Renting a place should not come with so many restrictions
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
As someone who is trying to find a place to move out, I follow a lot of Vancouver room and rental Facebook groups and check Craigslist almost daily. I knew that finding the ideal place for me would take a lot of time and patience, and I knew some landlords would have some questionable rules, but I didn’t realize just how strict some places can be.
It’s hard enough finding a place to rent that is within your price range, has an ideal location, and is with a roommate you can get along with without having to worry about the landlord’s asinine rules. I’ve seen places advertised with the basic rules you see in almost every listing—no pets, no drugs, and no smoking—and I understand why some places have these guidelines… to an extent.
From a landlord’s perspective, these are all things that have potential to do damage to the property or disrupt neighbors, so by making these rules they eliminate those possibilities. However, if people are paying rent on time and don’t disrupt the neighbors or damage the property, what does it matter what they’re doing inside the house?
Some other rules are harsh and unrealistic; no parties, no guests, overnight or otherwise, and no drinking. How can anyone live comfortably under these conditions? With so many restrictions it feels like you’re applying to live in a prison, not a house. Renting a new place should not change how you live your life. If you’re paying to live somewhere then you should be able to do whatever you want so long as it doesn’t disturb or harm anyone or anything.
Some people move out of their family’s house to get away from rules like these, not to live with more of them. If you want to have a beer or a few friends over to hang out after a long week, what’s the harm? I could understand if your landlord lives with you and doesn’t want any disturbances or strangers in their house. Even then, why are you a landlord if you’re not going to let your tenants live comfortably?
The rule that frustrates me the most is “no guests.” Do they expect their tenants to have absolutely no fun? In fact, the “no guests” rule is against your tenant rights. According to section nine of the Residential Tenancy Regulation, “your landlords cannot unreasonably restrict guests from entering your rental property, or charge you a fee, even if they stay overnight.” However, illegal or not, countless rental posts still include these kinds of clauses.
Moving into a new place shouldn’t mean giving up your lifestyle. Landlords should realize that no one is going to want to live in their house if there are so many rules, and if they do they are probably not going to abide by them. It’s just unrealistic.