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We have been selling real estate in Liberty Village since 2003, just as the first townhouse condo began construction. With that early dedication to Liberty Village, we have had the pleasure of working with LOTS of renters in the neighbourhood. However, those early days pale in comparison to the volume of renters/tenants looking to make Liberty Village their (for now) home.
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Due to the success and innovative listing tools our highly popular websites have, we are receiving up to 100 rental enquiries a day right now. Most prospective tenants understand that Liberty Village is a fun and thriving place to live and that there should be a huge selection of condos available to rent, given the vast number of recently completed condo buildings. Well, yes and no.
The biggest challenge renters are facing right now is the cost. No question. Not factoring in the closing costs and downpayment associated with buying a condo, it is the closest it has ever been in terms of the monthly payments to own v.s rent. Rents have gone up 20% in downtown Toronto over the last few years and in most cases, condo rents have seen the biggest increase. Most are blaming this increase on simple supply and demand factors. Many first-time buyers have opted to rent due to the tightening of the mortgage rules.
This rental increase has, in large part, changed the way renters are looking for accommodation. Many of those who are contacting us cannot afford a one bedroom condo on their own so they are looking for small 2-beds to share with a friend. It’s not unusual now a days to hear from roommates who are willing to settle for a 650sqft 1+den. Frankly, I don’t know or represent too many landlords who would be willing to entertain this living arrangement in their investment condo (it’s called wear and tear).
Another phenomenon we are seeing more and more of right now are bidding wars on rental units. We are posting condo units for rent on MLS and this website and are seeing 3-5 offers roll in. Great for the landlords but a pain in the butt for the tenants looking.
So, what gives you the edge when you find that great condo in Liberty Village and want to beat out the other 4 people offering on it?
- Make sure you have all of the required supporting documentation in order (i.e. employment letter, credit check, references, and anything else you can think of that might make you look good to a landlord.
- Consider offering more than the asked-for rental amount
- Offer more than 1st and last up-front. I have seen people offer 6 months up-front to get the competitive edge. It’s not legal for landlords to demand this but there certainly isn’t any harm in offering it as a tenant if you have the cash lying around.
- Going back to #1, make sure you keep your credit score in good shape. A lot of people do not seem to realize how important a good credit score is until it’s too late. Landlords will look at your score to gauge how responsible you are with all of your other financial responsibilities. We have seen too many scores in the 400 and 500 range and that simply won’t fly.
A colleague, David Fleming, just wrote an entertaining and fairly accurate GridTO article about this very issue. Worth a read.
If you re curious about pricing now in Liberty Village, you can expect to pay $1300 – $1400 for a bachelor/studio (no parking), $1600 – $1800 on a 1-bed, $1800 – $2000 on a 1+1 and $2000+ on a 2-bed.
For the latest rental listings available in Liberty Village check out our Liberty Village Rental page.