Posts Tagged ‘rental’
A few tips for renting out a parking spot:
1. Check with your property manager first to ensure you have the authority to rent out your spot and ask about any special bylaws that may apply.
2. Set a term and price for how long the rental will last for.
3. Factor in the potential that the unit may sell during the term set out for in the lease. Both parties should have a clear and easy out should the unit sell and the parking spot be needed by the new owner.
4. Put everything in writing, always…From parking spot location, description of the car, to post dated cheques. Feel free to use my Parking Spot Rental Agreement, but be sure to edit or add anything that applies to your unique situation.
A few weeks back the Toronto Star ran a great article chronicling the legality of renting out a private parking spot in the City. The gist of the story was that the bylaws haven’t been updated to reflect today’s times and that renting out a parking spot in your own driveway is in fact - illegal!
In my daily business of working the downtown condo market, this problem becomes even more complex! Often times there are more rules and by-laws that must be met before renting out a spot. For example, most condo bylaws only allow owners to rent out to other residents of the building ONLY! Because most spots are located underground, a remote garage door opener is often needed. This device can also open several other doors to the building and allow non residents access to private common areas… ie gym, pool, etc.
Truthfully speaking, I have no idea where the city stands on the legality of renting out parking stalls in private condominium building… but I do know that rentals happen very often, and typically without much organization. Due to this grey area, problems range from non payment to lost remotes. In an effort to make the process easier for everyone, I’ve come up with a simple Parking Spot Rental Agreement for those looking to lease out their spot.
It’s no surprise that the downtown condo rental market is on fire right now! Units are being leased out in both a record time and price. What many may not know, is there is relief… and on the subway line too.
I’m currently leasing a well laid out one bedroom unit in the Yonge and Sheppard community. Located at 31 Bales, the building is part of a two phased condo development called Cosmo, built by Menkes (completed in 2006). The two towers share a concierge, pool, gym, games room, and has a ton of underground visitor parking. What makes the location ideal is the easy access to both the Yonge Subway line (literally around the corner) and a lot of public amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants and movie theatres!
The unit is a very simple and easy to use space. It’s a one bedroom floorplan that faces north and offers a great little balcony. The floors have been upgraded from the developers standard finishes and both a washer and dryer are in the unit. The kitchen offers great space with lot’s of storage and granite countertops. The walls have been recently painted as well!
Finding a condo to rent in downtown Toronto is no walk on the beach these days! Having spent most of my summer searching with a wide range of clients from students to bankers – I’ve seen everything from bidding wars to questionable clauses!
So what gives… Why is it that all of a sudden rentals have become so hard to come by? In short – the little supply of condo rental inventory is the biggest reason. Contrary to what other articles may have said, we are no where near a renters market. In fact, never have I seen such a favourable time for Landlords. With so many renters competing for such few vacancies, landlords can be as picky as they want towards the tenants they choose!
Bidding wars have become verrry common for downtown rentals. In a popular Yonge and Carlton condo near Ryerson Univeristy, I had booked an appointment for a weekend viewing. For whatever reason, the tenants weren’t allowing showings until the following Monday. As I called to rescheduled I was told that two Realtors already registered offers on the unit sight unseen!
Almost every tenant I represented this summer had to out bid or offer more favourable terms to secure their eventual rental. And it’s not always the highest price that wins… one client offered an extra $250/month and still lost out!
But don’t let all of these horror stories scare you, there is a light at the end of the rental search tunnel! Luckily, each client was successful in evenutally finding a place. All you need is a bit of patience, and some tried and tested tips to help you with your search.
For starters – BE PREPARED. Landlords are screening tenants more closely than ever before. The best chance at securing a rental these days is to have as much paper work in order before the search starts. I advise all my clients have the following documents ready to go early on in the process:
Credit Check – All landlords will ask potential renters to provide a Credit Check. You can get one from Equifax or Transunion. It’ll cost approximately $25 and is prepared instantly. The credit bureau is known for making mistakes, so by getting one done early you’ll be able to review it and correct any issues that may arise. Naturally the stronger the credit score, the better the chance of being accepted by a landlord.
Employment letter with references – This letter can be had from your Human Resources Department and the references can be from former managers/bosses, past landlords and/or anyone who can vouch for you as a tenant.
Rental Application – If you’re searching for a property on the MLS, you’ll need to submit a rental application with your offer. I send over a .PDF of the application so my clients can have it filled out and ready to go before we begin. The application will ask you to list your current housing location, reason for the move, who will be living with you, and any loans or obligations you may have.
All landlords will ask for first and last months rent at the start of the lease. 24 hours after having an offer accepted, you’ll need to deliver the amount by way of bank draft or certified cheque. You’ll want to make sure those funds are available in advance. If they’re in an investment or another account, it make take a few days (or longer) to get them out. For the remainder of the 10 months, standard bank cheques are fine just make sure you have sufficient amounts… hardly anyone uses their cheque book anymore.
There are a few other expenses to budget for above and beyond the monthly rent:
- Any utilities not covered (typically Hydro) will be your responsibility. The landlord will often provide you with the contact number for the company incharge with hooking it up.
- Key deposits are very common with condo rentals. They range between $150-$200 and are paid by way of cheque at the beginning of the lease and given back at end of lease provided the full set of keys is returned.
- Tenants insurance will cost anywhere from $30-$40 a month but can save you a lot more. The purpose of the insurance is to protect you from liability from any fire/flood in the unit. All it takes is one broken washing machine to flood a few units, and before you know it you’re paying the value of the condo in repairs. I often suggest my clients get coverage for no less than a million dollars.
Happy hunting, and best of luck with your search!
It’s not often that I promote leases on my blog, so when I do, you know it’s going to be a good one!
This spacious suite is located at 380 Macpherson and also goes by the name Madison Lofts. It’s 1 bedroom plus den loft that comes in at about 785 sq.ft. and features two separate marble bathrooms! It feels much larger with it’s 12 foot ceiling heights and long layout. From the walkout balcony you can take in the Cities beautiful sunsets as the views are clear to the west… and of course there’s the gorgeous views of Casa Loma from the couch! Not bad for a converted hydro building!
On the main level of the building there’s round the clock security at the front desk. In the same area you’ll also find a well equipped gym and a party room. Up-top is the rooftop terrace that features sun bathing chairs and gas BBQ’s and in the basement there’s ample guest parking. For the commuters, Dupont Station is literary at the end of the street!
I’m listing the unit for $1950 a month and we’re looking for a minimum of a 1 year lease. If you or someone you know is looking, feel free to send them my way!
If you’re a Toronto Start reader, chances are, you woke up yesterday to a story that featured a very well known Realtor! He’s tall, successful, knows a lot about Toronto condos and has no hair on his head - Brad J. Lamb… just below him was the words of an average sized, modest Realtor, with a full head of hair – me (Mark Savel)!
A few days before the article was published, I had a lengthy talk with Susan Pigg – columnist for The Toronto Star’s Moneyville section. She was most curious about the current state of the Downtown Rental Market, and specifically if there was any truth to multiple offers scenarios for downtown condo rentals. Brad Lamb, Dominic Calla and myself were all asked to share our experience in leases with her. If you haven’t read it yet, give it a read here!
Naturally, an article can only fit so much… so I wanted to share some more insights from the streets to describe the current state of downtown rentals and how you can improve your chances of leasing a unit.
Last month I was fortunate enough to participate in four different rental transactions. In each case I represented one side (meaning tenant or landlord only) which gave me some really good knowledge on what both parties go through. In short, supply of rentals is much less than demand which has resulted in a tough time for potential renters!
Back in the day you could actually negotiate the suggested monthly rent (most people think that rent amount is carved in stone). In a balanced market I can usually negotiate anywhere from $25-$150 off the asking price. Various factors such as market conditions, unit appearance, and length of lease are just a few of the variables that can determine your bargaining power. In today’s market most of those chips are off the table. Some of the most popular areas people want to live are: Liberty Village, The Bay Street Corridor and The St. Lawrence Market. In these neighbourhoods units move fast…in less than a day in some cases with multiple people wanting the same lovely space as you. So why is this?
Location, Location, Location, lack of apartment style rentals and high purchasing costs are the typical reasons! For the Bay Street Corridor its the network of hospitals and proximity to the University of Toronto that makes it so desirable. In Liberty Village and The St. Lawrence Market, it’s the convenience of having practically everything within walking distance (banks, bars, grocery stores, gyms, LCBO etc). With such high demand, finding a place in these areas is often a tricky task.
So what can you do to improve your chances?
Every person I worked with last month got the first unit they wanted…how? They were very well prepared. Since landlords have a large pool of renters to choose from I always suggest my clients get few things in order before the search begins!
Landlords always ask potential renters to provide them with a current credit check. For $20-$30 you can have one prepared and printed online from Equifax or Transunion. The report is something landlords use to evaluate the history of your credit worthiness. By preparing one early, you can review it yourself to ensure to mistakes were recorded (a common problem these days).
An employment letter is another valuable document that can go a long way in securing a unit. It can be obtained from your companies human resources department and typically states how much you make a year and the position you hold.
Most Realtors (myself included) will ask you to fill out a rental application. It gives the landlord a quick summary of who you are as a person. It also asks for past references from previous landlords and employers.
Those three documents can be vital in finding a lease… and in some cases it may even secure you a place without going up in price. I also suggest having a certified cheque or bank draft for the first and last months rent prepared before your Realtor presents your lease. It shows you’re serious about the place and makes a great first impression!
Some extra expenses to plan for above and beyond rent are: Key deposits (typically $150-$200 paid at the beginning of the lease and is returned at end of lease), tenant insurance and utilities not covered in rent (ie. hyrdo/heat).
All this may seem like a lot for a lease, but remember landlords have the cards in their favour and want to protect their investment by renting out their condo to the most qualified renter!
Ever wonder why some people call their place of residence an apartment and others a condo? I sure did!
It was about 7 years ago when my curiosity had gotten the better of me (I wasn’t yet licensed as a Realtor). At the time, many of my friends were either buying or renting a place of their own. It was common to hear my renter friends say “come to my apartment this weekend” while the purchasing friends would say “you’ve got to check out the views from my condo”…or something like that.
For the most part I thought I had the terminology all figured out…the renters lived in apartments and the owners lived in condos. I’m sure some of you have thought…or at least asked the same question! After correcting numerous people on the differences, I’ve decided to put together a simple explanation that should clarify this often confusing use of terminology!!!
Here we go:
An apartment is a word used to describe the style of building! For example an apartment can take the shape of a high-rise or low-rise.
A condo (or condominium as they’re legally known) is a style of ownership and could come in a variety of forms…townhouses, detached houses, high-rise, low-rise, industrial or even retail! Therefore, a condominium is not defined by its physical structure but rather the way in which owners have agreed to share the ownership of the common elements of the property while retaining individual ownership of parts of the property which make up their units!
Now that we’ve gotten that straightened out, let’s get you a condo of your own…send me an email or give me a call I’d love to help!