The rental market in Greater Victoria continues to be tight, with low inventory and rising prices.
And now some landlords are carving up their spaces to get more renters into an apartment. Rental rental ads have shown a finished basement with curtains sectioning off “sleeping areas” while others are converted garages or sheds.
Another recent rental ad on Facebook Marketplace is asking people to rent half of a master bedroom – not all of it – for $650 a month, plus a portion of some utilities.
Only women are asked to apply as the prospective tenant would be sharing the room with another woman.
“The room is big and spacious,” reads the listing. “You will be sharing this room with another female. The room is unfurnished but the living room and kitchen are furnished. This apartment is located near downtown Victoria and close to all amenities. You will be sharing the house with a 25-year-old female working professional who occupies another private room.”
So if you don’t care about having any privacy, this “shared” bedroom just might be for you.
Meanwhile, prices continue to go up for renters.
According to Rentals.ca, average asking rents in Canada increased 1.8 per cent monthly and 9.6 per cent annually to reach another record high of $2,117 in August. While the annual rate of inflation for asking rents was lower than the 12 per cent increase recorded a year ago in August 2022, it represented a four-month high.
Victoria placed 11th in Canada for August rental prices with an average of $2,080 for a one-bedroom unit, which is up 1.2 per cent from July. Two bedrooms average $2,883, up 4.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, B.C. landlords will have the option to raise rent by as much as 3.5 per cent next year.
Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon announced the annual rent increase cap on Monday (Sept. 11), saying the province tried to find a balance between supporting the needs of renters and landlords.
The new cap is a jump up from the two per cent increase the province allowed in 2023, but well below the 5.6 per cent average inflation rate over the last 12 months.
Prior to 2018, B.C. based the rent increase cap on the inflation rate plus two per cent. Since then, a provincial task force on rental housing recommended that increases be reduced to only match the rate of inflation.
The province put a freeze on rental increases in 2020 and 2021, during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then set at 1.5 per cent in 2022.
With 2024’s increase, special liaison for renters Spencer Chandra Herbert said in a statement that they chose an amount well below the inflation rate to support renters, but higher than in past years to recognize the increasing costs landlords are also facing.
Landlords will have the option to bring the new increase into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
- With files from Black Press Media