[URBAN NOTE] “Vancouver renters under pressure as landlords are persuaded to sell”
At The Globe and Mail, Kerry Gold describes the pressure faced by renters in Vancouver as their long-time landlords sell their properties to others, perhaps less invested in keeping their current renters and more interested in maximizing their profit.
Bob Wilson was an old-school landlord, the kind who’d rather learn how to fix a clogged drain himself than call in a plumber.
The retired firefighter owned and meticulously managed the character three-storey on leafy Barclay Street in Vancouver’s West End for 40 years, until he sold it last year for an offer he couldn’t refuse.
And he did refuse many offers. His love of his tenants, the building and his desire to keep working kept him in the landlord business.
“I am friends with almost all of them – even my new tenants I’d seem to become friends with,” says 80-year-old Mr. Wilson. “A fireman is always helping people, so you can’t change that. I love that stuff, doing them favours if they needed something. It was fantastic for me.”
He worked for 30 years as a firefighter, but he managed several small properties around the city. When he was a teenager, his basketball coach advised him to buy real estate in the West End because it would always be desirable and it had nowhere to grow, surrounded by water and the downtown to the east. His investments earned him a decent income for a lifetime.