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Rental standards database

Rental-database

To support our renters, we created an online searchable database of rental apartments in Vancouver.

The purpose of the database is to:

  • Help renters make better decisions about where they live
  • Motivate property owners and landlords to keep their properties in good order for renters

The database contains publicly available information that the City collects, including the building's owner, any outstanding work orders, or any property bylaw issues (fire safety, building safety, maintenance, and so on).

Search the database by exact street address, or see a list of all of the buildings that have outstanding bylaw issues.

Search the database

Related projects

Recent developments with this initiative

Council update

31 October 2012 - City staff updated Council on progress with the project, including key issues and timelines.

Consultations with tenant associations and not-for-profit providers

September 2012 - City staff held a workshop in September 2012 with not-for-profit providers and tenant associations to provide the opportunity to ask questions and get clarity on the database.

City Council votes to establish an online rental database

January 2012 - Vancouver City Council passed a motion to establish an online, searchable database of rental buildings and their history. This initiative helps fulfill Council’s commitment, as outlined in the Housing and Homelessness Strategy (2012), to provide strong leadership and support to partners to enhance housing stability, including support to renters.

Related documents

Information for residents

Learn more about the rental standards database, including the types of properties that are included in the database, what the property owners' responsibilities are, what to do if you think the building you live in should be in the database, and what to do if you have questions about any building in the database.

Information for property owners and managers

If you own or manage rental property in Vancouver, learn what you can do if your property appears in the database, what to do if you have problematic tenants, related charges for having your building re-inspected, and more.

Details

The residential rental standards database is designed to assist renters in making more informed decisions about rental properties in the city, and to motivate property owners and landlords to keep their properties in good order for renters.

What types of rental properties are included in the database?

The database includes information on all licensed rental buildings in Vancouver with five or more residential units.

This includes:

  • Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels
  • Private rental housing
  • Social housing
  • Supportive housing units

Both privately and publicly-owned units are included. The database includes information about any open issues, as well as issues that have been addressed and resolved within the past 12 months.

What types of properties are not included?

The database does not include information about:

  • Single family homes
  • Laneway housing
  • Secondary suites
  • Duplexes
  • Strata buildings
  • Buildings that are not licensed rentals

The focus at this time is on larger residential buildings. Other types of rental properties may be considered at a future date.

What information is included in the results?

The database includes the property address, the landlord or property owner’s name, and any unresolved issues. Issues that have been resolved within the last 12 months will also be listed.

The database lists issues related to City by-laws including:

  • Standards of maintenance
  • Fire safety
  • Building safety
  • Electrical, plumbing, gas, and sewer
  • Signage
  • Tree protection
  • Untidy premises
  • Zoning and development

How can I report a building?

If you believe there is a compliance issue with health and safety bylaws in your building, you should phone 3-1-1, who will report the issue to the approrpriate department to coordinate an inspection. If the inspector finds that there is a violation of a city bylaw, your building will be added to the list.

For additional help with your building, you should also review the Provincial Residential Tenancy Act, which oversees the landlord-tenant relationship.

The Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre produces a Tenant Survival Guide to give tenants a basic understanding of residential tenancy law in BC in English, traditional Chinese, and Spanish.

Work leading up to this initiative

The objective of the Rental Standards database is to motivate landlords and operators to keep their residential rental properties in good condition and to assist renters in making more informed decisions about rental properties in the city.

Working with landlords and owners

The City notified landlords and owners that have outstanding bylaw issues or issues that had been resolved in the last 12 months.

Landlords and owners were given several months’ notice to clear up any outstanding issues and schedule a re-inspection prior to the database being released in January 2013. We also held a workshop in September 2012 with not-for-profit providers, and tenant associations to provide the opportunity to ask questions and get clarity on the database.

Working with residents

The City also conducted user testing of an early version of the database with members of the public, to gather feedback on ease of use.

We have dedicated staff available by phone to schedule inspections and answer questions. Please contact 311 if you would like more information.

The City's ongoing housing strategy

The Rental Standards Database is part of the City’s Affordable Housing and Homelessness Strategy, which aims to both create new rental housing while protecting existing units.

Council has implemented a number of new programs in the past few years that aim to both create new rental housing while protecting existing units, including:

  • Rental 100: Secured Market Rental Housing Policy, to create new market rental units
  • Rate of change regulations that prevent affordable rental housing from being demolished
  • The use of injunctions, under the Standards of Maintenance by-law, on building owners who repeatedly fail to comply with City standards
  • Laneway housing and secondary suites in single-family areas
  • A rent bank, to provide short-term loans for renters in crisis

Read about Vancouver's rent bank

Learn more about what the City is doing to help renters

Is there an emergency at your building? Call 9-1-1.

If you or someone else in your building is in danger - or a crime is being committed - please call 9-1-1 now to get help right away.

Housing and Homelessness Strategy, 2012-2021

housing-strategy

Read the complete Housing and Homelessness Strategy, and learn how Council is ending street homelessness while providing affordable housing for all residents.

Download the strategy