Why don’t renters have the benefit of hiring REALTORS to help them find a place to rent?

REALTORS licensed for residential sales assist home buyers and sellers; REALTORS licensed as property managers help landlords market residential rental properties and negotiate leasing contracts. But in BC, most residential tenants are left without the assistance of their own exclusive real estate agent working on their behalf.

REALTORS can't help tenants?


Each province has different renter policy

It’s common to hire a REALTOR when looking for rental housing in other provinces. The difference begins with the way the BC MLS system has chosen to operate they have opted not to display rentals; in BC its primary use is sales. It’s difficult for REALTORS to provide comprehensive access to residential rental property listings for tenants, without the support of MLS. Realtors rely on the capabilities of the MLS system for efficiently screening properties in a centralized database.

Beyond searching for and selecting potential rentals, a REALTORS® expertise in writing and negotiating a
rental lease may also be of great value to tenants. But the question of how to collect payment for
services comes into play when working with lease contracts outside of the MLS support system. MLS
rules of cooperation require compensation to be clearly stated for cooperating REALTORS®.

Commercial versus residential REALTORS

Commercial REALTORS on the other hand, have the opportunity to work for both landlords and tenants, as well as sellers and buyers to assist in leasing commercial classed properties.

Ultimately it’s unfortunate the BC MLS policy makers have chosen to exclude rental housing while many
other provinces give renters greater access to a central MLS database for rental properties. With the
housing market becoming more and more complex, and prices for both sales and rents on the rise,
perhaps the addition of rental properties to our local MLS will be an option in the future.

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