In order to combat substandard rental housing conditions, the City of Vancouver has launched an online searchable database that shows which buildings have run into trouble with city inspectors.
“The city’s new Rental Standards Database is our latest step to help Vancouver renters and motivate property owners and landlords to keep their properties in good condition,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson in a news release.
“We’re putting this information out there in an easily accessible way, empowering renters to make more informed decisions on where to live,” he said.
The database includes information about all licensed rental buildings in Vancouver – from single-room occupancy hotels to private apartments – with five or more units that have any open bylaw issues, or issues that have been addressed and resolved within the past 12 months.
The concept is modeled after a similar program in New York City. The launch of Vancouver’s database comes on the heels of a record year for permits for new rental units in the city.
The Vancouver Sun points out that it is the provincial government, not a private owner, that is at the top of the city’s list of 300-plus buildings with outstanding maintenance, fire safety, plumbing, electrical or other issues.
“The province’s rental housing corporation, which operate a number of single-room occupancy hotels, shows up a dozen times as the owner of buildings that haven’t met the city’s basic standards of maintenance and safety,” the Sun article reads. “At the top is the Marble Arch Hotel at 518 Richards Street [pictured above], a 148-unit hotel with 141 violations currently on file. The province also has the No. 4 building on the list, the Gastown Hotel at 110 Water Street, with 122 outstanding violations.”
The Vancouver Sun has also compiled a photo gallery of the “10 worst rental buildings” in the city, which can be seen here.