“Just had a switchover of tenants, nothing major to fix, but just the painting, cleaning, and dealing with general wear-and-tear chewed up all my spare time for a month and left me exhausted.”

“We’re landlords, and the tenants live beneath us in a ground-floor suite. Just had a switchover of tenants, nothing major to fix, but just painting, cleaning, and dealing with general wear-and-tear chewed up all my spare time for a month, and left me exhausted. The kind of thing realtors don’t mention when they throw around that “mortgage helper” catchphrase.
I can understand people not wanting to bother with running a rental suite. It’s certainly not the ideal situation. We’ll probably get sick of it eventually, and hopefully the numbers will work for us by then so we can look at other options.”

Froogle Scott at VREAA 13 May 2012 6:50pm

Read of earlier events in Froogle’s epic story here:
‘The Froogle Scott Chronicles: Mortgaging Our Souls In Paradise’.

32 responses to ““Just had a switchover of tenants, nothing major to fix, but just the painting, cleaning, and dealing with general wear-and-tear chewed up all my spare time for a month and left me exhausted.”

  1. Evidently… on Gregor’s AnimalFarm some Lords ‘O TheLand are more ‘equal’ than others…

    [G&M] – Vancouver council limits developer incentives to rental-only construction

    “Vancouver council is going to restrict incentives to developers who build rental housing in this high-cost city to curtail some subsidies that soared to as much as $70,000 per unit…. Developers of the rental-only buildings got a subsidy of just $4,900 a unit, partly because those units were in low-rise structures that are built of wood, rather than more-expensive concrete. The units mixed into buildings with condos ended up requiring $23-million in city subsidies to create just 327 units, or $70,000 a unit.”…


    PayToPlay… & FollowTheMoney…

    • don’t know which odd confluence of circumstance led the vpsb to introduce orwellian political allegory at the primary ed level … perhaps it was an astute, zealous teacher slipping one in there … however, i suspect it was more likely sum(rule_britannia, death_to_commie_soviets, etc.) … anyway, it had some very unintended consequences … in that i was never to trusted govt again … way cool, rule on … oh, behave! (the earlier)

      • Just in… Could the YellowEmperor’s flagging appetite for all things YVR RE have something to do heir apparent VicePresident Xi Jinping’s new directive to the TheFaithful?…

        [Xinhua] – Vice President stresses reality-based Party work

        BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has called on members and officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to stick to the principle of “seeking truth from facts.”


        NoteToEd: I vastly preferred President Hu Jintao’s admonition, “We must go deep down. We must experience the reality.” – which same, apparently, single-handedly spurred national shortages of assorted fragrant toiletries…

      • they can see easily enough what western_reality_based_party_work is all about … pffft!

  2. I wonder how many Vancouver landlords are as diligent in their maintenance as Froogle? It’s not like there are any rental profits left over at the end of the month to pay for any actual work.

  3. Most people I know with active rental suites do it because they need the money; once the money is no longer necessary they don’t bother, it’s a hassle, and in some rare cases a nightmare.

  4. just a routine cleaning up, nothing to complain about. do landlords complain how tired they are when they deposit monthly rent cheques? I dont think so.

  5. Renters Revenge

    “We’ll probably get sick of it eventually, and hopefully the numbers will work for us by then so we can look at other options.”

    Options? What options? I hope to win the lottery one day too!

  6. Vancouver should pass a bylaw setting double taxation on empty housing. It’s unethical, and it harms to city to tolerate pure speculation.

    • Hilarious Wednesday thought: the very thing that would cause Vancouver’s property price bubble — and let’s be clear that the bubble is worse in some areas of the region than others — to be palatable is the very thing residents don’t want.

      At such high stakes one would find that occupancy is a difficult flavour of Jell-o to nail to the wall.

      Greater Vancouver’s a big place. formula1’s Pareto Principle applies.

  7. What a lot of the basement-suite landlords don’t factor in is the income tax they should be paying – lots of them try to get away with avoiding that messy subject altogether. All it takes is one disgruntled ex (or even current) tenant to blow the whistle and the wrath of the tax man cometh. The city is also making noises about licensing suites to try and recover some of the extra servicing costs that more density entails, garbage collection, water usage and so on. Having to bring a suite up to code always involves money, something many landlords seem to have in short supply. New landlords should be made aware of the potential pitfalls involved – liability insurance is a big one as it seems many people (even Gordon Campbell) are not aware of the homeowner’s responsibility when it comes to strangers in the house. (Gordon Campbell was found liable when a roofer fell through a skylight in his vacation home, even though Gordo himself had hired a company to do the work the homeowner was deemed the contractor and hence liable for any injuries (in this case, death) incurred. ) One could have a tenant trip on the basement steps and be sued – and if the suite is illegal and not separately insured as a rental unit the home owner would have to suck it up.

  8. A.) $2000 rent per month whole house X 12 = 24,000 profit right…wrong
    -4000 property tax and other city taxes

    = $20,000- tax income if your honest.- maintenance costs.- labor- inconvenience.I dunno $17,000 profit maybe

    If house prices go up this model makes sense. But they are going down
    as interest rates are going to go up.


    B) average house price $1,000,000 X 3.25% 5 year GIC at Achieva financial= $32,500 and no headaches.- income tax

    Your still ahead.

    This makes more sense especially if GIC rates go back up to 5% +

    Cash and renters are king in this market .

  9. Told-you-so-in-2007

    G&M article of interest (okay, horrid fascination):
    50% of Canadians expect to carry mortgage in retirement: http://tiny.cc/3s0eew

    “On a regional basis, those feeling the heat most are in British Columbia, where 59 per cent think they’ll still be paying, followed by 58 per cent in Quebec, 48 per cent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 47 per cent in Ontario, 46 per cent in Alberta, and 43 per cent in the eastern provinces.”

    Nuts. Just nuts. How can these people define a “retirement” in which they’re too indebted to stop working?

    • If you’re gonna play the futures market, better have a plan with well defined stops in place. I see a scenario where many of these people walk away from the overhead and return to the rental pool with monthly debt payments. The people who should be buying right now, the ones supposed to release the retirees from debt slavery, are same ones living in the basement with student debt, and they’d rather have facebook shares.

  10. Imagine running a restaurant. Yikes.
    I like the classic image of the landlord with a sweaty tshirt, two days stubble and a big fat cigar, the stereotype sit-com slumlord who’s in every episode with a mop. I could rent from that guy just for the entertainment, growly, cheap, always behind the eight-ball. Salt of the earth.
    You’re doing a good job.

  11. Ah the other interesting paradox I see frequently on this site. The first is the “Vancouver sucks, every other place on this planet is better…but I can’t wait until re prices fall so I can buy a SFH here”. The second is the “Landlords are jerks and people with suites to rent are suckers…but I am a proud renter in Vancouver and would never make the move to home ownership!” You do know you rent from owners right? You do realize that if nobody owned any properties it could make renting very difficult? Wow, talk about biting the hand that feeds…and NO, I am no RE bull, just happily renting until the crash, and treating my landlord with respect.

    • Careful there Allen. I think you’ll find many of the arguments are more nuanced than that. Note how your examples include references to personal situations. Something for all of us to keep in mind.

    • Renters Revenge

      You do know that the majority of “owners” rent from the bank, right?

      Also, the vast majority of these amateur landlords are renting their basements out only because they are hell bent on participating in the mania by borrowing/buying more than they can afford – and thereby fueling even more speculation. Everyone doing this in unison has artificially spiked prices to a level where it now makes absolutely no financial sense to buy a home here; and smart guys like you and me have no choice but to rent. Ordinary people have priced out ordinary people. It’s insanity. They deserve a bit of scorn.

      • Fair enough. I’m feeling grumpy today because I am stuck inside for the next 12 hours on the kind of summer day I have been waiting for here since October! 🙂

      • Renters Revenge

        Allen, think of those debt slaves who will be spending their evening cleaning, scrubbing, and repairing instead of enjoying the outdoors. Plus there is always tomorrow 🙂

      • Haha…agree.

  12. $20,000 is a fair bit of money to walk away from – $75,000 is even harder to swallow… interesting article for the RE bears out there:


  13. Whether you’re a 40 year LTV MaxedOut, HELOCedToHell Lord ‘O TheLand or merely a LowlyShareCropper (aka: “I Married A Renter!”)… Your favourite wag predicts a Nostalgic KennyComeback…. ComIng soon to HonkyTonks throughout the GVREB… (NoteToEd: Kenny’s 727 was quite the PartayPlane! in it’s day)…

  14. OK. This 12 year old get’s my vote to fix our Canadian banking system:

  15. is this over the top for hump day? … decorum stds (it’s ok hev_mom, just joking) … now, style stds … what’s next, pq language police? (aside: that’s where they pay for 2 federal govts and wonder why the ec sucks so bad) … what is this? a maple kingdom? anyway, going to find out who’s got balls (pffft!) in ALL these markets … have a nice evening 🙂

  16. I think this points to some problems in the way people think about having a suite/rental income as part of a mortgage-helper and it bears paying attention to.

    We’re just doing some major clean-up from a tenant who did a runner (stiffing us with no notice, a ton of garbage, a bunch of walls painted neon lime green)…. Fortunately it’s so easy to get a renter in Vancouver, we had no problem getting another person in for June 1st. We’re doing the work that needs to be done right now with the attitude that in fact, this is part of what gets paid for in the rent. You have to factor in that for the money you get, there will be maintenance, there will be upgrades, there are taxes and there will be even some months without rent. It’s not unlike running a small business – there are cost outlays that come with profit. If people think of suites as “easy money” they probably shouldn’t purchase based on that, and they should definitely factor in expenses when they are looking at that bottomline.

    One other thing I noticed when we bought our house (and from houses still coming for sale) in our East Van neighbourhood is that realtors were attempting to sell houses with dingy 1-bedroom subterranean, oudated suites – claiming that you could get $1400 per month for them. This claim is most often made when the suite is un-tenanted, so you can’t ask to look at the books. It’s simply a lie, in any case – suite claims are frequently overblown by realtors.

    • Froogle Scott

      Good points, Megan. I agree. Landlords, whether they’re the amateur variety with basement suites or a single rental condo, or owners of apartment buildings, need to think of themselves as providing a service. You are asking for money in exchange for something. That’s a business transaction. So, yes, renting out the basement or lower half of your house is like running a small business. Landlords who rent to people and then ignore them, except for once a month to scoop the rent, are like unscrupulous business owners.

      Perhaps more people in Vancouver need to make use of ratemylandlord dot com, or similar landlord review sites, if they exist.

      In response to another comment that suggested I was complaining about the workload associated with our rental suite, I wasn’t. I was sharing an anecdote, and making the points that Megan makes here: some realtors depict rental suites as cash cows that magically produce cash with zero inputs, and some homeowners, believing that line, may be surprised with the amount of effort required to run a suite.

  17. Realtors are all-around a strange lot. Just the other day we went to an open house on our block and the realtor told us that he “hated people like us” because we had no intention to sell for the next ten years (at least). Apparently living in your home until it’s paid off is seen as a real threat!

    • Banks and the ancillary blood sucking realtor parasite class make money on the notional exchange, not on productivity or labour. Radio and realty are the highest paid jobs you can get without a legitimate education. I would have stuck a shiv in his tires on the way out, cause tow truck drivers don’t make money on things that move.

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