6 tips for renting in Toronto

We all know that renting in Toronto, or anywhere in the GTA, can be a mission! Low vacancy rates mean you’re competing against dozens of others for the rentals that pop up, and so often, places get rented out the same day they’re posted! Staying on top of things requires a ton of organization, fast fingers for dialling the landlord’s number and perfect preparation.

With that said, here are our top 6 tips for renting in Toronto.

1. Only search for what you want

With so many rentals coming available and disappearing in an instant, it’s frustrating enough to sort through the huge variation in the rentals in Toronto. Thankfully, TorontoRentals let you filter your searches so that you only have to pull up results for rentals that match the criteria you really want from your future home.

We recommend first reading through our neighbourhood guides to choose which Toronto hoods suit you best. Then, filter out the unwanted results by choosing how many bedrooms you need, your minimum and max monthly rent, and a ton of other options we’ve included.

2. Use a site that has ALL the listings in one place

Until recently, Toronto renters had to scour a ton of sites if they wanted to see all the rentals available on the market. TorontoRentals has a seemingly infinite number of rental feeds that populate our listings on a constant basis and update the results to filter out expired listings just as quickly.

3. Have your application ready

When you book an appointment for a showing at a rental, make sure you’re armed with everything you’ll need if you fall in love with the place! Here’s what you’ll want to bring:

Often, landlords and property managers will have rental applications available for you, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own, all filled out.

A copy of your credit report from Equifax or TransUnion, and two or three recent paystubs to prove you’re financially stable.

References from at least two previous landlords and from a couple of recent or current employers, and one or two character references from friends and coworkers. You might want to add a bio about yourself, too.

4. Have the deposit ready

Make sure you bring cash and cheques with you. Not all landlords accept cheques or even email money transfers. Be prepared to put the deposit down in whatever way works for the person renting the place – but be sure to get a receipt for your records!

5. Take pictures

If you find yourself with a bit of time to decide and you’re trying to choose between more than one rental, you’ll be happy if you have pictures to use as a reference for your decision! As long as there’s no one living in the available rental, the landlord or property manager will usually let you snap photos around the property.

6. Search early – but not too early

In some cities, landlords and property managers will post properties that are coming available for rent a few months in advance. In other cities, they’ll post them the day they’re available. In Toronto, the norm is to post listings about a month in advance of the day they’re available for the new tenant to move in, but that’s not always the case. Searching early might get you in the door ahead of the crowds, but you might be faced with limited options. On the other hand, searching too late, such as a week before your desired move-in date, could leave you out of luck.

Searching for rentals in Toronto? Use our friendly search tool and filters and bask in the glory of the most comprehensive database of rentals in the GTA, with TorontoRentals!

Erin Cardone

Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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