The competition for a great apartment has gotten fierce. The housing shortage across the Greater Toronto Area means that great places don’t stay listed for long, and bargains on rent are hard to come by.
Prospective tenants report long lines of people at apartment viewings and even bidding wars for rental units. It can be a cut-throat world out there, and you need to come prepared to find your dream apartment.
These tips will help you find apartments for rent in Toronto and across the GTA. Wherever you want to stay, use these tricks to find and secure your dream apartment.
#1 Find Listing Everywhere
When you want to find a great place in the city, you have to cast a wide net. Search for listings everywhere you possibly can. There are a number of sites that let you filter listings by price, size, neighbourhood, and other criteria.
Landlords and real estate agents may prefer different sites and platforms, and if you want to be thorough in your approach, it helps to use as many as you can for the best results.
#2 Check Out Average Rents
The Toronto market can be an expensive one, but there’s a limit. As you search listings across the city, make sure you compare what rents seem to get you in those areas.
Some neighbourhoods will be more expensive than others. Downtown, central, and transit-adjacent neighbourhoods usually come with a premium, but in less convenient areas, you can get more space at a lower price.
Every dollar counts in a market like Toronto’s, so do your research and find out what’s fair for an area.
#3 Research the Landlord
You’ve probably heard a friend talk about living in a nightmare apartment, or you may have a rental horror story yourself. A bit of research on your landlord and the building may be able to help you avoid a repeat.
Within the city of Toronto, there’s a program called RentSafeTO, which rates apartment buildings with 10 or more units according to how they comply with building maintenance standards. That information is publicly available on an interactive map.
Not all rental units appear on RentSafeTO, and you may not find them for duplex apartments or if you’re renting a condo. However, you may still be able to find information about the landlord by searching their name or address.
#4 Bring Paperwork to Viewings
Finding a great apartment is one thing; securing it is another. With so many people competing over so few units, you need to come prepared. If you’re going to beat out the competition, you want to be able to apply to a place right away.
When you go to an apartment viewing, make sure you have your ID, an employment letter, your credit check information, and your checkbook so that you can leave a deposit right away. The ability to get your application in on the spot can help immensely when you’re competing for a great apartment.
As you start your hunt for your dream apartment, make sure you use every resource at your disposal. Check listings everywhere, do your research on the landlord, find out what average rents are like, and don’t forget to bring your paperwork to viewings.