Does it cost me anything as a Tenant to use a Realtor?
No, it’s absolutely FREE! Yes that’s right, it is free to use me as your Realtor Agent to help you find a place. It is the Landlord of the unit you are successful in securing who pays the commission, usually one months rent, of which the Landlords’ Agent and myself share half a month each.
How the rental market works in Toronto
The Toronto rental market is very competitive and you have to be quick to secure a great place to live. It is not uncommon to have 3-6 Renters all bidding on the same property within a short space of time. This means that sometimes we have to think of other strategies to help secure that new home. I can discuss what these options are depending on your situation and what the Landlord is looking for – every unit is different.
What documents do you need?
It is crucial that I have all of the documents needed to submit with your Rental Application before we start to look at properties.
This list outlines the documents that you need to prepare with respect to preparing a Tenancy Application. The Toronto rental market is highly competitive and landlords can be very selective. I want to position you as the best candidate, and avoid any setbacks due to not having the right paperwork in place up-front.
1. Letter of Employment (for each person on the lease)
Please request this from your company HR department. The letter must state salary, length of employment, current position, and include a contact person with email/ phone details for the Landlord’s Agent to call.
2. Two x recent pay slips
3. Credit check (for each person on the lease)
Kindly complete your own credit check on www.Equifax.ca, and please select the full report and score which costs $23.95 (the $15 option is not sufficient). Please send this to me as a PDF. Normally a credit score over 700 is critical to the Landlord’s acceptance of your application. If your score is under 700 please let me know asap as we may have to seek out a Guarantor who can co-sign your lease, or you may have to provide proof that you have enough funds to pay the rent for 6 months.
Note: credit checks must be valid within the last 3 months.
If you are new to Canada, please obtain the credit report from the country you just came from. Ask me if you have any questions.
4. Rental Application
Please print and complete (in black pen, not blue or any coloured biro – Sharpies in black Fine Line are perfect) the attached Rental application PDF, which is the standard form used by the Toronto Real Estate Board. We do not need to submit this until you are ready to apply for a lease, however it is important to have all the paperwork ready to make the process more efficient for all parties. Please note that you do not have to provide your bank account numbers or SIN number on the application, these are optional. Also please leave the first two lines of the rental application blank (these pertain to the address of the unit you will be renting, which is TBD), as I will fill them in when I submit an offer.
5. Photo ID
Please include 2 references including contact details (email and direct phone number), from 2 people with whom you have known for at least 2 years and who can vouch for your good character and trustworthiness. I suggest that you include one personal reference and one professional reference. Ideal referees are;
- Your current Landlord
- Your current Boss
- Someone you have known for a long time who is in a position of authority e.g. Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, CEO, Bank Manager etc.
- Long term family friend
The letters don’t have to be long, they can just be a couple of sentences. Below are a couple of examples, however they are just as guidelines and to be used as such. Your referee’s are entitled to write whatever they chose to and more if they wish to, just try and ensure you ask someone who will say glowing things about you!
If your Rental Application is in more than one name, please provide 2 reference letters for each person on the lease. Whomever you chose to be a reference has to be able to be contactable by the Landlord/ their Agent if necessary to verify the information.
Professional Reference Suggestion
(preferably on Company Letterhead paper)
To Whom It May Concern
I have known XXXXX for XXX years on a professional basis. We have worked together on a number of projects and I have always found XXX to be professional, reliable and a person of high integrity and standing. I have no hesitation in recommending XXX to be an excellent tenant.
Personal Reference Suggestion
To Whom It May Concern
I have known XXX for XXX years, and she has become a good friend of the family.
XXX is a charming, confident woman with a great sense of humour. As a valued friend, XXX is reliable and trustworthy. I am happy to endorse her wholeheartedly to be a wonderful tenant.
Once your rental application has been accepted, you are likely to submit your FIRST and LAST month’s rent as your deposit WITHIN 24 HOURS of your rental offer being accepted, and this is usually paid by BANK DRAFT or CERTIFIED CHEQUE from your bank.
So please make sure that you have enough funds in your account to cover this amount. If you do not submit the deposit within 24 hours, your Agreement to Lease could become null and void as you have not fulfilled the terms of the Agreement.
Once your rental application has been accepted by the Landlord, this is what you will need to organise:
1. Tenant Insurance
Once your rental application has been accepted, you may need to secure Tenant Insurance as many Landlords require this as part of the Tenancy Agreement to Lease.
Any Auto or Home Insurance Company, or Bank can give you Tenant Insurance. If you already have Auto or Home Insurance, your provider is a good place to start as you may get a discount.
Square One is one supplier who gives quick and easy Tenant Insurance. Other suggestions are TD Insurance, Desjardins, StateFarm.
Tell them you are new tenant moving into a new property and they will give you a basic tenant insurance package over the phone, which covers the following bullet-points and it should include General Liability Insurance of not less than $1,000,000 ($1MM). Ask them to email you a copy of the coverage starting from the date of your tenancy (please check with me if you are unsure), and please send it to me as a PDF.
- Contents – your personal property
- Personal liability – should someone hurt themselves while visiting your home
- Additional living expenses – for temporary accommodations and expenses if you cannot live at home due to covered loss or damage
Assuming you are paying utilities (Gas, Water, Hydro (electricity)), I will confirm who the provider are as you will need to set up an account in your name as of the first date of the lease.
Please ensure you set up the account prior to the start of the lease, as the Landlord doesn’t usually release the keys unless they have seen the confirmation.
3. Post dated cheques
Once your Tenancy Agreement to Lease is finalized, on or before your move-in date, you may have voluntarily offered to give the Landlord post-dated cheques for the balance of rental payments for year one (months 2 – 11 inclusive).
As an example if you are starting your lease on 1st September, you have already paid for September’s rent this year and also August next year, as the deposit (First and Last months’ rent). Therefore you will need 10 post-dated cheques from 1st October, 1st November, 1st December etc. until 1st July next year.
These cheques are made payable to the Landlord directly (I will confirm the details), and will be deposited each month into his/ her account. Please make sure you have sufficient funds each month – if you don’t, you are in default of your rent, and may be subject to a fine or you will be in breach of your Tenancy Agreement to Lease and could potentially be evicted.
4. Key deposit
It is likely that the Landlord will ask for a refundable key deposit given at the start of the lease. Providing you return all sets of keys and fobs at the end of the Lease, the Landlord will return your money – please note that your cheque may be cashed for the year until its return, so make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover this deposit. This can vary between $100-500 depending on the Landlord. Please have a personal cheque ready for this.
Now that all the paperwork is complete and the deposit is paid, please contact the Property Management Office of your building to book the elevator – usually the Concierge can help you with the details. The sooner you book the elevator, the sooner you can get a slot suitable for your delivery/ moving people. You are responsible for any deposit and costs requested by the Property Management Company for the elevator.
That’s it! Now it’s time to start viewings for your new home.
“We are thrilled with our new apartment, and will definitely use Amanda if we ever move again (though honestly, our place is so great, we might just stay forever). We simply cannot recommend her enough.”
“I never found anyone as committed and formal, but also patient and understanding, as Amanda Briggs, that is why I don't hesitate to recommend her to anyone interested in throughfare research before leasing/buying a housing space.”
“We are in love the unit she found for us and could not have done it without her! Amanda is the best realtor we have worked with and could not recommend her more!”