Rentals illustration

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 property 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. Your two most recent pay slips

This is to prove that you are still currently employed

3. Credit report (for each person on the lease)

If you are here in Canada, please go to, and please select the full report and score and send me a screenshot of each page, particularly the first page showing your name and your score.  Please send these to me as PDFs.

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 several months.

Note: credit reports must be valid within the last 30 days/ month.

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 complete (in black pen, not blue or any coloured biro – Sharpies in black Fine Line are perfect) a Rental application, which is the standard form used by the Toronto Regional 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 provide me with a copy of 2 pieces of Government issued photo ID (Driver’s Licence, Passport or Nexus card, NOT OHIP cards) so that I can verify your identification, and some Landlords ask to see it. Rest assured that your confidential information is protected by our Brokerage’s Data Protection and Privacy Policy.

6. References 

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.


Yours faithfully



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.


Yours faithfully




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.

Next steps

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 and Sonnet are two suppliers who give 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

2. Utilities

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 or etransfer

Technically the Tenant has the right to decide how to pay the rent.  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.

Or it may be that you pay your rent every month by etransfer to the Landlord.  Every property will vary.


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 in full – 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 property. Please have a personal cheque ready for this, or we may organise for you to pay this by e-transfer to the Landlord.

5. Elevator

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.


The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves:

  • disputes between residential landlords and tenants
  • eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives

The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.

What if I have issues with the Landlord or questions about my lease?

I’m here to help or answer questions if I can.  Contact me. 

Rent Increases

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves:

  • disputes between residential landlords and tenants
  • eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives

The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.

What if I have issues with the Landlord or questions about my lease?

I’m here to help or answer questions if I can.  Contact me. 


I just received a rent increase from my Landlord, what do I do?

Contact me right away!

Many Landlords do not know how to give a legal and correct rent increase notice, so it is very important that you contact me right away so that I can check it is correct before you agree to anything.  I can save you money if the correct notice has not been given, which means the Landlord may have to wait another month before the rent increase is legally effective.  In a nutshell:

The landlord can increase the rent once every 12 months. The landlord has to give the tenant a 90 day written notice of the increase. There are some exemptions to these rules, for example tenants paying rent-geared-to-income in a social housing unit.


  • Based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), the guideline on rent increases for 2022 in Ontario is 1.2%.
  • The guideline applies to most residential rental accommodations covered by the Residential Tenancies Act

    It does not apply to rental units in buildings occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, social housing units, long-term care homes or commercial property

  • The rent increase guideline is the maximum most landlords can raise a tenant’s rent without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). It is applicable to most rent increases between January 1 and December 31, 2022.


  • Landlords may only raise rent if they gave tenants at least 90 days written notice using the correct form  Correct and legal notice of a rent increase, CANNOT be given to a Tenant via text, email or phone call.  It HAS to be on the correct form, otherwise the notice is null and void.
  • In most cases, the rent increase cannot be more than the rent increase guideline.  In addition, at least 12 months must have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase.  If a tenant believes they have received an improper rent increase, they may dispute it at the LTB within 12 months.

  • Landlords can apply to the LTB for above-guideline rent increases, under certain circumstances, such as after major capital work has been paid for and finished.


The Landlord has to give you at least 90 days written notice on the correct form, and the 90 days starts from the next rent due date.

If you pay rent on the 1st of the month, as long as the rent increase is given to you correctly before the next 1st of the month, then the 90 days will expire at the end of the next 3 months – for example:

  • 30 December – rent increase notice given correctly
  • 1 January (31 days) – rent due at the current rate
  • 1 February (28 days) – rent due at the current rate
  • 1 March (31 days) – rent due at the current rate
  •        Total 90 days
  • 1 April – rent increase is effective, so the new rent will kick in on this date

If the Landlord misses the 90 day window by even just one day, then the rent increase won’t be due until the next rental due date after the 90 days has expired e.g.

  • 2 January – rent notice given
  • 2-31 January (29 days)
  • 1 February (28 days)
  • 1 March (31 days)
  •       Total 88 days because notice was late so you need 2 days in April to complete the 90 days
  • 1 May – rent increase is effective, so the new rent will kick in on this date 


Take your current rent per month e.g. $2000 and multiply it by 1.012 = $2024. The rent increase is $24 per month.

A Landlord cannot round up the rent increase to the nearest dollar or nearest 10 or 50 dollars. Rent increases are exact e.g. $2,024.68


Last year, Ontario passed legislation to freeze rent at the 2020 level for the vast majority of rented units covered under theResidential Tenancies Act to help give Ontarians financial relief as they deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 rent increase guideline was set at 0%

The rent increase freeze will end on December 31, 2021. Landlords could have sent a notice to tenants before the freeze is lifted for a rent increase that takes effect in 2022.

If you did not receive a rent increase for a previous year (before 2021), the Landlord cannot bundle that rent increase into 2022. Rent increases are only valid for the year they apply to. In other words, if the Landlord didn’t give you a rent increase for 2019 or earlier, then they lose that opportunity.


Additional information on the 2022 rent increase guideline can be found here;

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