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Would you pay $700 a month to rent a micro suite? Craigslist ad highlights bleak options

A single bed and kitchenette are seen in one of four photos included in an advertisement for a micro suite available for rent in Vancouver. (Craigslist) A single bed and kitchenette are seen in one of four photos included in an advertisement for a micro suite available for rent in Vancouver. (Craigslist)
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A micro suite in Vancouver is being rented for $700 a month—a steep price considering the space is just 150 square feet.

According to the Vancouver-based rental listing website liv.rent, the average rent per square foot in the city is $3.85, which works out to a monthly rent of $577.50 for a 150-square-foot space.

Utilities are included in the $700 price for the micro suite listed on Craigslist, however.

An advertisement for the room specifies it is “freshly renovated” and comes with access to a shared kitchen and bathrooms on the same floor, but there’s no laundry on site.

A single bed frame and mattress, plus a kitchen sink and mini fridge can be seen in photos of the tiny room posted online.

The advertisement does not include the address, but says the micro suite is in a “secure building with neighbourhood security.”

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for the City of Vancouver says micro suites are “intended to encourage the creation of new livable, affordable micro dwelling rental units in the Downtown Eastside and the False Creek Flats areas” and are a minimum of 250 square feet under city guidelines.

“We’re unable to tell whether this particular unit is legal or not, based on the photo and listing information,” the spokesperson said, explaining it depends on whether a business licence is required.

A person needs a business licence if they are sharing three or more rooms in their house, or for whole units, but no licence is needed to rent out two or fewer rooms.

Robert Patterson, a lawyer at the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, says that legal or not—advertisements for rental units like this micro suite represent troubling times.

“This is not the sign of a healthy rental market,” Patterson said.

CTV News has reached out to the person renting the unit and will update this article if a response is received.

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