Letter: I'm a Burnaby landlord. I'd rather put my rentals on Airbnb

Editor:

Re: He stomped out 10 Burnaby Airbnbs. The pain didn’t stop. Now and Then Blog

I am a homeowner in East Vancouver where I also have an Airbnb listing. I also have a two-bedroom apartment in Burnaby which I rent. A couple of years ago, I sold another property I had in New Westminster with two-bedroom townhouse I bought brand new. Four months into the one-year lease agreement, the tenants wanted to move.

I went to see them and found the unit with a lot of damage, which cost me cost to $6,000. Needless to say, shortly after that I decided I no longer want to have the headaches I had to go through with that experience.

Today, my renters in Burnaby have been nice and we try to be good landlords. We have not increased their rent since they have been there almost three years now and they pay about $500 below market for rent.

I cannot AirBnb the apartment because the strata bylaws do not allow it -otherwise, I would do it in a heartbeat because in my opinion renters can get away with just about anything in this province and if you take them to court, you end up wasting more money.

With more than three years doing Airbnb on our basement in East Vancouver, I can assure you that of all the guests we have had during this time, maybe a handful of them have had rented a car, so I really don't understand the complaints of the individual in your blog about parking.

airbnb

Also, the guest that use Airbnb come to our cities to explore, work, study, I really doubt they come here to party, so as a neighbour I think it is better to have Airbnb guests that leave in a few days than having an unwelcome long term renter that will stay there for a long time.

We decided on Airbnb after trying to rent our basement apartment for a year without luck. We had a tenant that filled our garbage container within a couple of days. Garbage is taken every two weeks here and was never an issue in our house, even though at the time we had two homestay students and my wife and I, with four people, we hardly filled halfway our garbage container. When our tenant was asked to find ways to reduce her garbage, she told us that for the house size and the number of people leaving in it, we should have a bigger garbage container.

So after that, we decided to reclaim the space for ourselves and asked her to leave. We gave her four months free rent so she could find another place to move - since then, we decided that if we cannot Airbnb our place, we rather have it empty and use it just to receive family or friends.

Airbnb has had a lot of bad press and it is not what causes the lack of rentals in our cities. Mostly it’s the overpopulation, what they call density, and to be honest, it is used for a different market, a market which hotels are not suited for.

For example, guests that have decided to move here and need time to find an apartment, guests who come to an event and now they can choose a place close to the event, guests who prefer to stay in a family home, etc. but do not want to stay at a hotel.

Juan Castillo, Burnaby

 

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