Friday, August 23, 2019

Open Space: The reality of rentals in Victoria

May 15, 2019 by Cody Avitan, contributing writer

Finding affordable rental prices in Victoria is like sticking your hand into a beehive hoping to get honey without getting stung.

Unfortunately, you are going to get stung.

Most people are still picking high-rental-price stingers out of their fingers while continuing their search for affordability. All you have to do is sneak between the stingers to find someplace reasonable to rent, right? It’s difficult when affordable rentals are hard to find, and you’re dealing with a time constraint while you’re searching for a new home. Stress levels are high when looking for an affordable place that meets the basic requirements of a liveable space.

This story originally appeared in our May 15, 2019 issue.

The Victoria Tenancy Action Group (VTAG) recently conducted a survey showing that in the past three years the level of stress surrounding finding rentals has increased. According to the survey results, not only did “more than half of respondents (56%) [indicate] a high rate of stressfor the process of finding their most recent home, rating it as rather or very stressful,” but also of “316 renters that indicated they moved in the last three years… about two-thirds (65%) rated the process of finding their most recent home either ‘very stressful’ or ‘rather stressful.’” This survey gives insight into the fact that people are struggling to find a suitable rental suite without getting a pre-emptive sting just while searching.

So, you have spent all of your free time online sifting through rentals with your stress levels increasing after each passing second, but then, like a stork delivering a beautiful baby to your current doorstep, there it is: your dream home is staring you right in the face. However, the only problem is that the baby has a sticker on its forehead saying “in your wildest dreams.” According to VTAG, “92% of survey respondents indicated that the rents are too high,” which means that forever in your dreams that perfection of a rental suite will remain.

You wanted to find the perfect rental before the month ends, but chances are you had to settle on some aspects that once were unconditional necessities. You found a potentially affordable place; unfortunately, it’s missing something that is crucial to your quality of life. Like, say, a full kitchen. Affordability does exist, but it only comes with a sink, and you have to bring the hot plate.

For better or for worse, there is always an end to the search for a rental suite. You have to be out of your current space one month after you give notice; if you manage to not end up couch surfing at friends’ or family members’ homes, consider yourself lucky. Hopefully, you don’t compromise too much on what you need in a living space, but you might end up succumbing to living with the bees. Like I say, in this housing market, until things change, you’re going to get stung.

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