Hi! My name is Kylie and I am proud to introduce myself as the Leasing & Buying Specialist for the Camber Group- the #1 Real Estate Team in Liberty Village and King West. Welcome to Part I of “ How-To Secure an Amazing Rental in Downtown Toronto: The Simplest of Guides.” I am excited to share my industry knowledge with all of you and hope that these tips and tricks will help make your next move smooth sailing! I am currently accepting new clients (for buying too!) and would love to work with you. I can be reached at 416-722-7767 or via email: [email protected].
How-To Secure an Amazing Rental in Downtown Toronto: The Simplest of Guides: Part I
If you’ve been following the downtown rental market in the news, you know that the time is NOW to secure a pad. With the advent of the COVID vaccine, Toronto Real Estate experts predict that rental prices will come roaring back in 2021 as COVID fades and Toronto maintains its standing as one of the most desirable places to study, work and live.
So, you’re ready for the move downtown. The move downtown is ready for you. What’s next? Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Provide your Current Landlord with 60 Days Notice
Step 2: Organize your Documents
- GET YOURSELF ORGANIZED
- Don’t mistakenly jump onto Realtor.ca. The first productive step is to organize your documents. If you’re tech savvy, create a safe folder on a platform of your choice (ex. Google Drive). If you prefer paper, photocopies will do.
- DOCUMENTS YOU’LL NEED
- So, what are these documents we speak of? Let’s break it down:
- Photo ID
- Either a hard copy or digital copy of your photo identification. Acceptable forms include a government-issued Photo Card, Passport or Driver’s License. Health Cards are not accepted.
- Employment Letter
- This will verify to the Landlord that you are earning a solid monthly income. Your HR department can take a few business days to produce an employment letter- this is why it is SO important to organize your documents before you delve into the property search. Employment letters include key points such as: salary or hourly rate, length of employment, job title, supervisor and contact information to verify the aforementioned.
- The Spruce provides a fantastic outline for letters of employment.
- Pay Stubs
- Credit Report
- A 4-6 page document outlining your credit history including a credit Beacon Score. Equifax is the most accepted provider in the real estate rental community. Your report and score will populate instantaneously.
- Rental Application
- A 2-page summary of your profile as a Tenant. There are a few additional pieces of information you will need to provide, namely your past two places of residence, landlords and their contact information, two personal references (which can be colleagues or friends) and their contact information.
- REMEMBER: The Listing Agent and/or Landlord will call your employer, personal references and past Landlords to verify the information and documents you’ve provided.
Step 3. Ensure you are a Qualified Tenant. Then, establish your criteria.
- What are you looking for? Establish your budget. Landlords look favourably on Tenants who make approximately three times the monthly rent. For example, if the monthly rent is $1,500, a favourable Tenant earns roughly $4,500 per month, before tax deductions. Landlords understand rents downtown are more costly when compared to other less densely populated cities. So, occasionally, a monthly income of 2.5 times the monthly rent is accepted, pending other factors. If you’re an international student, independent contractor, self-employed, a newcomer or a retiree- not to worry. A good Realtor helps strengthen your profile as a Tenant and comes up with alternative ways to secure you a spot you love.
- WHAT’S INCLUDED
- REMEMBER: Majority of units do not include the cost of utilities within the monthly rent. You will have to factor the cost of hydro and/or water and/or heat and/or gas (if not a condo) into your budget. Many downtown condos include water and heat, making only hydro additional. Prices can vary, depending on the age of the building and efficiency, but most one person, one bedroom households have hydro monthly costs falling between $30-50. If you’re working with a great realtor, they will do their due diligence and ask for an approximate monthly cost or past bill of utilities from the Listing Agent.
- CREDIT SCORE
- Landlords look favourably on Tenants who have a credit score of 700 or above. When they fall below 700, there is usually an indication of a lack of credit or delinquency of payment. If you’re a newcomer, don’t have established credit to produce a report or have lousy credit- don’t panic! A good Realtor always helps strengthen your Tenant profile and navigates ways around a less favourable credit score or lower monthly income.
- WHAT ARE YOUR NEEDS
- How many bedrooms do you need? This will depend upon your budget. In terms of condos, downtown Toronto bachelors presently cost, on average, $1,538 per month, one bedroom- $1,827 and two bedrooms- $2,288. If you need an at-home work space, 1+1’s are a fantastic option. Save money by securing a roommate or renting a basement apartment.
- NEEDS VS WANTS
- Establish any additional important criteria: Do you want/need parking, a locker or balcony? Remember, if your budget is on the restrictive side, you may have to give up a few of your “wants”.
Step 4: Find a Realtor you trust.
- HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
- While perusing Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji or Realtor.ca might seem the most simple option, many renters neglect to realize the true value of securing a real estate agent.
- DO I HAVE TO PAY A COMMISSION IF I USE A REALTOR TO FIND A RENTAL?
- A common misconception is that you have to pay for the service of a realtor. The Landlord is responsible for paying the commission of both the listing agent and cooperating (showing) agent.
- DON’T GET SCAMMED.
- There are very few ways to validate that a Landlord you’ve connected with on Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji is the actual owner or property manager of the property. Tons of people get scammed on these unregulated sites. Realtors have a “due-diligence” duty and must follow multiple systems, procedures and regulations to keep their client safe.
- KEEP IT SIMPLE & WORK WITH ONE GOOD REALTOR
- Ethically and legally, you can only work with one realtor at a time. Don’t reach out to multiple agents representing multiple properties! You are making the booking process much more tedious on yourself. Working with a realtor takes the booking and scheduling process off of your shoulders. Realtors can get you directly in to see any units of interest. Majority of listing agents and landlords do not respond to inquiries from unrepresented tenants.
- DON’T WASTE YOUR VALUABLE TIME
- A good Realtor will ask for your docs and review them before taking you out to see property. They will ensure you are properly qualified for the properties you are interested in viewing.
Step 5: Now for the Fun Part. The Search Commences!
- WORK WITH A NEIGHBOURHOOD EXPERT
- You and your realtor will work collaboratively to find you the most suitable properties on the market. It is wise to work with a realtor who is knowledgeable about the area(s) you are interested in.
Weren’t the 5 steps above a breeze? We think you’re ready for the next part of the How-To guide. Stay tuned for Part II where we outline, step-by-step, the process of securing the place you love.
If you have any questions about the rental process or the kinds of rentals available in Liberty Village, get in touch with Kylie via email.
To see the very latest rentals available in Liberty Village check out our listings page.