How To Prepare For an Apartment Search in Toronto

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Toronto is safe, has great walkability, and offers amazing culture, recreation, and even parks and natural scenery. So it’s no wonder so many people want to live in our wonderful city! Searching for an apartment can be daunting but there are some steps you can take to make it much less of an ordeal. Search smarter, not harder, with our Toronto apartment search tips!

Come Prepared With Documents

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Toronto has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, at 1.1%. This means that you’re facing considerable competition for your dream apartment. The good news is that preparation will put you way ahead of the pack! Arming yourself before you even step in the door for a viewing with documents will make you a very attractive prospect to landlords. Not only does having documents on hand make it much easier for landlords to check your references and perform a credit check, but the steps you’ve taken to prepare will show that you’re a responsible tenant. We recommend bringing a credit check and a reference or two from a previous landlord, as well as a letter from your employer that confirms your job title. Don’t sweat when it comes to your Toronto apartment search, come prepared and reap the benefits!

Know Your Budget

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Sometimes figuring out just how much you can afford to spend can add more stress to your apartment search. A beautiful apartment may tempt you to go for a significant rent increase, just as you might end up renting somewhere less than ideal because you think it’s all you can afford. Turns out, there’s an easy answer to these problems. The conventional wisdom is that you should spend thirty percent of your pre-tax income on rent. Many simple online calculators will break down what is the perfect rent range and what is doable but would require strict budgeting. We recommend trying Rent Lingo and Rent Calculator (this one even allows you to enter your monthly recurring debt to better determine your budget). You’ll find nothing takes the confusion out of your Toronto apartment search like clear numbers!

Know Your Rights

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It’s important to know your rights before you sign a lease. Visit the Ontario LTB site to demystify leases and contracts, and learn what your landlord can and cannot require of you. For example, your landlord must always give you twenty four hours notice before entering your apartment. Checking up with the Landlord and Tenant Board is most crucial before you sign any binding contract with your landlord. To make sure you understand your lease, do your research before your Toronto apartment search!

Use the Best Search Tools

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Our final suggestion is to save yourself time by using the most trusted apps and sites for finding roommates and apartments. We recommend  4Rent, GottaRent, and ViewIt. All of these sites carefully review ads before they are posted, so you’re unlikely to come across ads that misrepresent the apartment being offered. Another tip is to take advantage of their saveable searches and notifications features. You’ll receive ads tailored to your budget and location needs right in your inbox. A growing trend in apartment searches is apps, which you can check on the go. We recommend Zumper and Padmapper (which are available in desktop versions as well).

We hope we’ve shed a little light on the apartment search process in Toronto! Remember, preparation beforehand can truly set you outside the pack and let you land that dream apartment! Follow along on the Medallion blog for more great tips on renting.