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Survey shows lots of renters struggle getting repairs done to suites

Last Updated Apr 28, 2017 at 12:30 am PDT

(Courtesy ACORN BC)
Summary

According to a new report, three-quarters of respondents report problems in their rental suites

A local organization believes low-income people are especially vulnerable in renting situations

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you have something in your rental suite that is not getting fixed, you’re not alone.

A new survey done for BC ACORN shows lots of renters have landlords that are ignoring them.

According to the report, three-quarters of respondents report problems in their rental suites. Half of respondents say there were issues getting the repairs done. Forty-four per cent say landlords delayed repairs.

BC ACORN’s Anna Kowalewski says it would appear landlords are taking advantage of low-income renters.

“Landlords are using their situations to abuse tenants. They are not doing repairs because they want to save money. They know people can’t go anywhere else.”

The rental vacancy rate in most of the Lower Mainland is currently under one per cent.

The survey found holes and cracks in the walls were a common complaint for suites while rats and mice were familiar issues for rental buildings.

Kowalewski says Acorn is pressing for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act, to take away landlords’ right to increase rents annually.

“If your buildings aren’t maintained, if you’re not going to give people healthy situations to live in, you shouldn’t be able to raise rents on a yearly basis,” says Kowalewski.

ACORN is also hoping loopholes in the act, like the fixed term lease, will be closed. The fix term lease allows landlords to raise rents beyond the annual allowable limit once the lease expires.

The survey consisted of 78 respondents who are members of ACORN, an organization that advocated for middle- and low-income Canadians.