If you are an experienced Toronto apartment or house hunter, then you know winter is the “rental off-season.” From May to September, there is a huge influx of people who move to GTA after graduating and it starts to mellow in October. By December, many rental salepersons take their four-week vacations because they feel there isn’t enough demand to bother sticking around. But have time on your side, renting in the winter is probably the best time of year to look.
Obviously Toronto & GTA is one of the most expensive cities to rent in year-round, but competing with fewer applicants means slightly lower rents and it opens the ability to negotiate. For example, if a rental is listed at $2,650, don’t ask for $2,000. But, you could try to ask for $100-200 less, which is much more reasonable. Yes – there are people who have negotiated a good $500 off, but that’s probably because it was a much higher rental.
2. Less demand, but less inventory
People tend NOT to move in the winter, but this can be a bonus for renters. Looking for a rental in winter is actually a leisurely experience as compared to the summer sprint in which you have three days to run around and try to find something. If your lease is up in March, take December through February and look around for the right place to pop up. If you want to break your lease, be smart and read your rental lease agreement to see what penalties you might face. Don’t be afraid to call your landlord and ask how much time you need to give them if you want to leave early, or to get permission to find your replacement, which could help you avoid paying penalities.
3. You still need ALL of your paperwork and monies ready
Just because there are less people looking doesn’t mean it’s OK to submit a careless application. Landlords and brokers will still want the following:
- First month & last month and sometimes security deposit (available as a bank's draft)
- Letter of employment (stating length of work and salary; if self-employed, get a letter from an accountant)
- Credit bureau report ( transunion or equifax)
- Two pay stubs
- Copy of your photo ID
- Optional: reference letter from previous landlord
Questions? I will always help you!
Andrei LIpatov | 905 909 8888 | 416 457 3057