Renting a Loft in Toronto
Interested in renting a loft in Toronto? You’ll knowfar more than most renters about the process and what goes on behind the scenes after reading this article. It includes information about loft availability, landlords, documents you’ll need and more…
Renting a Loft – An Overview:
Renting a loft is very different than renting from an apartment complex, where there is one single landlord for all the units. Unlike apartments, condos and lofts are owned by individual owners.
These condo/loft owners tend to be investors that purchase properties in areas that are appreciating in value (like most of downtown Toronto).
The idea is simple: find a tenant to pay down the mortgage and build equity in the property for a number of years. After typically 3-5 years, the investor will sell the unit and profit from the capital appreciation as well as the equity built into the property by the tenant/s.
Realtors are involved in the renting of condos and lofts because most investors do not have the time to “list” and market their own lofts, as well as to screen prospective tenants.
As a renter, what are the benefits of working with a Realtor?
1: It’s free. Renters pay absolutely no realty fees. The Landlord is responsible for compensating both brokerages (representing the tenant and landlord).
2: It’s your Realtor’s job to represent your best interests and ensure that your contract is not only fair, but binds the landlord to the “Tenancies Act.” A Realtor legally owes his/her clients “Fiduciary Duties,” making them accountable for their actions, advice provided and overall quality of services. These duties are laid out in the Real Estate Business Brokers Act 2002.
3: We work almost exclusively in Toronto lofts and have years of experience in condos as well. There is no learning curve on our end, when it comes advising you on which buildings to embrace and which to avoid.
What are the benefits of renting from a Loft over an Apartment complex?
It’s simple. Lofts (and traditional condos as well) are superior buildings to apartments because they fall under the bylaws of the “condominium corporation.” This means that each unit has an individual owner who pays monthly maintenance fees. If the building isn’t kept in great shape, these owners get angry – and rightfully so.
The maintenance fees ensure that the building is regularly cleaned, problems are immediately addressed, and that the building is generally kept in good/clean condition. Depending on the loft, these fees also contribute to a security guard/concierge, exercise facilities and other amenities that are regularly maintained.
Apartment rental buildings consist of only renters who do not pay these fees. As a result, the buildings tend to be poorly maintained. Tenants usually share coin-operated laundry (unlike ensuite laundry in a loft or condo), security is often non-existent and getting a landlord to address a problem can be a bit of a bureaucracy in itself.
When should I actively begin my rental search?
If you were looking to rent from an apartment complex, I’d tell you that you could start looking 2 or even 3 months in advance. For a loft or condo however, 4 – 6 weeks is the most ideal.
No, that was not a typo. The reason is simply because most investors put their lofts on the market only a few weeks to a month before they want them occupied.
So, if you begin your search two months in advance, you’ll have a very limited number of units to actually consider, if any. If you search around a month before taking possession, you’ll have a much greater volume of properties to consider.
What documents do I need to provide in order to rent a loft?
Note that the documents below are just the “standard” ones. If you would have difficulty providing any one of them, Contact us and we’ll let you know what other options you can consider.
– Employment Letter
If you’re self-employed, the landlord will require your Notice of Assessments form from CRA.
The purpose of these documents is simply to indicate that you earn enough to comfortably pay the rent.
– Credit Report
Your credit report can be purchased at www.equifax.ca. Be sure to purchase the report that includes your FICO score, as that’s ultimately what landlords (or their agents) will be looking for.
In addition to these documents, there is the actual “Agreement to Lease” (the offer). It would be our job to draft and explain this document to you.
It’s important to have the Employment Letter and Credit Report in your possession before viewing any rentals for one simple reason: When you find the right loft and decide that you want to submit an offer, you want to be in a position to submit the offer right away, before another party steps in and secures it or creates a bidding war. Loft rentals in Toronto usually last between 3-5 days on market (assuming they’re priced at market value) as our vacancy rent is hovering around 1% — or in English, there are far more renters in the market than there are available properties.
What is the cost of renting a loft in Toronto?
The cost depends on so many things. It’s quite difficult to generalize, however Contact us and we’d be happy to recommend the most reputable properties, taking your budget, size and location requirements into account.
Note that as a result of the higher price tag on Toronto loft rentals, we find that many of our clients decide to compromise on their criteria and rent a condo instead. Condos are in greater supply than lofts and are therefore more affordable – while still providing a high-end to luxury building that is secure, well maintained and usually full of amenities (gym, pool, party room etc). Ultimately, when we know what your criteria is, we’ll be able to lay out your best options from there.
I hope you find this article to be helpful! If you’re interested in renting a loft in Toronto, Contact us We’d be happy to help out.