Skip to main content

'Spacious solarium' in downtown Vancouver renting for $870/month

Spacious solarium

A glass-walled room with no closet and enough space for little more than a single bed is one of the only options someone searching for a Vancouver rental will find for less than $1,000 a month.

The room, advertised on Craigslist, is a solarium in a downtown high-rise, but by squeezing some basic furnishings into a space that was not designed to be a bedroom, the rent can be split by three people.

The prospective tenant is asked to pay $870 a month plus a third of the utilities. The other two occupants, according to the ad, both work full-time.

Rentals like these, according to Robert Patterson with the Tenant Resource and Advisory Council, are often created by desperate tenants who are “trying to create a living situation they can afford.”

In a city where the average price of a studio sits at around $2,000, sharing accommodations can be one of the only relatively affordable options.

"Many tenants have to resort to splitting rental units with many roommates to be able to make unaffordable rents. As affordable units continue to be lost through redevelopment and eviction, the units that are coming onto the market are almost exclusively 'luxury' priced rentals that working tenants cannot afford," Patterson told CTV News last month.

According to B.C. Housing, rent is considered affordable when it accounts for 30 per cent or less of a household's gross income. At $870 a month, this listing would be an affordable option for someone making about $2,500 a month. That works out to approximately what someone working full-time at minimum wage earns before taxes.

In the city's high-priced, low-vacancy rental market competition for scarce supply can be fierce. Those looking for tenants can afford to be choosey. In the case of this rental, not everyone is encouraged to apply.

"We are looking for a roommate who's quiet, respectful, clean, and mature!!" the ad reads, noting only females searching for a long-term place to live will be considered.

"We both are very quiet and nice!! I'm willing to clean the shared area like kitchen and living room. BUT LOOKING FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS COMMON SENSE LIKE clean up your own mess after using kitchen or bathroom..." it continues.

In addition to the monthly rent, the person who moves in will have to pay a one-time, non-refundable "move-in fee" of between $150 and $200. Top Stories

Stay Connected