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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 Highlights of the Canadian Apartment Renter Survey

By Amy Erixon, Toronto

On September 12, I presented the results from the second annual Apartment Renter Sentiment Survey, with surprising findings in many areas, among others - recycling commitments and rising tech savvy among tenants.   Across Canada, commute times decreased and so did the time to find an apartment, key findings in the 2017 pan-Canadian Apartment Rental Survey.  Overall, Canadians polled are less fussy than their US counterparts, and stay in place much longer.  A higher percentage of renters are married, at 50% compared to one-third south of the border, and nearly one third have children living in their units.  Nearly one-third of the 10,000 survey respondents indicated they had previously owned a home, and desire for a hassle-free life style led the list of reasons why they were renting.  A whopping two-thirds indicated they plan to stay in their current apartment, and 31% had been in place for more than 3 years.   Broadly representative of the Canadian population, by geography and other demographics, 25% of those surveyed were age 18-30, while 39% were over 50. 
While 20% of renters polled indicated they were highly satisfied, 70% indicated satisfaction with their current living arrangement, Vancouver landlords were ranked significantly better than their Toronto counterparts for service quality ad responsiveness.  Asked whether they would be willing to pay more for amenities they did not have, 43% of tenants said they would - including at the top of the list, high speed internet access, energy efficient lighting, fitness facilities and tri-slot garbage (recycling).   In terms of amenities targeting a subset of the population, 37% of renters have children,   35% have pets, and 59% said they would use package lockers, while fewer than 8% of units reported offering this service. 

Canadian landlords continue to lag their tenants in technology arenas.  While most renters initiated their search on-line, and half of all renters with access to on-line features utilize them, fewer than 20% of communities have tenant portals and on-line payment schemes.  Fifty-five percent of renters indicated that smart thermostats and in-unit alarm systems were important, which, for context nearly tied with desire for a walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom.   High speed Internet access, for the second consecutive year rated as the single most important feature, ahead of parking, proximity to a grocery store and access to transit (which closely followed).

I encourage all owners to sign up to participate in next year’s survey.  To view my 2017 presentation, click

To receive the white paper on the results, and to obtain access the underlying database, contact  

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