On the fourth floor, many of us are about to move and as you know, finding an apartment in Toronto isn’t an easy task – and seems to be getting trickier. Recent reports say that rental vacancies are at their lowest point since about 2008 (a mere 1.6% in April!). Here are our tips and tricks for finding the perfect abode before somebody else scoops it up.
– Use social media to your advantage. Abby had to quickly find someone to take over her lease before moving to a sweet new pad. One tweet and one Facebook post later, she had about 25 qualified candidates interested in checking it out. Before Abby knew it, she had a new apartment and someone to take over her previous space, all in a matter of four days.
– Use Craigslist, Kijiji and ViewIt.ca to look for listings, as well as canvassing family and friends. Years ago, these sites didn’t exist. Now they are an amazing tool for research and finding your next humble abode.
– Research the neighbourhood by walking around and talking to potential neighbours. Lots of great places are never posted online, since landlords don’t want to screen hundreds of apartment-seekers. Bring a Moleskine and a trusty pen to jot down notes and numbers.
– Make sure you know whether the neighbourhood has a reputation for bed bugs. Check out the Bed Bug Registry for more information.
– Bring your blank cheques and be prepared to sign on the spot. This might be a bit aggressive, but remember there is always someone else looking for a place too, and they might snap it up while you’re deciding.
– When you are viewing an apartment or meeting the landlord, dress appropriately. No, you don’t need to rent a suit or wear a formal dress, but don’t go in cut-offs and a dirty tee either. First impressions DO count, especially when someone is deciding whether to let you lease their space. Think of it as a less formal job interview, or as if you’re meeting the parents for the first time (Who What Wear has a great video with tips.).
Dress to impress!
– Don’t judge a book by its cover. If you find a listing that has everything on your wish list (parking, laundry, deck, grassy outdoor area for Fluffy the cat, etc.) but the pictures don’t look amazing, go see it anyway. You may love it in person, and it’s easier to imagine yourself living there once you see it live.
– Visit the neighbourhood you’d like to live in to make sure it really is the right spot in the city for you.
Did we miss anything obvious or not-so-obvious? What are your top apartment hunting secrets? Comment below or tweet us @rockitpromo.