1 bedroom apartment for rent toronto

Toronto man wonders if it's possible to rent an apartment for only $500 a month

A Toronto man posted in the Facebook group "Apartments and rooms for rent in Toronto" seeking a room to rent for $500 a month. Despite his hopefulness, he was met with claims that his budget was impossible and even risky.

A sales representative at Real Estate Homeward Brokerage advised the poster, Stelio Kontos, that he was unlikely to find anything in that price range – "all it does is attract scams" he wrote. 

However Kontos replied that he is well equipped to avoid scams, having completed the "Rent Smart" course at the Boys and Girls Club Canada

"It teaches about your rights as a tenant, laws and procedures, what to do and not to do. We're also taught about scamming and what scams look like," says Kontos. 

A Real Estate Agent at The Canadian Home Realty Inc, Brokerage chimed in to the thread, agreeing that nothing is available in that price range.

"I am not sure such a course exists or is legit… but if it does exist, it's done a terrible job in communicating rental market prices and where to look for rentals," he wrote.

As for the legitimacy of the course, it does in fact exist. Rent Smart Education and Support Society is a non-profit organization in British Columbia which equips individuals in need of housing stability and guidance with certified "RentSmart" training. 

Previously the organization extended its services to other Canadian provinces including Ontario, through RentSmart Educator courses.

Through training the educators learn vital tenancy law, life skills education (as it relates to successful tenancies), and guidance to share and facilitate the RentSmart Basics course. 

Though Rent Smart has since stopped providing these services as the organization faces funding disruptions, previously subscribed organizations can continue to access the learning material online. 

The organization recommends that certified RentSmart Educators and/or their associated organization issue their own RentSmart certificates upon course completion. 

Since Kontos had already successfully completed his RentSmart training, he feels confident that he'll find a rental unit in his budget. 

Another real estate broker in the Facebook thread wrote "I'm confirming that you won't likely find anything apart from maybe a room/ den in a basement." As it happens, that's exactly what Kontos is looking for. 

"I've heard people say the same thing over a million times so thanks for reminding 'you won't find it in your range' or 'it's a scam if it's in that range,' sorry you had those experiences but I'm trained to know what to look for," wrote Kontos.

Only one user commented words of encouragement, sharing that she had found a room for $550 a month.

"You just have to explain your situation and if you're ok with some stupid rules, you shouldn't have a problem finding a place or someone to accommodate you," she wrote. 

Kontos is still on the hunt for a place in his budget, but says that in the past two months, he's found 16 units in his price range. 

The only thing that has stopped him so far is not responding to a posting fast enough, since "thousands of others in the city are looking for rent in [this] price range," he says. 

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