Looking for a Rental: What to Rent
These ar the three types of properties most commonly rented in Toronto:
How and Where to Look for a Toronto Rental
There are two main ways to look for a rental in Toronto: on your own, or with the help of a REALTOR.
There are plenty of online resources to help potential tenants find a rental.
Pro Tip: Viewit.ca is a popular website with lots of photos. Landlords pay to advertise on Viewit.ca (thus reducing the chances of being scammed). Check out Pad Mapper – it is more user-friendly and has lots of posted rentals.
Of course, you can always work with a licensed real estate agent to help you find a Toronto rental. There are thousands of rentals 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!
Pro Tip: Properties that get listed with real estate agents tend to be on the higher end of the price scale, so if your budget is less than $1,800 a month, they may not be able to find you something in downtown Toronto.
When to Look for a Rental
Most Toronto rentals come on the market two months before they are available for rent (e.g. – an apartment will be advertised April 1st and be vacant June 1st). If you are not ready to move for six months, you will not likely have any options to look at.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent in Toronto?
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the official average monthly prices for rental apartments and condos in 2018 is:
- Bachelor apartment: $1,657
- 1-bedroom apartment: $1,995
- 2-bedroom apartment: $2,653
- 3-bedroom apartment: $3,344
The Toronto Rental MarketThe Toronto rental market is HOT! We are experiencing vacancy rates at all time lows (around 1%) meaning that landlords have their pick of who they want to rent to (and for how much). Rents have increased significantly over the last five years and are not expected to decrease anytime soon. If you love stats, check out this CMHC Rental Report.
The LeaseThe lease is the document that governs your relationship with the landlord – how much rent you will pay, the term of your lease, the use of the property, what happens at the end of your lease, etc.
Leases are typically for 12 month term and after that (unless a new lease is signed), tenants are automatically 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 (beginning on the first day of the next month; i.e. if you give notice June 24th, then you can move out on August 31st).
Your Rights and Obligations as a Tenant
As a tenant in Ontario, you have many rights. Among the important ones:
- Pets – Landlords can not evict you for having a pet. If you are renting in a condo, the Condominium rules take precedence over the Residential Tenancies Act, so if the condo does not allow pets,you will not be able to move your pet in.
- Rent Increases – In Ontario, rent increases are controlled. Generally speaking, landlords can increase the rent once every 12 months by up to a maximum set out by regulation every year. (e.g. it was 2% in 2016).
- Right to Access Property – Generally, your Landlord has the right to enter your unit to repair and maintain it (with 24 hours notice) or in the case of an emergency. Your Landlord also has the right to show the unit to prospective tenants and/or buyers with 24 hours written notice.
- What happens if your Landlord Sells – If you have a valid written lease, your landlord cannot evict you even if he or she decides to sell the unit – the new owner will simply be required to take over your lease (at the rent you currently pay and under the same terms). If you are a ‘month-to-month’ tenant, your landlord is permitted to give you 60 days notice (from the 1st of the month) to allow the new owner to move in–as long as the new owner (or a family member) is going to live in the unit.
Click here to download the Landlord and Tenant Board’s Information for New Tenants guide with a summary of landlord and tenant rights & responsibilities.
Getting the UNIT 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.
- Prepare your references Any good landlord will check your references before agreeing to rent you their unit. Please provide cell numbers for easy reference checking!
- Get a Confirmation of Employment letter You will need to prove that you are employed or otherwise financially viable to rent in Toronto. Do not forget to make copies of your employment letter in case your first appication is rejected.
- 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).
- Scope out Toronto neighbourhoods You will be there for at least 12 months, and your neighbourhood WILL affect your quality of life. You can check out our Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods for the scoop on downtown neighbourhoods.
- Be flexible It is not easy or cheap to rent in downtown Toronto. Keep an open mind and be prepared to make compromises. You will not likely get location + size + cheap rent.
- Be ready to make a quick decision The Toronto rental market is very competitive. If you find a place you like, realize that if you ‘take time to think about it’ it will probably be gone.
- Do not lie on your application While it might be tempting to make yourself “look” like a better tenant, having a friendly relationship with your landlord will pay off in the long run.