Tenants are the winners as rental database drives down number of building code violations

Vancouver city council’s decision to shine a light on landlords with bylaw violations is producing dividends for city renters, driving down the number of outstanding violations by 75 percent.

Using the city’s rental database, home-hunting renters can check out a building ahead of time. In 2013, seven buildings had more than 100 violations; today, the number is zero.

The reduction in violations, announced in a news release today by Mayor Gregor Robertson, delivers on one of a series of measures the Vision council has undertaken to support tenants, including a crackdown on slumlords and a successful program to increase the construction of rental housing.

“We wish every municipality in the province had a Rental Standards Database like the City of Vancouver,” said Tom Durning of the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC).

“We speak to over 9,000 tenants per year through our Tenant Infoline and the most common issue we provide information on is repairs.  Using the City’s Rental Standards Database, Vancouver tenants can now see if prospective landlords are serious about maintaining their buildings to health, safety and housing standards required by law.

“TRAC is pleased to hear that there has been a 75 percent drop in property violations in licensed rental buildings.  We hope other municipalities will see these positive results from the City of Vancouver’s actions and adopt similar initiatives to better protect tenants across the province.”