The mad dash for rental space in overheated Vancouver

With a vacancy rate of only 0.6 per cent, the Vancouver rental segment has proven to be as difficult as the home purchase market for prospective residents to get into.
Purpose-built rental units under $750 are incredibly hard to find, with a vacancy rate of only 0.2 per cent. In the $750 - $1,000 range, this becomes slightly less problematic at 0.8 per cent vacancy, reported The Globe and Mail.
Considering that the “healthy” vacancy rate is around 3 to 5 per cent, these developments have led to a profusion of creative—even borderline sleazy, in some cases—tactics among both would-be landlords and tenants.
An ad by a downtown Vancouver man offered $500 a month for a “female roommate with benefit.” One caveat, however: “We have to meet for coffee first.”
Another example in Port Moody had a man promoting a room 300 square feet wide, which would be free of charge for a “young but mature” woman who would “take care of the house cleaning and gardening etc based on 4 hours a day worth of work.”
Over a period of two days, 19-year-old student Sofia Pickstone installed over 40 posters in telephone posts across town.
“Emily Carr student looking for a place to rent,” according to Pickstone’s poster, in large letters with the two Os in the word “looking” stylized into binoculars held by a cartoon avatar of the hopeful tenant.
“I was hoping a landlord would see the posters and see that someone has actually taken the time to make them and put them up,” Pickstone said. “I thought a poster with something that popped out would be a good way to represent myself.”

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