I won’t touch a tenant with pets.”

That’s the saddest.  It’s no secret i’ve got a whole menagerie now with Gary the dog, Kraken the cat plus a canary, but my whole entire life since BIRTH i have had at least a cat – pets are a huge part of life and it is brutal that they’re a victim of a tight rental market.  I know big dogs can make a BIG mess – i knew a guy once who told me how his nervous doggo chewed a sizeable hole THROUGH A WALL of a rental place – but usually damage done by a cat or smaller dog can be remedied by a pet / damage deposit, no?  Why such reluctance on the part of landlords?!

There were some helpful nuggets on the thread though – particularly when it came to greasing the rental wheels a little:

“I can’t legally ask you for a bigger deposit, but you can offer it, and I can accept it. Perhaps offer 1.5 months rent or 2 months as a security deposit….same terms, but it gives landlord more of a warm fuzzy that you won’t trash the place and kiss your tiny security deposit good bye… I can’t legally ask you for more than first and last month’s rent up front, but if you offer, I can accept it.  You can also offer a little bit more than the posted rate (if it’s advertised for $1000/month, offer $1025/month)”

It makes me feel dirty even re-posting such advice.  I hate to advise, especially in such a sky-high rent situation as Victoria already is, to just offer EVEN MORE for rent – but it seems like if you can afford it, it’s obviously is a way to go.  What kind of advise even is that – “hey y’know what really helps in life? be rich!” – awful, i’m sorry.

If you’d like the read the entire Reddit thread – it’s here.  You don’t have to scroll down far to find user EngineeringKid’s post with the tips from the perspective of a Victoria Landlord.

Good luck and God speed, renters.  The rest of us will pray for good and altruistic landlords for you.

Love, Pol

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