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07/31 - Renting

How to Find a Rental Property in Toronto

3 Tips for Prospective Tenants in the Toronto rental market | Fox Marin Blog

Yes, the Toronto rental market is out-of-control.

Okay, we’ve been telling you that the Toronto rental market has been out-of-control for a while now. And, if you didn’t believe us before, something tells us that you’re all ears now. With steadily unattainable resale properties, increased immigration, and millennials deciding to move to the city (more so now than ever before), demand for rental properties are at an all-time high. So, how do you succeed in a crazy rental market?


The Bidding War

Whether you’re a tenant reluctant to move, a student looking to move downtown, or a landlord about to re-list a property for rent, it’s hard not to take notice of the drastic increase in rental prices and heightened demand of rental properties in downtown Toronto. Because of this, there’s also been a ripple effect into the entire GTA.

We meet with clients every day who have been unsuccessful in searching for rental opportunities for quite some time. Offer after offer, these clients are rejected in a bidding war or end up not having the opportunity to be considered at all. We understand, it’s tough out there! And, it can be very discouraging, especially if you are trying to get into the Toronto rental market alone.


3 Tips for Prospective Tenants to Succeed in the Toronto Rental Market

While we can’t help everyone search for a lease in Toronto, we can share some solid and expert advice from our leasing agents. They’re warriors who are out there battling each day for our clients! Here are three pieces of advice we’re sharing for prospective tenants. Because, we want you to succeed in the Toronto rental market.


Advice #1: Find yourself a knowledgable and professional agent.

It’s not longer enough to just work with a real estate agent during your lease search. You need to partner with an agent who is knowledgeable on landlord/tenant rights, experienced with the current state of the rental market, and prompt! If your real estate agent is not informed, they may not be able to best prepare you for success in the midst of the heavy competition. Being prepared, informed, and knowing what to expect is half the battle!


Advice #2: Please have all your documents in order.

In the GTA, the following documents are required with an offer to lease:

  1. Completed Rental Application (provided by your agent or the landlord)
  2. Full credit report showing your beacon score and summary
  3. 2-3 personal references – make sure this is someone who can vouch for your reliability as a tenant
  4. Letter of employment (with your start date and salary)
  5. Photo identification

We recommend that all of our clients have these documents ready to go before we begin the rental property search. Listings move so quickly these days that even a few hours can hinder your chances of becoming a tenant. Currently, in the Toronto rental market, most quality opportunities are leased within the first 2-3 days of being listed. You should prepare as much as possible in advance of showings. Seeing your dream property in person should be the last step before offering – not the first. Submitting an offer to lease sooner rather than later will only maximize your chances of being considered. And, it’ll reduce your chances of ending up in a bidding war.


Advice #3: Write a cover letter.

For many landlords, making a decision on who will live in their property can often be a difficult and emotional experience. In today’s leasing market, multiple offers on rentals are common. As a potential candidate, you need to make sure you standout. A brief one-page cover letter to the landlord can go a very long way. Include things like:

  • Who you are
  • Why you would make a great tenant
  • Why you love the property

This information builds a connection with the landlord and imbues a sense of confidence, showing you are organized and that you raise the bar in everything you do.


Ready to get into the Toronto rental market?

While our recipe for success won’t always guarantee a win, it’s important to keep some of these things in mind. Ensure you are:

  • Working with a trustworthy and reliable real estate professional;
  • Staying prompt and organized to maximize your changes of standing out amongst competition; and
  • Landing your dream home once and for all.

To learn more about our leasing services and how we can help you get into the Toronto rental market more efficiently, get in touch with us! See how Fox Marin can put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Email us at for further inquiries.


This article is written by Urban enthusiast and food/travel junkie, Jessica Elizabeth Spillas. As the firm’s multi-talented Business Development Manager and Sales Representative, she is able to pair her passionate approach to buying, selling and investing in Toronto Real Estate with her flair for design and digital marketing. With this in mind, Jessica delivers unparalleled service with every interaction and works hard to keep her clients and colleagues organized and working at top-notch efficiency.