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  • Samina Batyrova

6 Things to Know If It's Your First Time Renting a Condo Downtown Toronto

Updated: Dec 2, 2022

First time renting a condo downtown Toronto? 🏠 Here are 6 things you should know:

1️⃣ The rental market is very fast-paced and competitive.

If you find a property you like, you must act fast because good listings are being leased VERY quickly. Which leads me to the next point:

2️⃣ Prepare all your documents in advance, before you start checking out properties.

This is the most tedious part of the process. As a potential tenant, you must present yourself as the best candidate to rent out the property. The landlords want to ensure their property is in good hands and that you can afford it.

Make sure you have the following files on hand before you start checking out properties:

✅ your photo ID (passport/ driver’s license/ work ID/ Ontario photo card)

✅ your credit report with your credit score

✅ ALL of your letters of employment (since I’ve always worked multiple jobs and a freelancer, I had to present them all to show that I have multiple sources of income)

✅ 2-3 latest paystubs for EACH job

✅ your rental application

✅ your recent bank statements (not necessary, but helps to ensure the landlord that you have enough funds on your account, therefore improve your candidacy)

✅ T4 (not necessary, but also helps to improve your candidacy)

✅ recommendation letter (not necessary, but also helps to improve your candidacy)

3️⃣ Don’t do it by yourself! Find a realtor!

In Ontario, realtor services are free for tenants as the landlords is bearing the commission fee of the tenant realtor.

4️⃣ Know the difference between a Buyer’s Agent and Seller’s Agent.

Personally, when I first started looking for properties, I didn’t know that there are Real Estate Agents from both parties, who negotiate the price and conditions of your agreement for you. As a potential tenant, you’ll be working with a Buyer’s Agent who represents your best interests, so it’s important to communicate all your thoughts to him/her/them.

5️⃣ Make a list of the most important factors

When looking for a place, you must know exactly what you’re looking for and what plays a bigger priority for you as going through hundreds of properties will be a waste of time if they don’t fit your needs. Consider a negotiable price range, location and the area, proximity to public transit, unit layout, amenities, whether you need parking or locker included in the price, how old is the building (this may affect whether or not the landlord can significantly increase the price later on), and etc. Mark these factors in order of their importance to you.

6️⃣ Dealing with property management companies is tough.

If the property is listed under a property management company and not the name of the landlord, their ask might be much stricter as they usually don’t prefer renting out to students. And if you do decide to give it a try, make sure to have a co-signer, who’s an established working professional earning at least $80K annually. The properties listed under property management companies also tend to be a little more expensive.

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