Considering a Rental Property

Things to Know When Considering a Rental Property:

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Considering a rental property? But have concerns about your potential landlord or the lease agreement, you’ve come to the right place! Navigating the search for a place on your own can be tricky, but, at some point, you will likely find somewhere you think is the right place for you.

However, if you believe you’ve found the perfect place, here are some crucial considerations before committing to pay the first and last month’s rent or signing a lease agreement.

Key Things to be Aware of When Considering a Rental Property:

1) Security Deposits in Ontario:

Landlords cannot request a security deposit in Ontario, as it is considered illegal.  A landlord may only request deposits that are in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 section 106. A landlord may ask for a rental deposit, however if the landlord does not allow the tenant to move in, the deposit must be returned. This measure is in place to protect tenants from potential financial exploitation

2) Tenant Insurance:

While tenant insurance is not legally required, landlords may suggest or request that you purchase it. It’s essential to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding insurance coverage in your rental agreement. This is noted in section 1.11 of “A Guide to the Standard Lease for Rental Housing.” 

3) Withholding Rent:

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, a  tenant should never withhold rent in Ontario, even if your landlord fails to make necessary repairs. While you can address concerns with the Landlord and Tenant Board, it’s crucial to continue making your monthly payments without withholding rent.

4) Guest Restrictions:

Landlords cannot dictate if you have guests over. However, it’s important to note that overcrowding is illegal on any rental property. Understanding the legal limits on occupancy can help you navigate this aspect of your tenancy. This is noted in section 1.15 of  “A Guide to the Standard Lease for Rental Housing.” 

5) Stability of Rental Rules:

Once a rental agreement is signed, landlords cannot introduce new rules that weren’t originally agreed upon. Both parties, the landlord and the tenant, must adhere to the terms outlined in the initial contract, as noted in section 1 of “A Guide to the Standard Lease for Rental Housing.”

Scams to Avoid When Considering a Rental Property:

Be vigilant about potential scams when searching for rental properties. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

Phantom Listings:

 Exercise caution with listings that seem too good to be true. Phantom listings may lure unsuspecting tenants with attractive offers that don’t actually exist. If someone is asking for a deposit before viewing a listing, this is almost always a scam. Report these listings to prevent others from falling into the trap

Application Identity Theft:

 Protect your personal information. Scammers may attempt to steal your identity through fake rental applications. Verify the legitimacy of the application process before sharing sensitive details. Don’t fill out any personal information before meeting with the landlord or listing agent.

Properties Differing from Listings:

If the property you visit doesn’t match the online listing, it could be a sign of deception. Always inspect the property in person before finalizing any rental agreements to ensure its authenticity and suitability for your needs.

Searching for the perfect rental property can be challenging, especially when navigating potential scams and the logistics of rental agreements. Seeking the guidance of a professional can make the process smoother. 

Living Realty provides a list of reputable agents who can assist those in the Greater Toronto Area in finding a rental property within their budget. However, if you choose to go through this process alone, be sure to avoid potentially costly mistakes!

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