Renting In Toronto: A Guide For Landlords

landlord rental guide

Are you trying to lease out your apartment or condominium in Toronto? Getting the right tenant can be tedious and time-consuming, involving setting the right price, advertising the place, checking references of interviewed clients, putting up a lease amongst others.

Here is a complete guide for renting out your place in Toronto.

Ways to Look for Tenants
Basically, you can either opt to look for tenants on your own or you could involve the aid of a real estate agent.

  1. If you opt to look for tenants on your own, you can use Craigslist and Kijiji and Viewit.ca etc to advertise. These sites have helped a lot of owners to find tenants but you need to be very careful when using these sites especially Craigslist. There are a lot of fraudsters in the guise of “overseas tenants” that offer to rent your apartment without any viewing. Such an offer seems too good to be true, and in most cases, it usually is. With as low as $55 monthly, you can have your property advertised online to prospective tenants on Viewit.ca.
  2. If instead, you choose to hire a licensed realtor to find tenants for you, you would be lessening the stress on you. They would handle the leasing services such as setting the price, advertising, viewing the apartment to prospective tenants, and even handling the paperwork. Usually, half of a month’s rent is given to the agent who brings a buyer. Hiring a professional will bring the skills needed and save you the time of doing it on your own.

Legal Apartments
In the City of Toronto, the following standards need to be met before an apartment can be considered a ‘legal apartment’.

  • Residential zoning requirements
  • Property standards
  • Occupancy standards
  • Health and safety requirements
  • Fire and electrical codes

The Condominium Corporation in Toronto has a few rules concerning rentals if you own a condo like the minimum lease terms and to give a copy of your lease to the property manager. If you want to lease out your condominium, make sure you understand the rules and regulations and even your limitations in that regard.

Advertisement: when to do it
There is usually the space of two months given that most Toronto rentals are advertised before they can be rented out. For instance, an apartment would be available for sale on May 1st for July 1st occupancy.

Cost of Rent in Toronto
As of the end of 2018, the Toronto Real Estate Board gave the average monthly rents in Toronto to be ranging from $1,838 to $3,910 for Bachelor apartments to 3-bedroom apartments.

Before you fix a price for your apartment, you should compare the prices of similar apartments nearby. You could involve the help of a real estate agent as they have access to such information.

The Toronto Rental Market
Rents have significantly increased over the past five years and are estimated not to reduce in recent times. The market is quite active and profiting. home owners can have their choice of tenants and they get to pick how much to rent for.

The Lease
The lease is a binding document of your dealings with your tenant. It contains the cost of the rent, the dates of the lease, rules concerning pets, smoking and noise amongst others.
Leases usually last for duration of six months to a year unless they are renewed after that year but tenants can generally be seen as ‘month-to-month’, meaning that they do not have to pay for another year but they have to give the landlord a minimum of 60 days’ notice before leaving counting from the beginning of the following month.

Land owner’s Rights and Obligations

  • As a condo owner, if you do not want pets in your building, you can choose not to lease out to a pet owner but you cannot evict a tenant for having a pet, unless the by-laws of the building state otherwise.
  • In Ontario, rent increases are controlled, but the rules don’t apply to buildings built in the last 20 years (in other words, most condos). Generally speaking,landlords can increase the rent once every 12 months by up to a maximum equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for that year (e.g. it was 2% in 2016).
  • In case of an emergency or with a 24hour prior notice, landlords can enter an apartment for repairs or maintenance services, or to show the apartment to prospective buyers with the appropriate notice to occupants.
  • If you want to move back into your apartment, you have to give a prior notice of about 60 days starting from the beginning of the following month. Such notice to a tenant is only allowed if you or a family member chooses to move into the apartment and not just anybody. As an owner that wants to occupy his or her unit, as of September 2017, you must do the following:
  • Give the tenant compensation for the cost of a month’s rent or another unit.
  • Stay in the unit for at least 12 months.
  • The owner would be fined up to $25,000 if he or she advertises or places the unit for lease or sale, or destroys, re-rents or even converts such a unit within a year of the previous tenant’s moving out.
  • If you have a valid written lease, your landlord cannot evict you even if he or she decides to sell the unit – the new owner will simply be required to take over your lease (at the rent you currently pay and under the same terms). If you are a ‘month-to-month’ tenant, your landlord is permitted to give you 60 days notice (from the 1st of the month) to allow the new owner to move in-as long as the new owner (or a family member) is going to live in the unit themselves.

By law, new tenants should be given their own copies of the Landlord and Tenant Board’s Information for New Tenants Brochure as well a summary of the rights and responsibilities of landlord and tenants.

Finding a Tenant of your Choice
In finding a good tenant, screening is one of the most important aspects. Be sure to ask for the following:

  • The rent of the first and last month
  • A recent credit check
  • Employment letter
  • References

Be sure to request the following on the application

  • Previous landlords’ contact details and previous addresses
  • Employment details over the previous years
  • Any details of any other fellow occupants in that unit
  • Any details of pets

Be sure to do enough background research before moving on with being a landlord as this can be a very tedious responsibility even though it is an excellent source of income.

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