Toronto condo rentals, weather, and transportation: everything you need to know about moving to the city

Moving to Toronto - Aug 18 - cred Lord of the Wings _ FlickrThe City of Toronto is booming. Canada’s financial and cultural capital recently became the fourth largest city in North America, and in February the Toronto census metropolitan area broke the 6-million person mark. Throw into the mix a thriving music and arts scene, an up and coming food culture, a successful 2015 PanAm Games, and the fact that Toronto is one of the world’s most multi-cultural cities, and it’s safe to say that now is a prime time to consider a Toronto condo rental.

Whether you’re making the move for career purposes or are simply anxious to experience the excitement of a growing city, here are some helpful tips to make your search for a Toronto condo rental and your move to Toronto in general a positive experience.

Sun, snow, or rain, there’s always something to do

There’s no use denying it: Toronto winters are cold, though not as cold as in cities like Montreal, Ottawa, or Calgary. And while chattering teeth will come as no surprise to a Toronto newcomer, the summer heat might. Temperatures often rise above 30 degrees, giving residents a chance to enjoy the city’s many public beaches, pools, and parks. It doesn’t cool off much at night, so consider a unit with AC for your comfort.

Regardless of the weather, there are always fun and exciting ways to fill your days in Toronto. To name only a few, the city is home to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a world renowned Pride Week, Caribana, Nuit Blanche, and the NXNE music festival.

Getting around

The Toronto Transit Commission – or TTC, colloquially – includes a system of streetcars, subways, and busses that can deliver you to nearly everywhere you’ll need to go. The majority of downtown Toronto condo rentals provide easy access to the TTC, making your commute to and from work a breeze. AutoShare, Zipcar, and Bike Share are all convenient and affordable ways to get around town as well.

Many downtown residents also choose walking or cycling as their transportation methods of choice. Toronto is becoming increasingly bike-friendly, and some brave commuters will cycle year-round. The city’s simple grid pattern makes finding your way around easy, and you can nearly always use the CN Tower as a compass pointing south.

The city is expensive, but…

Like all world-class cities, Toronto is expensive to live in. As is the case in much of Canada, housing prices have soared over recent years, and the average price of a detached home is upwards of $1-million. However, Toronto condo rentals are a viable alternative to home ownership, one that young professionals and millennials are increasingly open to. Opting to rent over buying gives you more freedom to choose which neighbourhood you live in, will free up money to go out and enjoy the city’s amenities, and will give you the flexibility to move as you see fit.

At Renting Toronto, we’ve been in the business of placing qualified tenants in owners’ and landlords’ properties since 1999. There’s never been a better time to live in the city, so check out our extensive Toronto condo rental listings and feel free to contact us today.

Why a Toronto condo rental may be a better choice than home ownership for millennials

In a recent study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, The Demographics of Wealth, the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested that young Americans may be better off delaying their first home purchase. The report, which is based on data collected from 40,000 households interviewed between 1989 and 2013, says that “buying a home too early is putting young families on a trajectory to be poorer than all previous generations.”

In an August 7 article by the Financial Post’s Jason Heath, the author argues that the reserve’s position applies equally to young Canadians. “Homes cost more in Canada (averaging $453,560 nationally vs approximately $311,619 in the U.S.), and household debt is higher here as well,” Heath writes.“Canadian millennials should pay close attention to the advice being doled out by the U.S. central bank.”

These figures reinforce the financial soundness of young peoples’ decision to maintain an apartment or condo rental long past the age when their parents moved into the buyers’ market. With millennials making less money than previous generations, putting together a down payment is no easy task, and high mortgages make it difficult to save for retirement. ip info . A reasonable apartment or condo rental, coupled with a dedicated savings plan and wise investing, may make more fiscal sense than pursuing the traditional path to home ownership.

As the Federal Reserve report puts it, millennials ought to “delay purchase of a home with its attendant debt burden until it (is) possible to buy a house that (does) not make the family’s balance sheet dangerously undiversified and highly leveraged.”

Per a September 2014 Conference Board of Canada report, the current income gap between younger and older workers has expanded to a point where young working Canadians are poised to be the first generation worse off than their parents. The average disposable income of 50- to 54-year-olds is now 64 per cent higher than Canadians aged 25 to 29. Meanwhile, the average price of a detached home in Toronto reached $1.052 million in June 2015, making home ownership an economically unsound proposition for many young Torontonians.

To be sure, home ownership has become a societal norm in Canada, and many young Canadians are drawn to the idea. For those able to safely make the investment, home ownership can be an excellent forced savings plan. But for a generation struggling to find a financial footing, premature home ownership poses substantial risks.

In Toronto, a condo rental offers a wider range of locations to choose from (most millennials won’t be buying a house in West Queen West any time soon, but relatively affordable rentals are plentiful), and allows the tenant to avoid costly expenses like renovations and home insurance on top of a mortgage. An apartment or condo rental also means less obligation and more freedom to relocate should your career, family, relationship, or itch to travel necessitate a hiatus from Toronto.

Renting Toronto has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners’ and landlords’ properties since 1999. Whether you’re looking for a condo rental in a great Toronto location, or have a property you would like to rent out, our full-time, dedicated agents will find the best fit for you.

Should you get tenant insurance?

During your rental search, you may come across a landlord who requires you to show proof of tenant insurance or content insurance before they’re willing to rent you the condo.

If you’re new to renting a home, you may not be familiar with tenant insurance and how it protects you. A homeowner is required to pay for home insurance when they own a home, but this only covers the property you live in and not your personal items or whether you cause an accident. If the place you’re renting is broken into or there’s a fire that leaves your possessions damaged, tenant insurance will cover the cost of it.

When you rent a place, you become legally responsible for any damage you cause to the property and also if someone is hurt while they visit the property. For example, if someone is injured in the place you’re renting through a slip and fall, your tenant insurance can help protect you in a liability lawsuit if you are held responsible for a victim’s injuries.

Tenant insurance can protect your items in the event of fire or lightning damage, windstorm or hailstorm, frozen pipes that burst and theft, but it won’t help with business pursuits, professional services or bodily injury or property damage that is intended by the person who’s insured.

There are two types of tenant insurance you can purchase: all risk and named perils. If you purchase all risk tenant insurance, this will cover all your items, except for those you choose to exclude, during any event, while if you purchase named perils, this insures your items in the event of specific perils that you name.

There are also two ways that insurance companies can cover the cost of your items, actual cash value or replacement cost. The insurer will determine whether an item should be repaired or replaced.

With basic tenant insurance, if someone files a claim against you and succeeds, you will be covered for up to $1 million that you need to pay out, which also includes the cost of hiring a lawyer to defend you. Tenants can choose to increase this amount to $2 million and there’s an option to pay for additional living expense coverage, which if the place you’re renting needs to be repaired, it will cover the cost of moving, hotels or meals out during the time of the displacement, within a limit. This helps you handle any unexpected costs you’re faced with if you’re unable to live in your rental property.

Tenants can have peace of mind that insurance will help cover the cost of their items in the event of an unfortunate incident. Keep your home inventory up to date and don’t be afraid to shop around for a tenant’s insurance policy that suits your needs. read through your policy to understand what you’re entitled to since some items can lower the amount you may be paid. Understand which items have limitations or exclusions placed on them in your insurance policy.

Visit Renting Toronto for listings on available places for rent in Toronto. Before looking for a place to live, first have a good idea on what you want to look for. Our company has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999 and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants.

How to handle repairs when renting

When you’re renting a place, you’re the person who has to live through any issues or quirks in the space you’re living in. By law, landlords are required to fix and cover the cost of any emergency repairs that could jeopardize the renter’s health and safety.

It’s important for renters to understand what would be considered to be an emergency repair and how they should proceed.

When a renter discovers a problem, their first step is to contact the landlord, at least twice, whether it’s by phone or email. Renters should take note of when they attempted to get in touch and they should allow for a reasonable amount of time for the landlord to get back to them.

Meanwhile, if the landlord is unavailable and the tenant needs to have the repair done as soon as possible because the issue is causing damage to their personal belongings or is dangerous to their health, they can authorize a repair, but they must hold onto any paperwork.

A tenant can ask the contractors to bill the landlord directly, but if they require payment once the job is completed, a tenant must hold onto any receipts related to the job and ask the landlord to be reimbursed.

If a landlord gets in touch with the tenant while repairs are underway, they can choose to let the repairs continue and reimburse the tenant or pay the contractor for the amount of work they’ve done and find someone else to do the repairs.

Tenants should keep in mind that they should only pay for repairs that are considered be an emergency because if the repair isn’t, the landlord can refuse to reimburse tenants for the cost of the job.

Also, if you live in a condominium or townhouse and a unit surrounding you has a problem, such as a water leak that’s affecting your unit, contact your on-site property manager or concierge since the people may be away. The property manager can get into the unit immediately and shut off a water valve, which will hopefully prevent further damage to that unit, as well as your own. Once you’ve done this, contact your landlord immediately so that he can contact his insurance company, if needed.

A few examples of emergency repairs include:

  • A broken heater when it’s cold outside.
  • The refrigerator stops working.
  • A short circuit in the wiring which could lead to a fire.
  • Backed up sewage system causing flooding in the premises.
  • Broken pipes causing flooding.

A few examples of non-emergency repairs:

  • A minor leak in the roof or one of the pipes.
  • Slow drainage of the sink.
  • One of the doors inside the property won’t close properly.
  • A cracked window pane on a higher floor.

Renters may not know this, but when damage to the property, such as a flood or a fire, destroys their belongings, the tenants are typically liable for the damage, not the landlord. This is why it’s in a tenant’s best interest to buy content insurance to protect themselves.

Renting Toronto has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999. Our company has full time dedicated agents renting properties on behalf of owners and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants. Our website receives thousands of hits monthly and as a Homeowner or Landlord you can display your rental property on our website at a very low cost compared to our competitors!

What is a tenancy agreement?

If you’re moving out for the first time, you may not be as experienced with what to expect when you rent a property.

Once you find a place you want to live in, an important part of the process is signing a tenancy agreement or a lease agreement. While not all provinces require renters to have a written tenancy agreement or lease, such as Ontario, it’s in your best interest to have this in place.

The agreement will cover details about what both landlords and renters expect during the tenancy. It should include rental details, such as when the tenant can move into the unit, the monthly rent, when rent should be paid, what amenities are available to you, such as parking or utilities, and the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities, such as who is responsible for shovelling the snow or who is responsible for the property’s maintenance.

The document should also cover rental rules, such as how much notice the tenant needs to give the landlord before they decide to move out, subletting rules and any details about a damage deposit. It should also include the landlord’s legal name and address for when the tenant may want to reach out to him/her.

A written version of a rental agreement can help resolve any issues that may arise between the landlord and the renter. The document should define the legal rights of both parties, as well as what steps should be taken to handle a problem.

While landlords are free to set their own terms within the agreement, it can’t contain any rules or conditions that don’t follow the province’s renting legislation. For example, renters may take on some repairs on behalf of the landlord, but the landlord is still responsible for the general maintenance and safety of the property they’re renting out.

Once both parties have signed the agreement, the renter should be given a copy. This tenancy agreement can act as evidence for both parties if one party isn’t abiding by the terms that were previously established. domain ip . Once a timeframe’s lease agreement is up, both parties can decide to either renew it. If not, rent should be paid on a month to month basis and tenants still need to give landlords adequate notice if they choose to move out.

Renting Toronto has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999. Our company has full time dedicated agents renting properties on behalf of owners and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants. Our website receives thousands of hits monthly and as a Homeowner or Landlord you can display your rental property on our website at a very low cost compared to our competitors!

What information can a landlord legally ask for?

Every landlord hopes to find good tenants to stay in their rental property.

When it comes time to choose a renter, landlords should do their due diligence in evaluating any potential renters since it’s in your best interest. No one wants to deal with the headache of a problem renter and this way you protect yourself and your investment by choosing the right person.

While landlords may want to know everything about a renter to help them make a decision, there are some questions landlords are not legally allowed to base their decision on.

What can a landlord ask renters about?

When a landlord meets a potential tenant for the first time, they likely want to know as much about you as you want to know about the property.

Some questions they’re allowed to ask include what your current job is and how much income you earn in a year. While this may seem too personal to you, this helps a landlord evaluate whether you earn enough to consistently pay rent on time. Landlords may also ask you to provide proof of employment from your employer since this verifies your job situation.

To learn more about a person’s financial situation, landlords are legally allowed to ask a potential renter for written permission for a credit check. While a person’s income gives landlord’s idea of how much money the renter earns, the credit check paints a better picture of the amount of debt a person is responsible for and whether they can afford their debt payments and expenses with their income. This helps a landlord ensure they won’t be stiffed on their monthly rent.

The number of people living in the space and who they are is also a question your landlords can ask. If there are other adults, a landlord may ask for their proof of employment as well. All homes are built in a way that follows health and fire safety regulations and landlords will need to know the number of people living on the property to ensure they’re follow these laws.

While renters see owning pets or smoking as their own personal choices, a landlord is allowed to ask a tenant these questions since they could be concerned that these choices will affect their property value. Landlords aren’t allowed to charge a monthly pet rent, but they can charge a pet damage deposit to renters. Each province and territory has its own pet deposit legislation, so be sure to check out details on what’s legally allowed.

A landlord may also ask for a reference, which could be your past landlord, and their contact information since they’ll want to learn more about how you are as a tenant. They might ask your previous landlord whether you paid your rent on time, whether they received many complaints while you were staying there or whether you took care of the property.

What can landlords not ask renters about?

There are some queries landlords aren’t allowed to ask potential renters about since they could infringe on a person’s human rights.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Do you plan to have more children?
  2. What is your ethnic background, religion or sexual preference?
  3. Will your family be visiting?
  4. What is your Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
  5. Are you married, single or divorced?

Visit Renting Toronto for listings on available places for rent in Toronto. Before looking for a place to live, first have a good idea on what you want to look for. Our company has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999 and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants.

What should you look for when renting a property?

When you rent a place to live, there’s a lot that goes into your decision on where you decide you live. Before you start browsing property listings for available rooms, first figure out what you need in a space.

Cost: For most people, this is a deciding factor when they look at places to live. Always set a budget of what space you can realistically afford. If you miss payments, you may find yourself on facing an eviction notice. When meeting with any potential landlords, you’ll want to know whether the cost of the place covers monthly rent and utilities or if those need to be paid for separately. Also, learn about your tenant rights, including whether your province is regulated by rent controls.

Location: If you’re going to school or working, chances are you want to live a short distance or a short commute away. If you need to take public transit, keep an eye out for your possible routes, or if you have a car, make sure the place you’re renting has parking available and if not, where you can park. Your mode of transportation also affects what you’d like in your neighbourhood. For example, if you don’t have a car, you may want to live in an area with a nearby grocery store, a pharmacy or a bank. If you have children, you may want to live in a place near a park or near a smaller road that doesn’t see as much traffic.

Number of occupants: The number of people living in the space will determine the number of bedrooms you will need to rent. If you have children, seniors or anyone who’s physically disabled who will be renting with you, you will want to take their needs into consideration. The number of rooms you will need will also affect your budget since in certain areas, such as downtown, it’ll be more expensive to find a two- or three-bedroom space compared to renting in the suburbs.

What type of building you want to live in: Some renters may be pickier about this aspect compared to others. Typically renting a basement suite is more inexpensive compared to renting in a townhouse, but you may not be a fan of the lack of sunlight.

What does the space include: If you’re looking to rent a room in a house, you’ll want to know whether it comes with any furniture or if you’ll need to bring your own, which will affect your costs. On the other hand, if you’re looking to a rent a condo, you’ll want to know whether the unit comes with laundry, whether it’s in the suite or located in another part of the building, as well as the other amenities you can access, such as patios, a gym, a pool, an entertainment room or a BBQ. Some of these features you may be adamant on having, while others may not be as important to you.

While your preferences may change as you view properties for rent, it’s always important to have a general idea what you’re looking for so you can make a quick decision, if needed.

If you’re a first-time renter in Toronto, these commonly asked Renter FAQs will help you find the right place to live.

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