Loading articles...

Are bidding wars driving up apartment rents in Vancouver?

Last Updated Jul 7, 2016 at 8:47 am PDT

(iStock photo)

Craigslist posting advertises Kits studio apartment for $799/month, but it turns out that was the starting bidding price

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver’s crazy housing market has, some would say, called into question the ethics of people involved in transactions that have driven home prices into the stratosphere.

There appear to be some sketchy schemes by landlords helping to drive up apartment rental rates.

Related article: Renting a home in Metro Vancouver becoming unaffordable: report

A recent Craigslist posting (which has since been flagged for removal) has done just that, advertising a Kitsilano studio apartment at a deceivingly low monthly rental rate of $799. But that was just the starting bidding price, with the final rent based on the winning bid at an on-site auction this Sunday.

Rental housing advocate Sharon Isaak argues it’s another example of why strict rent controls need to be implemented in Vancouver.

“It’s greedy. It’s maybe on the edge of what people think is moral. But whether it’s outright illegal, the Rental Tenancy Act, until a lease is signed, is open market between rents.”

She says the outrageous cost and scarcity of affordable rental housing is a growing and real concern. “People are actually living in their cars because they have nowhere to go… due to an injury or cancer, or whatever life’s circumstances may be.”

The most recent data puts Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate at about 0.6 per cent.