Vision Vancouver to introduce online rental database
3:29 pm, Oct 29, 2011
Vision Vancouver announced plans today to create a comprehensive online registry that will track work orders and property violations in Vancouver apartments, highlighting negligent landlords and giving a new tool to empower renters.
With the creation of a new online database, property owners will no longer be able to ignore their buildings in isolation and anonymity, according to Vision Vancouver City Council candidate Tim Stevenson.
"52% of our citizens are renters, and Vancouver tenants deserve an easy way to know the history of the building they live in, and if their landlord is responsible," said Vision Vancouver City Council candidate Tim Stevenson. "An online database of Vancouver apartment buildings, highlighting work orders and property violations, is a simple step to empower Vancouver renters."
Modeled after a successful on-line watchlist created by New York City's Public Advocate, the database will allow Vancouver residents to search out landlords and identify any building or safety violations issued by the City of Vancouver to specific rental buildings.
This past term, Vision Vancouver oversaw the introduction of legal injunctions being deployed on buildings whose landlords repeatedly ignore the City's Standards of Maintenance by-law. The use of legal injunctions has resulted in an increase in compliance by landlords and has helped to protect and improve low-income housing.
The online database will also build on Vision's success with the City's Open Data program, making city data more open and readily accessible for the public to use.
"As a renter, I've heard countless stories of friends who have lived in buildings with landlords who didn't make timely repairs," said Vision Park Board candidate Trevor Loke. "By using the City's commitment to Open Data to make building information available to the public online, we can provide renters with a simple tool to stay informed and avoid problem buildings."