Renting a Loft Tips

Renting a Loft in Toronto

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Interested in renting a loft in Toronto? Take a moment to read this article and you’ll know far more than most Renters about the process and what goes on behind the scenes. It includes information about loft prices, 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: I work almost exclusively in Toronto lofts and have years of experience in condos as well. There is no learning curve on my 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 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, solid 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 older and 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 2,3 or even 4 months in advance. For a loft or condo however, one month is the most ideal.

No, that was not a typo. The reason is simply because most investors put their loft suites 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 (meaning that you can afford to be much pickier!).

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 me and I’ll let you know what other options to 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 

A credit report can be purchased for $15.50 at My brokerage can also pull it for you, however for each “inquiry” on a credit report by a company or lender (anyone other than yourself), 10 points are deducted from the overall score. If you pull your own credit report, it’s considered to be a “soft inquiry” and you don’t lose any points. For more information on this, I’d recommend talking to someone at your bank.

When you click on the Equifax link above, you’ll go directly to the credit purchasing page. You’ll have the option to purchase the Credit Report for $15.50 or the Score Power report for $23.95.

The only difference between the two reports is that Score Power includes your actual credit rating. The Credit Report does not, however is almost always accepted by listing agents (representing the landlord).

Quick note: You do have the option of picking up your credit report free of charge at the local Equifax office at 5700 Yonge Street, Concourse Level, Unit #4. They would require two copies of ID and a document in your name that proves your current address (utility bill, letter from bank etc). This document must have been mailed to you within the last three months. Note that this report will not have your actual credit score indicated.

In addition to these documents, there is the actual “Agreement to Lease” (the offer). It would be my job to draft and explain this document to you.

It is 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 5 – 15 days on market, assuming they’re priced at market value.

What is the cost of renting a loft in Toronto?

The cost depends on the location, how many lofts are available for rent (supply vs demand) and of course the quality and size of the loft. If you’re interested in anything larger than a studio/bachelor size loft in the areas listed below, the cost would start somewhere around $1,450 with parking on the low end. Lofts generally vary from about $1,500 – $5,000.

As a result of the higher price tag on Toronto loft rentals, I find that many of my clients decide to compromise on their criteria and rent a condominium instead. Condos are much greater in 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).

I hope you find this information to be useful! If you’re interested in renting a loft in Toronto, call me at 647-637-6396 or send an email. I’d be happy to assist you!

Robert Van Rhijn

Read on for price information on Toronto Lofts and more related lists:

The following is a list of the top 20 most popular lofts in Toronto as far as rentals go, as well as the general cost of a 1 and 2 bedroom suite. Note that a parking spot is worth approximately $150. Click on the loft name for photos and additional info:

Merchandise Lofts - 155 Dalhousie Street
1 bedroom with parking: $1,500
2 bedroom with parking: $2,075

Candy Factory - 993 Queen Street West
1 bedroom with parking: $2,250
2 bedroom with parking: $2,750

Chocolate Factory - 955 Queen Street West
1 bedroom without parking: $1,600
2 bedroom with parking: $2,900

Toy Factory - 43 Hanna Avenue
1 bedroom with parking: $2,300
2 bedroom with parking: $3,000

Vinegar Lofts - 19 River Street
1 bedroom without parking: $1,350
2 bedroom – none

Tip Top Lofts - 637 Lakeshore Blvd West
1 bedroom with parking: $1,650
2 bedroom with parking: $2,300

Brewery Lofts - 90 Sumach Street
1 bedroom with parking: $2,400
2 bedroom with parking: $3,000

Quad Lofts - 19 & 23 Brant Street
1 bedroom with parking: $1,800
2 bedroom with parking: $2,700

Soho Lofts - 188 Eglinton Avenue East
1 bedroom with parking: $1,575
2 bedroom without parking: $2,300

Chelsea Lofts - 1375 Dupont Street
1 bedroom with parking: $1,300
2 bedroom with parking: $1,450

Gotham Lofts - 781 King Street West
1 bedroom with parking: $1,550
2 bedroom – none

Tannery Lofts - 736 Dundas Street East
1 bedroom without parking: $1,600
2 bedroom – none

Garment Factory Lofts - 233 Carlaw Avenue
1 bedroom without parking: $1,300
2 bedroom with parking: $1,850

DNA Lofts - 1005 King Street West
1 bedroom with parking: $1,700
2 bedroom with parking: $2,150

Fashion District Lofts
 - 10 Morrison Avenue
1 bedroom with parking: $1,925
2 bedroom with parking: $2,700

Broadview Lofts - 68 Broadview Avenue
1 bedroom with parking: $1,899
2 bedroom – none

Forest Hill Lofts - 1001 Roselawn Avenue
1 bedroom with parking: $1,295
2 bedroom with parking: $1,600

Mozo Lofts - 333 Adelaide Street East
1 bedroom without parking: $1,300
2 bedroom without parking: $1,775

Camden Lofts - 29 Camden Street
1 bedroom without parking: $1,500

Space Lofts - 255 Richmond Street East
1 bedroom without parking: $1,500
2 bedroom with parking: $2,200

The following is a list of areas in Toronto with the highest concentration of lofts:  

King West, Queen West, Trinity Bellwoods, The Fashion District, Liberty Village, St. Lawrence Market, Corktown, The Studio District and Leslieville.

Robert Van Rhijn

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