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It’s no secret that finding an apartment in Toronto has become a struggle. Across Canada, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment has skyrocketed past $2,000 a month in 2022, an increase of over 12% year-over-year. With rents that high, there’s huge competition for more affordable apartments, and finding a place at all is no easy task.
When it comes to your apartment, you want a place that you’re going to love, that you can afford, and that’s convenient to where you work, study, or spend your time. This guide will help you stand out from the competition and find a great place to live.
Prepare to See Tons of Apartments
The first thing you should know is that you’re probably going to have to go see a lot of apartments. The first step in finding Toronto apartments for rent is looking at listings online and booking viewings so you can see them first-hand.
Cast a wide net in the early stages of your apartment hunt, and don’t be afraid to act quickly because competition is fierce. In today’s market, you may not have much time to think about it, so if you see a unit that works for you, get your application in.
Get Your Paperwork Ready Now
One way to beat the stiff competition for apartments in Toronto is to have all of your paperwork ready when you show up for a viewing. This is the paperwork you will likely need ready to go:
- A copy of your photo ID
- Credit score
- Last three paystubs
- Bank statements
If you can apply on the spot, you’ll have a better chance of securing your dream apartment by beating out the competition.
Know Your Rights as a Renter
As a prospective renter, it helps if you learn your rights (and the landlord’s rights) before you sign a lease. Due to high demand, a growing number of landlords are including unenforceable clauses in their leases that you may want to avoid.
On the other hand, there are also many misconceptions renters may have about what their landlords can and cannot do.
Purpose-Built Rentals vs. Condos
A lot of your options in Toronto are going to be condos rented out as apartments. It can be harder to tell these apart from purpose-built rentals, especially if the building is newer. The difference between an apartment and a condo is not the architecture or the style but how it’s owned.
A purpose-built rental building will have one single landlord. Every tenant in the building rents from the same company or individual.
In a condo, each unit has a unique owner, so you may be more likely to rent from a non-professional landlord. It can be easier to be evicted from a condo if the landlord decides they want to move into the unit themselves.
Rent Control in Toronto
If you want stability and affordability in your new home, you need to know the rules around rent control in Ontario. Currently, rent control rules limit how much the landlord can raise your rent in a 12-month period. However, this rule does not apply to units created after November 15, 2018.
There are no rent control rules on units brought onto the market for the first time after that date. Find out how long the apartment has been on the market if you’re worried about future increases.
Finding an apartment in Toronto is getting tougher, but it’s not impossible. These tips can help you find a great place to live.