Page 1

Page 1

Surge in subleases as post-secondary students leave town

If you find your Saanich street suddenly vacant in the coming weeks, don’t panic – it’s not the plague.

  • Apr. 12, 2012 2:00 p.m.

If you find your Saanich street suddenly vacant in the coming weeks, don’t panic – it’s not the plague. The university students have all just gone home.

But the reality facing many students who’ve lived off campus for the last eight months is many signed a one-year lease last September, leaving them on the hook to pay rent through the summer.

Rebecca Koch pays $550 a month to live in a four-bedroom house just steps from the University of Victoria on the Gordon Head-Cadboro Bay border.

The 20-year-old who is studying business is banking on finding a summer student to sublet her room for the remainder of the lease. Koch is going home to the Lower Mainland in May and won’t be returning.

But finding a replacement tenant is proving tougher than she thought. So tough, in fact, she’s decided to rent for cheaper than what she pays.

“I’m completely willing to go down $100 a month, as long as someone takes over my lease,” Koch said, acknowledging she’d rather pay the difference than the full rate for an empty bedroom. “It’s hard because there’s so many students (in the same situation I am), and so little demand for any of the houses.”

It’s the same story for Sarah Hein, who, along with her four other roommates, is looking to sublet all five rooms in their rented house for the summer.

They, too, are trying to get their place rented in the short-term by offering a $125 per month discount per person on rent.

“What actually has been a big problem is people want the place for longer. They want it for next year, too,” said the 20-year-old Hein, a third-year applied linguistics student.

According to numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Victoria’s rental vacancy rate typically goes up in April.

“There’s many factors that influence movement in and out of the rental market, and you would expect that students moving out of rental units, that would free up some spots,” said Carol Frketich, B.C. regional economist with CMHC.

Seventy per cent of UVic’s population – or 16,199 students – aren’t originally from Greater Victoria, while Camosun College sees 17 per cent of its students (2,210) come from outside of the Capital Region. Both post-secondary institutions are now in their final exam periods, which means an exodus of students from now until the end of April.

A spokesperson with the Residential Tenancy Branch said students should do their homework before accepting a subtenant.

“Be sure that your tenancy agreement allows you to sublet,” the spokesperson said first and foremost, and get your landlord’s permission in writing.

Other suggestions include asking prospective subtenants for references – and checking them out. “Is the tenant who they say they are? Is the tenant able to pay the rent? Is the tenant reliable? How likely is the tenant to be noisy or to disturb other occupants of the building?”

Write up a subletting agreement, and conduct a move-in inspection with the subtenant you choose.

“Be clear about when rent is due, and who it should be paid to. Have a contingency plan in case the subtenant doesn’t pay on time,” the spokesperson said. “Find out what the tenant plans to do when the sublet is over. Is the tenant likely to leave when you (want them to)?”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Tips for subleasing

Make sure your subtenant:

• knows when they must move out;

• knows what the rental unit comes with (Are utilities included? Is the room furnished?);

• knows how to contact you and your landlord;

• provides you with a security deposit (no more than half a month’s rent);

• knows your expectations (date and time, cleanliness) for when they are to move out.

– Residential Tenancy Branch

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read