If you’re looking for your first apartment in Toronto and you’re on a tight deadline, we’re here to help! Toronto boasts respected post-secondary educational institutions and great career opportunities, which explains why its population grew by 77,435 people in just a year. You’ll want to stand out among all those prospective renters, and we have a few tips on how to beat the competition and find the apartment of your dreams!
Come Prepared With Paperwork
Our first piece of advice is to arrive at apartment showings with your documentation already in hand. With a vacancy rate that hovers around 1 percent, you’re facing stiff competition when it comes to apartments. Units get snapped up fast, so showing initiative and ensuring you can sign a lease quickly will put you ahead of the pack. Having paperwork like a credit check, reference letter, and proof of employment will prove to a prospective landlord you’re a great tenant they shouldn’t let get away!
Consider Moving Outside The Downtown Core
It should come as no surprise that downtown is where the rental market is hottest. If you have your heart set on this area you’ll have a harder time than if you look north of Bloor, east of the DVP, or west of Bathurst. While downtown can be wonderful for its accessible transit and vibrant culture, it also comes with greater crowds and higher prices. Areas such as St Clair West, West Queen West, and York Mills have varied options for shopping, dining, and transit yet are a bit less competitive than downtown. If you’re facing down the clock to find an apartment fast, we suggest checking out these neighbourhoods.
Don’t Ignore Older Buildings
Another secret to finding hidden gems is checking out older buildings. Less savvy apartment searchers might only look at newer buildings, but older ones often offer more character and lower prices. As a bonus, they are protected by rent control laws while newer buildings may not be.
Go The Traditional Method And Look For “For Rent” Signs
Some of the best units can be found by searching the old-fashioned way: walking around a neighbourhood and looking for “For Rent” signs. Too many renters tend to limit their searches to the web and miss out on great finds. This is an especially good piece of advice if you are looking for an apartment in the same neighbourhood you already live in. While running errands or walking to a transit stop, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for units up for rent!
…But Also Use Modern Tech
On the other hand, most renters are using websites to help secure housing, so that’s where you should look as well! Our favourite sites to find listings are Viewit.ca, Gottarent.com, and 4rent.ca. Property managers must pay to be featured on these pages, so you can be sure they are trustworthy sources. We also recommend setting up a Google Alert like “One bedroom St Clair West” or “Toronto studio near subway” so you’ll be notified of new listings the moment they come up.
Apartment searches can be stressful, but you can come out ahead by following these simple tips. Preparation and diligence are key! Happy hunting and be sure to check out the Medallion blog for more renting advice.