apartment rent toronto

10 tips for finding an apartment in Toronto

Finding an apartment in Toronto is serious business. It's rough out here. So get a credit check, keep an eye out for red flags and get ready to do some digging on the interweb. Your ideal apartment is out there, somewhere, you just have to find it. 

Here are some tips for finding an apartment in Toronto. 

Diversify your web search

View It is definitely one of the most popular online tools for finding a Toronto apartment, but there are tons of other rental services out there that allow you to narrow down by area, budget, and facilities. Try 4Rent, Walk Score and Rent Seeker to expand your options. 

Consider a real estate agent 

Most renters don't realize that you can actually enlist a real estate agent to find your next apartment—free of charge. Many landlords list their rentals on MLS and pay agents commission for bringing you into the fold; they in-turn can help you shortlist options and help you arrange viewings.

Check the bed bugs registry

There's no sure-fire way to get rid of these pesky little critters (and they're literally everywhere in the city) so any apartments previously infected with them might still be at risk. Narrow down your extensive search by scratching out all the spots on the registry

Do some research on the landlord

Toronto's landlords are some of the most vilified people in the city. It's usually for good reason, but sometimes not. Either way, it's good to hear the horror stories. Check out LandlordWatch's list of 100 worst landlords in the city and approach with caution. 

Come with the paperwork

When you show up to an apartment showing, property managers will usually expect you to fill out a lease application on the spot. Be prepared with credit check documents, checks for possible deposits you're willing—not forced—to make, references and records of employment. 

Get handsy

There are too many people who enter an apartment without testing out the space. You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it would you? Run the faucets, flush the toilets, fiddle with the thermostat and ask questions so there's no surprises after you've moved the couch in. 

Expand your perimeters

Apartment rentals are at around a 99 percent occupancy rate right now, meaning chances of snagging sweet digs right in the downtown core for reasonable prices aren't likely. Try moving a little north of Bloor and east of Sherbourne, it won't kill you. 

Don't rule out the old buildings

We all dream of living in an airy, glassy pad devoid of drippy taps, but don't kid yourself because conditions in newer buildings aren't always all that. Well maintained apartments do exist and you're guaranteed protection against rent increases

Bargain for lower rent

Canadians might be known for being too polite, but in this housing climate there's no room for niceties. Maybe you want utilities at a fixed price, or maybe you want rent cheaper overall; perfect the art of negotiating and you'd be surprised how much power you actually have. 

Know your rights

Thanks to the new standardized lease implemented by the province in April, signing leases just got a lot less complicated. Still, you should always be familiar with the LTB rules, lest any illegal terms get tacked on to your lease without you knowing. 

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