Tenant & Landlord Resources
We have gathered a list of resources to assist both tenants and landlords in successfully securing a long-term rental agreement.
Homeowners play an important role in housing availability on the Sunshine Coast. Earlier this year we surveyed Sunshine Coast homeowners. This research indicated that there are many potential long-term rental units that are not being utilized. Feedback from homeowners provided some insight into why this is happening and the challenges they face when considering renting their units. Highlights from the survey are included after the following section.
LANDLORD & TENANCY RESOURCES
Whether a landlord or a tenant, the following resources feature a wealth of information on a variety of topics related to renting in British Columbia.
BC Residential Tenancy Act:
Guide for Tenants and Landlords:
Tenant & Landlord Rights in B.C.:
Quick Tips for Landlords and Tenants:
Rental Assistance Program (RAP):
Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER):
Legal Advocacy Program:
During the spring of 2021, Cover The Coast surveyed property owners across the Sunshine Coast to learn more about:
- Potential units that could be available for long-term rental
- Work that needs to be done in order to have these units ready for occupation
- Barriers that landlords face in making these units available.
Respondents: 166 Completed Surveys
Location: Across the Sunshine Coast
The respondents identified a total of 224 possible long-term rental units on their properties. (Note: some respondents had more than one unit). This includes all types of housing: an entire house, suites or rooms in a house, space in a house that could be renovated, a guest house or trailer on their property, or space on the property that could be used for a tiny home or garden suite/cabin.
of units have not been used for short term rentals.
of units have two or more bedrooms available.
of the units require only minor renovations or no work at all.
of the units require major renovation or construction of a garden suite.
of the units would involve placing a tiny home on the property.
Past Experiences As Landlords
Property owners who have rented in the past, rated their experience.
Very positive or somewhat positive.
Very negative or somewhat negative.
What Are The Barriers?
When considering renting their units, property owners identified the following barriers and challenges (note – a sample of comments are included under each item):
1. Financial costs for renovation, construction, maintenance, insurance, taxes, and property repair:
“Easily accessible and affordable financing, without having to refinance mortgage, for people to turn basements or other space into a rental unit could help create more rental units.”
“Would love to renovate a large portion of our house to be a long- term rental or build an outbuilding on our property to rent long term. I see the need for rentals and we have the space but no funds to make it happen.”
“The cost of buying and maintaining a rental home is extraordinary, and honestly at current prices, it’s not financially viable to rent homes out without a loss, unless we give in and charge ridiculous rates.”
“Unfortunately, my experience with people looking to rent is that they are looking for something for far less money than I need to have to cover my costs. It doesn’t make it worth it for me.”
“There is no tax incentive to rent part of our house out, ends up costing us too much. There would have to be grants to make it ready to rent and incentives to keep us renting out.”
“It would be helpful to have low-cost loans for reno.”
“Short term rentals pay more and have less strings attached.”
2. Zoning / Regulatory Obstacles:
“We are on just under a half-acre in Halfmoon Bay and therefore are not allowed a second dwelling. We 100% would bring in a tiny home to rent out long term to support others in finding a home. It is so disheartening to see what is happening here.”
“SCRD regulations are very outdated. Many homeowners will not renovate to rent unless it can be done in compliance with bylaws. Bylaws are currently too restrictive.”
“Zoning is a big issue for us. We are renting a 2 bedroom house on our 5 acres but we are zoned for only 2 dwellings on the property. We want to create a small experiential short term stay for artists in our existing cabin but we need to invest money. It is taking a long time.”
“So many large properties (we have one) that could accommodate more dwellings like tiny homes or modular/cabin but the zoning laws do not allow.”
“Would be great to see laneway housing zoning approved on smaller lots to allow for more rental properties on the coast.”
“Why is there a limit on square footage?”
“I’d be keen to see a zoning allowing me to build low rent housing (guaranteed rents below a certain threshold in some form like a promise to the local authority) in return for allowing the rezoning and perhaps a break on building costs created by the authority (e.g., reduce the cost of a building permit by 50%)”
3. Potential issues with tenants and a perceived lack of landlord rights to address these issues (noise, security, privacy, damage to property, not paying rent):
“There are no incentives for a landlord to put a roof over someone else’s head. It is a huge risk and small reward that can be wiped out with one bad experience.”
“It’s time to listen to landlords and help protect them so they are less afraid to rent long term. Especially when the rental they have is on the same property they live on. Create a no-fault eviction clause with a 4 to 6 month notice of eviction for onsite homeowners (which is about 90% of the sunshine coast) and you would see an immediate increase in available suites for rent.”
“The housing crisis has exacerbated an “us & them” mentality and public warfare on social media. The louder this gets, and the more sweeping generalizations and assaults on land-owners I witness, the less likely I am to ever put my 2 potential suites up for rent.”
Cover The Coast is a product of the Smart Farm Affordable Housing Job Creation Partnership.