Handing over keys

Results: Vancity renter survey

For a long time, the conversation about housing affordability has focused on purchasing property, and the fact that many are having to sacrifice their dreams for home ownership.

But a recent Vancity report showed that renters are facing serious affordability issues as well. After that report, many of you told us the situation out there is actually worse than what we found in our report.

To dig deeper, we conducted a renter survey to learn more about the stories behind the numbers. In just over a week, more than 800 renters in Metro Vancouver and Victoria completed our  survey.

“We found that renters are experiencing significant challenges right now, particularly around affordability and instability,” says William Azaroff, vice-president of community investment at Vancity. “Many renters are also afraid to ask their landlords for things like basic repairs and fixes, for fear it will increase their odds of eviction.”

Here are the results of the renter survey.

High turnover, shaky confidence

There’s high turnover when it comes to rentals. Also, many people aren’t very confident they’ll be able stay in their current rental for the next six months: 18% are not confident, while 44% are only slightly to moderately confident.

Looming threat of eviction

Almost half (49%) of people surveyed in the renter survey have been forced to move out of a rental because the owner was either selling, having family move in, renovating, tearing down to rebuild or offering short-term rentals. Some unlucky folks have experienced more than one of these situations.

A recent Vancouver Sun article says that calls to the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre about “bad faith evictions” have more than doubled in the past 12 months, jumping from 62 to 157.

Pressure to be low maintenance

Some renters are trying to reduce the odds of eviction by being as low maintenance as possible.

Challenges finding a rental

Finding a rental is also no easy task—it can take a long time, scams abound and there’s lots of competition. There are a growing number of activities renters need to think about to make a landlord pick them.

If forced to move out of their rental at the end of this month, most would try to find another rental in their current community or a nearby neighbourhood. However, almost one-fifth said they would leave the region.

Average rent, size and percent of income

Finally, here are a few additional stats reported in our survey by renters in Metro Vancouver and Victoria.

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About the survey

We distributed an online survey through various social media channels in July 2016 and received responses from 806 renters living in cities across Metro Vancouver and Victoria. The results of the survey are accurate at the 95% confidence level +/- 3.5%, and representative of age and gender of population.

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