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‘Windowless dungeon’: B.C listing asks $1,800 for tiny room, ‘zero daylight’

Victoria renter angered by converted underground basement, and its price

A Victoria landlord has removed a listing that appeared to have no windows after a local renter called them out for trying to rent out a “windowless dungeon.”

Connor Grabner said he moved to Victoria earlier this year after accepting a new job, but told Black Press Media he has been frustrated by a lack of decent rental options.

One listing was asking for $1,800 for a studio suite that was actually a converted underground basement that had “zero daylight.”

“It was a windowless dungeon with zero daylight and I challenged the landlord about that,” said Grabner. “There was technically a window but it was only about two-feet high and the space on the outside had been filled with dirt so that doesn’t qualify.”

Grabner said it was outrageous how much was being charged for just 350 square feet of space. He is planning on contacting the B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch.

“People need daylight to live,” he said.

For the sixth month in a row, average asking rents in Canada hit a new high, averaging $2,178, according to and Urbanation’s latest National Rent Report. Over the past six months, average rents increased by 8.8%, equivalent to $175 per month.

Victoria came in 11th on the list for average monthly rent for a one-bedroom at $2,109 and $2,836 for a two-bedroom.

READ MORE: ‘We’re worried’: Hysteria builds over listing of ‘iconic’ $1.5M Saanich hall

Vancouver tops the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent. Average monthly rent in the city for a one-bedroom was $2,872, and average monthly rent for a two-bedroom was $3,777. Year over year, average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom in Vancouver was up 6.7 per cent and up 5.5 per cent for a two-bedroom. Burnaby finished second on the list of 35 cities for average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home at $2,647 and for average rent for a two-bedroom home at $3,341. Year over year, average monthly rent in October for a one-bedroom in Burnaby was up 16.1 per cent and up 14.3 per cent for a two-bedroom.

The annual rate of rent growth in Canada stood at 9.9%, a modest slowing from the 11.1% annual pace in September. However, it marked the second-fastest annual increase over the past seven months. Additionally, average asking rents experienced a 1.4% month-over-month increase in October, showing somewhat slower growth than the monthly gains of 1.5% in September and 1.8% in August. This deceleration can be attributed to seasonal factors influencing the rental market.

For the first time, two-bedroom apartment rents surpassed $2,300, registering at $2,311. One-bedroom apartments experienced the fastest annual growth, with rents increasing by 14.1%. With an average of $1,538, studio apartment asking rents rose by 12.0% compared to a year ago, while three-bedroom apartment rents increased annually by 8.9% to reach an average of $2,532.

Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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