How and Where to Look for Toronto Rentals
There are two main ways to look for a rental in Toronto: on your own, or with the help of a real estate agent.
There are tons of online resources to help potential tenants find a rental. Craigslist and Kijiji, while popular for finding an apartment, can be scam central. Make sure never to give a deposit before physically seeing the apartment and confirming that the person you’re talking to does, in fact, own it. And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Viewit.ca is a great website with more integrity than the free classified sites and lots of photos. Landlords pay to advertise on Viewit.ca thus reducing the chances of being scammed.
Of course, you can always work with a licensed REALTOR to help you find Toronto rentals. There are thousands of homes listed with real estate agents, and a good agent can help you identify great properties and neighbourhoods, as well as help you negotiate the price and terms of your lease. The best part? The landlord pays the agent’s commission, so you can have an expert represent your interests for free!
When to Look for a Rental
Most Toronto rentals come on the market two months before they are available for rent. If you aren’t ready to move for six months, you won’t likely have any options to look at.
The Toronto rental market is HOT! We are experiencing vacancy rates at all-time lows meaning that Landlords have their pick of who they want to rent to. Rents have increased significantly over the last five years and aren’t expected to decrease anytime soon.
The Lease or Rental Agreement
The lease is the document that summarizes your relationship with the landlord – how much rent you’ll pay, the dates of your lease, rules around pets and smoking, what happens at the end of your lease, etc. Leases are typically for 12 months and after that (unless a new lease is signed), tenants automatically are considered to be ‘month-to-month’–meaning that you don’t generally need to commit for another 12 months. You would, however, have to give 60 days notice before moving out (counting from the first of the next month; i.e. if you give notice June 26th, then you could move out on August 31st).
Getting the Toronto Rental You Want
One of the most important things about renting in Toronto is being prepared when you find your ideal place:
Have your deposit ready. To rent an apartment in Toronto, you’ll need to provide first and last month’s rent. Most landlords will require it to be a certified cheque or bank draft. Most landlords will ask for rental applications as well as proof of income and an up to date credit check. Do a credit check on yourself and have it ready to provide to a prospective landlord, most landlords will require it – you can order one online at Equifax for $23.95 (or order one via mail for free–it just takes longer). The landlord will also likely ask for references, any good landlord will check your references before agreeing to rent their unit to you.
Some other tips to keep in mind:
Scope out Toronto neighbourhoods. You’ll be there for at least 12 months, and your neighbourhood WILL affect your quality of life. A good realtor will be able to assist you in finding you the perfect neighbourhood as well as pointing out neighbourhood amenities. Be flexible It’s not easy or cheap to find rentals in Toronto. Keep an open mind and be prepared to make compromises. You won’t likely get location + size + cheap rent. Be ready to make a quick decision The Toronto rental market is super competitive. If you find a place you like, realize that if you ‘take the night to think about it’, it’ll probably be gone tomorrow.
Ready to start looking for a Toronto Home or Condo rental and need assistance feel welcome to call us at 416-901-8777 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be glad to help with your search.