Finding an Apartment In Toronto Do’s & Don’ts

With the covid19 pandemic many urban cities have seen supply of rentals surge as rental demand has dropped significantly. This has created an artificial oversupply of housing. As more restrictions are removed and travel bans lifted these urban centres are slowing returning to normal. Toronto is a perfect example.

Rental rates are now slowly rising in high demand neighbourhoods. If you are looking to rent in the next 30-60days below are a few tips.

1. Identify which neighbourhood you want to live in.
2. Establish a budget (ie. be realistic don’t expect rent prices to stay low as living costs have continued to rise even during the pandemic)
3. Determine your rental term (ie. Fixed Term (cheapest), Month to Month (more expensive) or Short Term (Most Expensive)
4. Do you want to rent from (ie.Professional Landlord -Property Manager or Small Landlord
5. Do you want an agent to find you a rental or do your want to do your own searching

FIXED TERM

If you use an agent you will be required to provide a credit report, employment letter and references. Your chances of being successful and getting a good rental deal will depend on the strength of your application. If you eliminate the agent and deal directly with the landlord you will get an even better deal as the landlord will not have to pay an agent fee. You however have to do more leg work in finding the rental

MONTH to MONTH
If you are unable to commit to a fixed term you might be able to get a month to month rental which will be a bit more expensive than a 12 month lease. Don’t bargin with the landlord as the landlord will favour a long term tenant over a month to month every day of the week. The only way to entice the landlord is with a higher monthly payment. You will have to make a 1st and last payment at a minimum. You may also rent month to month furnished apartments. That will be even more expensive but might be a temporary solution to hold you over until you get your finances in order. You will lose credibility with the landlord if you try to bargin or make low ball offers because there is a lot of cost/risk to the landlord. Bargaining is a sign of a problematic guest and with a limited quality supply of furnished rentals, landlords can wait you out for the next offer.

SHORT TERM RENTALS

This is the fastest but also the most expensive way to find accommodations. With the new Airbnb Short Term Regulations in the City of Toronto prices are only skyrocketing. First the quality and number of short term rentals has dropped significantly. However the demand has increased as more people start coming to Toronto demand will only keep increasing. You options is to stay in small condos downtown. Don’t be fooled as may condo boards will not allow short term rentals so the supplied is limited to a few buildings. Secondly a lot of short term rentals are now basements or rooms in houses with shared facilities (ie. kitchen & bath). Thirdly the short term operators who are fully registered with the city and have been in business for awhile will be more expensive because of the quality and track record. So trying to bargin with them is futile and insulting. You get what you pay for so don’t be fooled for a deal which seems too good to be true.

Locking in a place in July or early August is key because you will be greatly disappointed to realize your options come September when you have to compete with Students and others after Labour Day.


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