Short-Term Rentals Gaining Traction
The damage deposit required to rent a space is 1 half-month’s rent. When you consider the cost of a basement suite, in terms of appliances, finishings, dry walling and paint the price tag associated with having to replace any of the following is already higher than half a month’s rent. If a tenant decided to skip out on a month’s rent and forfeit his deposit – he’d already be ahead and you’d be out half of the rent. Not to mention, if a tenant is willing to forfeit his deposit there is a good likelihood that the home isn’t in pristine condition and your $450 deposit isn’t going to go very far.
Now, it is important to keep in mind that like anything, there are good tenants and bad tenants. I have heard countless stories filled with positive memories between owner and renter, some that have even ended in long term friendships. So, please take the above with a grain of salt – I’m describing some of the worst case scenarios possible, and this certainly does not reflect an accurate representation of the experiences that homeowners go through.
However, whether or not you’ve had nothing but great tenants, or you’ve had one nightmare experience after another, there is an alternative that is gaining attention in North Vancouver: short-term rentals.
Many are turning to short-term rentals, catering towards international students and tourists. Websites such as Airbnb claim to have over 1000 properties available for rent in Greater Vancouver alone.
Owners of North Vancouver houses with basement suites can take advantage of a short-term tenant who generally is willing to pay more than a long-term tenant. Many homeowners are finding that even if the space isn’t occupied 365 days out of the year, the difference in rent makes up for it.
Furthermore, many of these tenants are international students who, one homeowner finds, tend to keep to themselves and are much more courteous and clean than long-term renters. Once you enter into a year-long lease with a tenant, you know that space is occupied for 12 months. However, with a short-term rental program, you have much greater flexibility with the space, so you can better plan to use the space for out-of-town guests during the holidays or summer break when kids return from University.
Alternatively, if you’re renting out a condo or townhouse space in downtown Vancouver, as a resident of Whistler or Langley, you may wish to use that space yourself from time to time. Through a short-term rental plan, you have the ability to get in and use the space much more often than you would with a traditional rental agreement. This way if you have a conference in Vancouver and need the space for a couple of nights, or just have weekend plans for you and your significant other, you’ve got the an option which doesn’t involve hotel rates or eviction notices.
It remains to be seen what sort of impact this new option will have on the rental market. For now it provides an interesting alternative for homeowners that are looking for something other than going the one-year lease route. Additionally, like any market it will be fueled by supply and demand, and one of the concerns is the lack of interested parties looking for short term rentals, which I suspect will be the limiting factor until such websites become increasingly popular.