It's the second request for a condo conversion in a year, but Humboldt city council wasn't so quick to turn this one down.Council received a request to approve the conversion of the apartment building of 12 suites located at 622 7th St. to condominiums. The apartments building, called Eastview Manor, is owned by Bill Monz and Al Gaetz of Humboldt. They have been running the apartment for 40 years and are thinking about retirement, their letter to council said. "We are proposing to sell each suite for between $65,000 and $75,000, which would make them affordable for many people to become property and home owners," the letter stated. The letter went on to ask what the requirements were to pursue this course of action."This is the second time we've had a request. It's time to develop a policy," said Councillor Gordon Lees. "I would like to see us put together a policy, because I see another request down the road."According to a report prepared by Sandra Pauli, the acting city manager, Humboldt does not have a policy in place concerning apartment conversions. The creation and conversion of condominiums are governed by The Condominium Property Act, 1993. The Act states that the local government has to be satisfied the conversion will not significantly reduce the availability of rental accommodation in the area, will not create significant hardship for any or all of the tenants of the existing premises, and that the building have the physical characteristics considered necessary to make the premises suitable for conversion."The only way to know about hardship to the tenants is to ask," said Mayor Malcolm Eaton. "We can mandate communication with the tenants."The problem, Pauli explained, is that the city does not have access to any rental accommodation statistics, only anecdotal reports. "We can't set a vacancy bench mark because we have no unbiased data," Pauli stated.The city does track the number of units through the utility and tax roll system, giving the city 220 units for rent using 2009 numbers. The 12 suites in Eastview Manor represent 5.45 per cent of the total known units, she explained.The Humboldt Housing Authority has told the city that the vacancy rate for rental units is virtually zero, with waiting lists for their apartments. "No one is building apartments, so there won't be any units to replace them," said Coun. Aaron Behiel. "I can't see this not impacting our rental market."Council faced a similar request in 2009 when the owners of two apartment buildings with a total of 38 units - located at 1117 and 1127 Main St. - asked for permission to convert them to condos. Those buildings represented 17.27 per cent of the total known rental units in the city.With rental properties in the city already hard to find at that time, council felt a further reduction would make a bad situation worse and denied the request.Council decided to ask the owners of Eastview Manor to prove the conversion not affect rental status in the city and to see plans for any changes to the building. The city will also develop a policy to guide apartment to condo conversions.