Rent Strike Van Busts 5 Myths About Landlords

1. Landlords are just trying to get by, too.

Their concerns are absolutely not the same as ours. Tenants are concerned with paying for rent, food and the basic necessities of life. Landlords are concerned with continuing to pay the mortgage on their extra property that they don’t really need. If they really can’t afford food this month, they can just sell their extra property. They have access to far more resources than renters do, whether or not it’s currently tied up in investments.

2. Landlords provide a service.

Managing someone’s housing for them is not a real job. Most tenants are perfectly capable of maintaining their own home, arranging their own utilities payments, and whatever else it is landlords do. In fact, most of us would prefer to manage these things ourselves than pay extra to have someone else do it for us. This is assuming that landlords actually do a good job of keeping our homes running smoothly – which most don’t.

3. ‘Mom and pop’ landlords are different from evil corporate landlords.

Whether it’s your mom, your grandma, or your neighbour, they’re still fundamentally exploiting their tenants. Landlords are people who invested their extra financial resources into more property than they need in order to profit off others. They could have just saved that money for a rainy day – or a pandemic – but they chose to be greedy and try to grow more money at someone else’s expense.

Further, ‘mom and pop’ landlords renting out a basement suite may be rarer than we think. 143,910 landlords in Vancouver owned at least an entire second property in 2018, while more than 33,530 owned three or more properties! (Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling, 2018).

4. Landlords worked hard to be where they are and deserve to reap the benefits.

Do the rich deserve to profit off the poor? Um, no. Chances are most tenants work the same amount of hours per week as their landlords, and have for most of their lives. I work equally hard and pay as much (or more) each month for my home as my landlord does, but it gains me nothing in the long-term where it lands them a gigantic asset. Why should I be stuck helping my landlord pay their mortgage rather than investing into my own future?

If landlords are complaining that they can’t pay their hefty mortgage if we don’t pay rent, remember that they are the one who chose to take the gamble of buying investment property in the first place rather than responsibly saving their extra money like they tell us to.

5. There is no alternative to having landlords.

Well, if nobody bought investment properties to rent to tenants, there would be far more properties available on the market. They would be more affordable and accessible to folks who are currently renters who could finally have housing stability. Folks who still couldn’t afford property could buy houses collectively and self-manage their own separate suites rather than being ‘lorded’ over by an external property owner.

6 Replies to “5 Myths About Landlords”

  • Clearly written by a renter who has no idea what landlords go through by bad tenants and the governing bodies who side with bad tenants who decide to trash the residence, not pay rent and refuse to vacate.

    • Thanks for sharing this Joe! This is a good point to dissect. Landlords obviously go through difficult situations with regard to their tenants. We are not pretending that owning some else’s home is easy or fun for them. But this doesn’t outweigh the need for a rent strike, or critique of the exploitative relationship between landlords and tenants. Tenants need to look out for each-other in this crisis, because landlords won’t. We share these myths with the explicit understanding of the hardships landlords are subject to, because these in no way “redeem” them.

  • You are doing a great service to tenants society. Keep up your good work. Remember not to have tenants when you own your home. Because that’s what is corruption.. you are always bitching about it unless you are the beneficiary.

    • Thanks! I doubt any of us will ever be in the home-owning situation, but you never know, so its a good reminder nonetheless.

  • Point # 4 is titled “ Landlords worked hard to be where they are and deserve to reap the benefits“ yet inheritance and gifting were not discussed at all.
    Inheritance and gifting which for people receiving large inheritances in the future begins by getting them ahead early with vacations, university, cars, wedding and any misfortunes (investment loss, legal fees , medical expenses, IVF) all being paid for by parents and end in houses and fortunes being transferred when the parents have gone. This is by far the biggest factor in determining who is rich and poor later in life. It is well explained in Capital in the 21st venture by Thomas Piketty.

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