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Limited Vacancy Sparks Rental Wars in Toronto

Hi to all,

Many of us have joined InterNations as a way to grow our circle of friends and to increase our network of contacts. In most cases, this happens once we find ourselves abroad, living in a foreign country, away from home.

We are able to find other people to share our experiences with and through which to learn, first hand, about the new country we now live in. I would guess that this gives us a means for coping with the transition process and helps us find some stability, when so much is changing.

Being a part of this community provides us with the ability to interact and share information on an array of things. In my case, since what I do relates to the real estate market here in Toronto, I thought I'd share a news video that aired last week on Global Toronto News, a nationwide news network in Canada.

The news report addresses a reality that some of us have lived through and which many new comers to Toronto are unaware of, as is the process of finding a home to settle in.

The vast majority of people who newly arrive into Toronto, decide to rent until they can get their bearings straight about where and what to buy, or just because they are not ready to commit into settling permanently in Canada. In one case or the other, they end up in the rental market trying to secure a home.

With rental vacancy rates of 1% to 1.6% in the Toronto housing market, being able to find a condo or freehold unit to rent can become quite the process.

Good units are rented in a matter of days. If you do find a unit available, you might be joining 2 to 3 other individuals that are also showing an interest on the property. All of a sudden, you come to realize that the only way to be able to secure the unit you've chosen is by improving the conditions you present in your offer. Hoping that the landlord would chose you, above the others. This could mean paying a monthly rent amount well above asking price (in recent cases +Cad$ Protected content committing to a more long term contract than you originally planned.

Potential tenants who are smokers or have pets, will find themselves in a disadvantage when looking into condo units for rent, since most owners have tight restrictions and prefer tenants that are free of both.

As time is of the essence, and delaying in submitting an offer can mean you can lose a property, we recommend anyone deciding to rent a property the following. Have a recent letter of employment ready and get your credit report with a beacon score. In some cases, even letters of acceptance from your university, letters from your bank confirming your financial standing or contact information of your previous landlords, are of great help. These will give the landlord, who doesn't know anything about you, a way to understand who you are and what it is that you do.

In the two links to the news video you'll find below, a client tenant and I were interviewed about my client's search for a home here in Toronto, two weeks ago. After two multiple offer situations, in which we were outbid in the first and were able to secure the second, he shares his experience from a point of view that any new comer could relate to.

I hope this gives you, or any friends currently looking for a place to rent, a heads up on what to expect in Toronto's, fast paced, housing rental market. If you might have any questions or comments, please feel free to join the conversation and bring in a new perspective to such an important aspect to settling in a new country, as is, finding a place to call home.

Please access the following links to view the news report:

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If you have any questions or need any guidance in your current negotiation, please feel free to contact me directly, no strings attached.

Best regards,

Jose Castillo
Sales Representative
RE/MAX Hallmark
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