Renting an apartment in Toronto is, by far, the easiest way to secure lodgings in the city. Most new arrivals, even those intending to eventually purchase a home, will likely rent an apartment or house before buying.
Some rental companies ask that you submit an application to rent. This often happens if the apartment is in a desirable building or neighborhood, and there are competing renters. You may be asked to include salary information or other work-related information, before being approved by the landlord. You may also be asked to meet with the landlord in person, so that they can determine whether you will be a good fit for the apartment. In these cases, you are not obligated to submit any information that you are not comfortable releasing.
If you choose to rent in an apartment complex or from a rental company, you will usually need to sign a lease agreement. A standard lease is for a period of 12 months. It should cover what is included in your lease, including the space you have, the utilities (if any) that are included, and the policy for increases in rent. A lease agreement also covers what is and is not allowed on the property. These rules can vary, according to the building or company involved. For example, many buildings in Toronto allow pets, while many more do not. It is important to read this criteria carefully to ensure that none of it pertains to you.
Expats who are renting an apartment in a private residence or above a privately owned business may not require a lease when renting property. It is up to the landlord as to whether or not any paperwork needs to be filled out. Privately owned and rented apartments are quite common in Toronto, as they are a way for the owner to cut down on the cost of mortgage and upkeep costs. Most apartments in Toronto come with major appliances such as a refrigerator, oven, bath and/or shower.
Regardless of what kind of apartment you are renting, all tenants are expected to pay both first and last month’s rent on their dwelling. Once a tenant decides to move out of their apartment, it is customary to give at least 2 months notice to their landlord, with their final month being covered by the payment that was made up front. Repairs and modifications to the dwelling are usually compensated by the landlord only in cases of upgrades or wear and tear of fixtures or equipment. Any cosmetic changes made to the dwelling by the tenant should be approved by the landlord, and will probably come out of the tenant’s pocket.
Apartment renters in Toronto can expect to pay at least $800 to $1000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in most parts of Toronto. The price range varies slightly from neighborhood to neighborhood, with factors that also include the size/level of the dwelling, additional facilities, and proximity to transit services and other amenities.
There is no shortage of websites to look for Toronto apartments. Keep in mind that most rentals are done directly between landlord/tenant or apartment management company/tenant, without the aid of a real estate agent. See our section on Finding a Home for more information, although some of the more popular sites are:
In Ontario, renters and landlords are protected by the Ontario Landlord & Tenants Act. If you are renting accommodations in Toronto, it is important that you are aware of both you and your landlord’s rights to avoid confusion and confrontation. Click the link to learn more.