Rental abuse

There seems to be a lot of controversy lately on the difference between Airbnb rentals and low-income housing.

There seems to be a lot of controversy lately on the difference between Airbnb rentals and low-income housing.

Is it the municipalities’ plan to force hotels and B&Bs to offer long-term rentals at lower than cost prices, or perhaps force people with an empty bedroom to do the same, or place a higher tax on that property if they don’t?

How about forcing homeowners to convert the garage into a suite and let someone live there for free?

The cost of owning a house is so far out of reach for low-income people that even if the rent was zero the other costs add up to more than rent or mortgage payments. People who own try to make a little extra to pay these crippling costs by renting with a Airbnb-type service are soon to be punished for it.

People, but obviously not governments, have already figured out the money a person brings in for long term rentals (say $500/month) doesn’t come anywhere close to actually helping pay for the new reality of home ownership. This is why rentals are disappearing — there’s no money in it.

Anyone who is reading this and shaking their head hasn’t done the math. These people include your civic leaders, who seem to think that it’s their responsibility to force homeowners into their view of how you use your own home.

We’ve done the long-term rental idea and I don’t recommend it to anyone, unless you enjoy having your house damaged and all your stuff stolen as your renters bring unknown people into your home when you’re at work or late at night when you sleep. Then, somehow, the keys to your house wind up all over town.

Everyone who shows up to rent is good for a while and, to be honest, it’s not always the renter. Soon enough your house becomes a revolving door of people you don’t know and may never see as they steal all your stuff and even after the RCMP catch up with it you never get your belongings back because it’s a victimless crime, so no charges even after a confession.

I’m sure Airbnb is a more controllable form of renting to get some mortgage-helping money. Remember at voting time. I’ve had enough of rental abuse, but wont do the Airbnb thing either, so my local officials can think it’s ok to abuse me.

Mark Fisher

Qualicum Beach

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