How & Where to Find Tenants
There are many ways to look for the right tenant: on your own, or with the help of a real estate agent.
1. ON YOUR OWN: Many landlords have successfully found tenants on Craigslist or Kijiji, however your should be prepared for a wide variety of prospective tenants.
2. HIRE A REALTOR: Ofcourse, you can always with with a licensed REALTOR to help your find a tenant. Many real estate agents can offer leasing services that include pricing, advertising, showing, screening, negotiating and paper work. Typically the cost is one months rent, half of which is offered to the agent who brings the ideal tenant.
If you don't have the time time (or skills) to find a great tenant, consider hiring a professional.
WHEN TO ADVERTISE YOUR PROPERTY
Typically we recommend advertising your property as soon as your aware of the vacancy date. Most rentals are advertised two months before they are available for rent. (e.g an apartment will go on the market April 1st for June 1st occupancy.)
HOW MUCH IS RENT?
A lease is a document that summarizes your realtionship with the tenant defining how much rent they'll pay, the dates of the lease, rules around pets and smoking, what happens at the end of the lease terms, etc.
A standard lease is typically 12 months and after that (unless a new lease is signed), tenants are automatically considered to be ‘month-to-month’, meaning that they don’t generally need to commit for another 12 months. Month-to-month tenants are required to give 60 days notice before moving out (counting from the first of the coming month; i.e. if they give notice June 24th, then they can move out on August 31st).
YOUR RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS AS A LANDLORD
Ontario tenants have many rights. Among the important ones:
- Pets – Landlords can’t evict a tenant for having a pet, but they can refuse to rent to someone with a pet in the first place. If you own a condo, the Condominium rules take precedence over the Residential Tenancies Act, so if the condo doesn’t allow pets, you may be able to evict Fido or Fifi
- Rent Increases – In Ontario, rent increases are controlled by the government. Generally speaking, landlords can increase the rent once every 12 months by up to a maximum equal to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for that year. In 2016, the maximum allowable rent increase was 2%.
- Right to Access Property – Generally, Landlords have the right to enter an apartment to repair and maintain it (with 24 hours notice or in the case of an emergency). You also have the right to show the unit to prospective tenants and/or buyers with appropriate notice.
- What Happens if You Want to Move Back in – You may NOT move back into your condo or apartment during the term of the lease. If the tenant is on a month-to-month lease, you may provide 60 days notice in writing (counting from the 1st of the coming month) in order to occupy the unit (note: you or a family member must be the person occupying the unit – you cannot simply give notice to the tenant in order to allow someone else to move in). Note that as of September 2017, an owner wishing to occupy their unit must:
- Compensate the Tenant with one month’s rent or offer them another acceptable unit
- Occupy the unit for at least one year
- If the Landlord advertises the unit for rent or sale, re-rents, demolishes or converts the unit within 12 months of the Tenant vacating, the Landlord is subject to a fine of up to $25,000
- What Happens if You Want to Sell – If you have a valid written lease, you may NOT evict the tenant in order to sell the property. The lease simply transfers to the new owner (at the current rent and terms). If you have a ‘month-to-month’ tenant, you may give the usual 60 days written notice to the tenant, on behalf of the new buyer (assuming the new buyer is moving in themselves).When a tenanted unit is sold to a new Buyer and the existing owner gives notice to the Tenant on the new owner’s behalf, compensation is not required
REMEMBER! YOU HAVE MANY OBLIGATIONS AS A LANDLORD - CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE!
Finding the Tenant You Want
One of the most important parts of finding a good tenant is screening. Make sure to request:
- First and last month’s rent - ideally in the form of a bank draft, cash, or e-transfer
- Confirmation of employment letter
On the application, make sure to request:
- Previous addresses and landlord names/contact information
- Employment details for the last several years
- Details of any other people who will reside in the apartment
- Details about any pets
Ready to Become a Toronto Landlord?
Becoming a Landlord can be an excellent source of revenue but it can seem like a second job, so make sure to do your homework before you commit.