Renter Lease Condition ‘Experiment’ – “I have a friend in our office who is looking to rent. He commented how “fishy, desperate, and deceitful” most of the landlords he had spoken to seem to be. He didn’t trust any of them. I told him to try my experiment…”

“I have a friend in our office who is looking to rent for his family as he just moved here from BC, and he was commenting the other day how “fishy, desperate, and deceitful” most of the landlords of the numerous vacant properties he had spoken to seem to be. He didn’t trust any of them to be frank and he felt that he was getting set up as the renter “in situ” to increase the listing value and prospect of selling the property he was looking at moving into. As he asked my advise a few weeks ago about his concerns, I told him to try my experiment:
Tell your prospective landlord that you “will” sign a long term lease (12+ months) on one proviso that will be written into the contract.
If the property is listed, or the ownership changes hands for any reason, the lease becomes null and void and you can exit the property without penalty and after 30 days notice upon becoming aware of either the listing, or the transfer of ownership, and that they are legally obligated to advise you of same when it occurs.

No one agreed to it, a couple of them had the blood rush out of their faces after repeatedly telling him they were not going to list the place during his interviews (so why would this condition matter then…..right ?) and one confessed the place was getting listed as soon as she put someone in it. He has decided to rent a purpose built luxury condo rental from a national property managment company instead……someone that I used to rent from.”
Carioca Canuck at VREAA 27 May 2012 9:54pm

15 responses to “Renter Lease Condition ‘Experiment’ – “I have a friend in our office who is looking to rent. He commented how “fishy, desperate, and deceitful” most of the landlords he had spoken to seem to be. He didn’t trust any of them. I told him to try my experiment…”

  1. Well, it is a sellers market now so “renter beware”.

    Today we got the following from REBGV.

    “The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Greater Vancouver reached 2,853 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May 2012. This represents a 15.5 per cent decline compared to the 3,377 sales recorded in May 2011.

    May sales were the lowest total for the month in the region since 2001 and 21.1 per cent below the 10-year May sales average of 3,617. However, sales have been constant throughout the spring months, with 2,874 sales in March and 2,799 sales in April.

    “Home sellers have outpaced buyers in recent months, however, there continues to be an overall balance between supply and demand in our marketplace,” Eugen Klein, REBGV president said.”
    Yikes! This is worse than I thought it would be. Yet these guys just won’t give up on using that term “balanced”. It is like a mantra in the industry. Someone coined it as a term for a healthy market and it stuck like glue. It is a crutch for most of them. Wonder what they will come up with that is a little more creative when this balanced market actually turns into a rout?

  2. Speaking of experiments and LeaseConditions…

    [UK Independent] – Plan for cheap prison work ‘may cost thousands of jobs’

    Coming soon to the Okanagan, by the way [‘Nem’ has big ears].

    In the Antebellum StarSpangled Home of the Brave it was referred to as, “Our peculiar institution.”

  3. “If the property is listed, or the ownership changes hands for any reason, the lease becomes null and void and you can exit the property without penalty…”

    most buyers want vacant possession anyway. You get your wish, new owner gets theirs, seller does’t give two hoots. What’s the problem?

    • What such an agreement does do is prevent sellers putting a house on the market while still holding the renter to the full term of the lease. The owner would immediately lose the tenant, and, in this market, they then run the risk of sitting with a vacant property for a long time.
      The ‘experiment’ is likely in response to the many properties in Vancouver that are on both the rental and sales markets at the same time.

  4. vancouverbubbleman

    just a quick update … has anybody else noticed a large number of empty houses with lawns growing over a foot tall and trees becoming overgrown? i have seen tons around the trafalgar park hood. many of the homes i told you all about before are still empty but the yards which used to always be well kept with gardeners every week. these are not tear downs ,( although they will be sooner rather than later ) -these are what has replaced the old 1950’s “tear downs”. nothing is selling in the area and there are many listings. seems like offshore buyers/owners have bolted. this bubble has popped……..BM

    • Are they doing anything to prevent homeless squatters? They’ll find any way to get in an obviously empty house, and maybe light a fire inside. Should be an interesting summer on the westside.

    • homelessindunbar

      I noticed the same thing this weekend while I was walking around Kerrisdale. Lots of houses with the blinds closed, the grass getting long, and weeds out of control. Even some newer houses were starting to look quite shabby.

    • An interesting thing to measure. I still prefer looking for garbage bins put out on garbage day. Probably something worthy of crowdsourcing for anyone who suspects large swaths of unoccupied detached dwellings in certain locales.

      I know this might suck but some people have homes in multiple cities. Don’t take it personally if they don’t call Vancouver home 100% of the time. Based on more than a few comments on this blog I can’t really fault them.

  5. yltnboomerang

    We keep seeing the same thing, sellers trying to stem the cash hemorrhage with renters while they list. I agree with formula1 that most buyers want the tenant out however I see the logic in the contract as it makes it more painful for the seller to list. I’d add something like “renter vacates and landlord pays moving cost penalty” if listed during duration of lease (with a cap on moving expense).

    • I’ve heard the opposite where landlords try to throw in clauses in leases stating that the lease can be terminated upon sale of the unit.

      It should be obvious to the point of triviality not all investors in Vancouver real estate are experienced.

    • As I said in another thread when this post from Carioca Canuck first went up, this anecdote accords with my own experience trying to rent last summer — “depends on the market” was the reply from many potential landlords when I asked how long a term we could secure. Not a happy experience.

      Also want to reiterate I’d love to see some measures put in like Carioca Canuck suggests, or yltnboomerang.

      As for empty houses with overgrown yards — many multiplying in my neighbourhood too.

  6. I didn’t see this posted anywhere, but what does everyone make of this?

    • Thanks, Lurker.
      We didn’t headline this specifically, but it was discussed on another thread.
      What still isn’t clear to us is how many individual buyers actually purchased the 400+ units. We saw elsewhere a claim that it was as low as 130 individuals. I’m not sure if anything in the article contradicts that. How many individual buyers made purchases?

  7. First post here, been watching this forum for a bit.

    The rental condition is an interesting one. It seems this post assumes fixed-term leases and do not revert to month-to-month, which has been my experience. I wanted to point out that there are provisions in the Rental Tenancy Act (RTA) for being evicted for “landlord’s use of the property, see There are also provisions for one month’s rent paid to the tenant in this case Of course the pain and agony of finding a new place and moving isn’t worth all the money in the world in my opinion!

    My family was searching for a suitable 2BR for nearly 5-months last year and one of our finds I had a suspicion of it being for sale and found it on MLS. The landlord explained it was no longer listed as they didn’t get the amount of money they wanted. First time landlord didn’t want to sign a lease, etc, etc, we walked. The best suggestions I have for renters is to use the proper RTA documentation and know the act! Or do yourself the trouble and stay the hell away from rentals not run by property management companies!

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