One of the main tasks after coming to a new city like Toronto is to find a house to live in. No matter if it is your first rental house or not, finding a proper Toronto condo to rent in the high-demand Toronto real estate market could be challenging. Certainly, renting a Toronto condo is a much more economical choice for newcomers.
But, before starting your search for finding your future Toronto home, there are many important factors that you should consider first. This article tries to walk you through all the possible steps and show you the most important tips for renting a Toronto condo as a tenant.
Estimate your budget
The first step for renting a Toronto condo is to calculate your budget. This will help you to figure out the size of a condo or where you can rent in the city. Then, you can decide which neighborhood of Toronto fits both your budget and needs. You must consider all the probable additional expenses first, because sometimes a condo may seem to be affordable, but in the end, it turns out to be over your budget.
If you are on a tight budget, you may even consider the proximity of the condo to work and daily commute along with maintenance costs and amenities.
Check if the utilities are added to the monthly rental price or not. It may include water, electricity, heat, and air conditioning. Sometimes the landlord may include some or all of them as part of your rent. In some buildings, parking space will cost you extra. There is also internet and cable TV. Check all the expenses in advance!!
What kind of property can you rent?
After calculating your final budget for rent, you can decide the kind of property you want to rent. Can you rent a newly built condo in downtown Toronto or should you rent a Toronto loft in the suburbs? Generally, condos have better maintenance and are perfectly managed. Besides, Toronto condominiums usually have amenities like a gym, pool, security and concierge.
Toronto Lofts for Rent
Since Toronto hard lofts are old buildings converted from a warehouse or factory, they mostly don’t have special amenities. The best feature of Toronto lofts is that they’re often spacious with an open concept plan and have high ceilings. However, lofts might not be a cheaper option if you are on a limited budget.
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When and how can you look for a Toronto condo for rent?
Certainly, one of the safest options for finding a rental property is to work with a professional Toronto real estate agent. They can perfectly help you to find the best neighborhood and Toronto condo based on your needs and budget. Also, it is their job to negotiate for price and help you with your lease. And as a tenant, you don’t need to worry about a real estate agent’s commission, your landlord will pay for it.
Online Search to Rent a Toronto Condo
You can also start your condo search online such as social media tools. In fact, there are so many online resources for tenants. Some of these websites provide a special forum for tenants to connect with landlords directly. But the problem is when there is no real estate agent involved, you must verify the authenticity of the listing by yourself. So be careful and try to physically see the condo and landlord before giving any deposits.
Besides, you should start looking for a rental condo four to six weeks before you plan to move in. It could be frustrating, but the rentals are listed on the market about two months before becoming available for rent in Toronto.
Documents and paperwork for tenants in Toronto
Definitely, you are not the only one who needs to prove the authentication of the landlord. In return, the landlord definitely asks you to provide a series of records, including a background report, evidence of work, credit report, etc. To accelerate the process, you better have copies prepared of these documents available for any rental condo that you are engaged in.
Tenants’ Important Documents
One of the most important documents for landlords to make sure that you will make your payments on time is a credit report. You better prepare it before you submit an offer. You can also get the employment letter which includes your annual income and duration of employment showing your ability to afford the property. In case you are self-employed, the landlord’s agent will typically ask for your last two years’ Notice of Assessments from Revenue Canada.
The next required document is the lease agreement which is the relationship and agreements between the landlord and tenant. It indicates the lease terms, such as the price, duration of the lease, and so many other conditions. There is a difference between a lease and rent agreement which includes the period of time they cover. You should know that a rental agreement usually covers a short term (like monthly), while a lease contract is used for longer periods, like 12 months. Be careful to not agree to anything that isn’t fair!
Search the building and neighborhood
Before you decide to rent any Toronto condo, you should walk through the buildings or search more about them. You can check if the facilities like pool, gym or common spaces are clean or tidy. Check everything to make sure the building is managed well. Or you can also search to see if the building has ever been on the Bed Bug Registry or not.
You can also talk to other residents to see if they are pleased with condo management or not. During your search in the building, see if the neighbors of the chosen condo are not noisy. In the end, there is no problem if you ask the administration of the building a few questions you have in your mind to make sure about everything.
Finally, explore the neighborhood and walk around. If you are going to rent that condo and live there for at least 12 months, you better check the area, services and amenities around you. Check the subway stations, parks or local markets around.
Tenants’ rights and obligations in Toronto
According to the Residential Tenancies Act, you have rights as a tenant. So you don’t need to accept all the expectations of the landlord. If something seems suspicious, you can check out the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) rules. For example, you should know that landlords can only increase the rent once a year and it should be by up to a maximum equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Besides, if the landlord decides to sell the condo, they have no right to evict you if you have a valid written lease. In this case, the buyer can take over your lease, which should be at your current rent price and with the same terms. However, under any circumstance, you would have to give a 60 days’ notice before moving out.
Read More: How To Rent Out Your Condo
So, when you decide to rent a Toronto condo, have your deposit ready, prepare your references and documents, explore the neighborhood, know your rights, be flexible and ready to make a quick decision and good luck!!