100 Questions To Ask Before Renting In Toronto

Finding a place to live is no easy feat, especially in the current renting climate in Toronto.

Toronto’s hot real estate market is great for landlords, but not so great for those of us looking to rent. Vacancy rates are so low in Toronto that landlords have a lot of power, which means they can be a lot more discerning when it comes to picking tenants and raising rent prices.

To help you find the perfect place, we’ve brainstormed and asked Toronto renters what questions are important to ask when searching for rentals in Toronto or the GTA. Our list covers all of the bases that a tenant should cover before signing a lease for an apartment, condo or house in Toronto. While some of these questions are best answered with a quick Google search, others are good ones to ask your future landlord too.

We know no one will actually be asking 100 questions. The goal is for you to scan our mega list here and pick out questions that apply to your situation or that you don’t know the answer to. From there you can craft your own targeted list of important questions to ask before you sign your next lease!

Location

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  1. What is the closest major intersection to the apartment?
  2. How close is the apartment to a TTC stop?
  3. How far away is the nearest grocery store?
  4. How long does it take to get to highway 401? How long does it take to get to the DVP/Gardiner?
  5. How far away is Union Station? (Toronto’s main transit hub and where you can catch a Via Rail or Go Train)
  6. How far away is Toronto Pearson International Airport and what is the best way to get to it?
  7. How far away is Toronto Island Airport (officially Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport)?
  8. What schools are nearby? How do they rank?
  9. How much pedestrian and auto traffic surrounds the location?
  10. Is there a lot of noise pollution at this location?
  11. Is there green space nearby?
  12. What is the walking score of the location?
  13. Are there emergency services close to the apartment? (You may not want to listen to sirens all night long)
  14. Who is the city counselor for this area?
  15. What are the distinguishing factors of the neighbourhoods that border this one?
  16. Is the street that the building is on a shortcut for traffic? (This can make a big difference if you think you are getting a quiet street to live on)

    Neighbourhood

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  17. What is the nightlife like here?
  18. What are the best bars and restaurants nearby?
  19. Are there any theatres close by?
  20. What kind of services are in the neighbourhood; medical, dental, and otherwise?
  21. What are the main demographics of the neighbourhood? Is it mostly students, families, newcomers?
  22. What is the state of development in the neighbourhood, is there a lot of construction planned for the future?
  23. Where is the nearest dog park?
  24. Where is the closest hospital?
  25. What are the rates of theft, vandalism, and assault? Where is the nearest police station?
  26. Where is the closest library?
  27. Where is the closest 24 hour pharmacy? I.E. Shoppers or Rexall
  28. Is there good shopping around (Are you near Queen Street, Eaton Centre, Kensington Market)?
  29. Are there any farmers markets close by (How far away is St. Lawrence Market)?
  30. Are there any specific festivals held in this neighbourhood? i.e. Pride on Church & Wellesley
  31. Is there a local community centre?

    Building Amenities

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  32. Is thre air conditioning?
  33. Does the building have wifi? Ethernet outlets?
  34. Is there en suite laundry?
  35. If not, does the building have laundry or do you need to use a laundry mat?
  36. What appliances does the kitchen come with? A microwave? A dishwasher?
  37. How old are the kitchen appliances?
  38. Is their a balcony?
  39. Are BBQ’s permitted on the balcony?
  40. What is the closet space like (regular or walk-in)?
  41. Is there tenant parking?
  42. Is there visitor parking? Is it free?
  43. Is the parking price included in the rent?
  44. Does the building have on-site daycare? How much does it cost? Is there a waiting list?
  45. Does the building have a gym? And how well equipped is it? Is it open 24/7?
  46. Is there a pool? Is it indoor or outdoor? What are its hours of operation?
  47. Is there a common area? Do you have to book it and how many people are allowed?
  48. Does it have an outdoor BBQ area?
  49. How many months out of the year is the outdoor BBQ area open for use?
  50. Do tenants get access to the live camera feed of the front door and lobby?
  51. Does the bathroom come with towel racks and shelf space?
  52. Does the bathroom have a tub or is it just a standing shower?
  53. Does the showerhead detach, and if not, are you allowed to change it?
  54. What is the ventilation like in the bathroom?
  55. Is there a deadbolt lock on the inside of the door for extra security?
  56. Is there a convenience store in the building?
  57. How many outlets does the entire apartment have? Where are the phone/internet outlets located?
  58. Can you nail things into the walls?
  59. Do you get a storage locker?
  60. Are there sprinklers in the units or only smoke alarms? Do the smoke alarms connect directly to a Toronto fire station?
  61. Is the tenant responsible for maintaining their smoke alarms?

    Rent and Lease Questions

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  62. Are utilities included in the rent price?
  63. If not, what utility expenses can you expect throughout the year?
  64. Do you need to put a deposit down on first and last month’s rent?
  65. What are the accepted payment methods for rent (post-dated cheques, e-transfer)?
  66. What is the buildings late rent policy?
  67. Do I need someone to co-sign with me?
  68. Are there any deposits and/or non-refundable fees?
  69. What does it take to break out of a lease? Can you sublet?
  70. Are you able to renew the lease when it runs out?
  71. Are you allowed to paint the walls?
  72. What are the policies surrounding Airbnb?
  73. How many key copies can you have?
  74. What are the buildings guest policies?
  75. Are pets allowed?
  76. How much notice does the building management give tenants before they enter their units?
  77. How do you go about putting in a maintenance request?
  78. What are the hours you can contact the superintendent? Is it 24 /7?
  79. Ask for a copy of the rules and regulations of the building.

    General Property Questions

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  80. How old is the building?
  81. Does the building have an elevator?
  82. Can you reserve the elevator for when you need to move in/out? How do you do that?
  83. Is smoking allowed inside?
  84. What have the buildings biggest maintenance issues been in the past? Any reoccurring problems?
  85. When was the last time it was renovated and is there any planned renovations in the near future?
  86. Have you ever had bed bugs, and if so how recently?
  87. How do visitors contact you when they need to get into the building? Is there an intercom in the unit or does it go straight to your phone?
  88. Ask what their heating system is, you want a good one for winter in this city! Keep an eye out for outdated looking radiators.
  89. How thick are the walls in the building? Do they muffle sound well?
  90. What is cell phone reception like in the building?
  91. Where is the building management office?
  92. What kind of security does the building have at night?
  93. What is the level of interest in this building and the apartment you are looking at? (If its in high demand, that’s good. If not, find out why)
  94. How efficient is the snow removal in the winter? Do the sidewalks remain treacherous?
  95. Is the unit well insulated? (A well insulated unit helps with utility costs, especially in the winter)
  96. Where are deliveries such as UPS and Fed EX left if the tenant is not home?
  97. What is the lighting in the apartment like?
  98. What type of flooring does the building have in its units?
  99. Is the tenant responsible for steam cleaning when moving out if the unit is carpeted?
  100. Are real Christmas trees allowed?

 

Ana Krneta

Ana is a freelance writer living and writing in Toronto. The nature of her job allows her to explore this wonderful city finding inspiration and little nooks to write from. She is on a life mission to explore every hip coffee shop in the city during the day, and the best bars at night. As a lover of the great outdoors, she is waiting impatiently for the Toronto parks to finally get wifi.

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