I have had the poor fortune of being tasked with renting a condo in Toronto. I previously successfully subletted my Toronto condo 5 years ago. What I realized is that at the price point of over $3000, the amount of unrepresented buyers is low.
I had heard about this group called Bunz Home Zone, and so I put my normal posting there. It took about 5 days for it to be approved. Oddly enough, it was approved with a very political comment from a moderator who mentioned the Doug Ford government (a government that I have no opinion on, given I was in the US for the entirety of his reign). The comment was fundamentally inaccurate on many levels: first the condo is rent controlled, I believe, because it was built in 2017, prior to when the rent control rules were lifted. Second, the implication that there cannot be a rent increase above the federal guidelines between the first and second year is inaccurate because Ontario landlords are allowed to provide a discount in the first year. This discount must adhere to a few rules, but effectively you can discount the first year up to 25%, which means the second year increase can be as much as 33%. This method is highly utilized in New York, and my application of it in Toronto might not have been in good sympathy. That is it might be inadvisable but certainly not illegal. I will admit that there is some complexity to discounting that might change the timing of cashflows, but is largely irrelevant to most landlords and renters.
My logic was that since I am not using an agent, I can pass on the agent costs in the form of a rent discount in the first year. Of course, this was viewed by the group not to be a favour, but rather, to be a rent increase in the 2nd year. The erroneous moderator comment received 37 likes, though some of it might have been for general anti-Ford sentiment. I believe indirectly I am being associated with Ford, despite having no relationship with him, and not using any rental methods that postdate him.
A following comment that is also entirely incorrect received 19 likes. There were some people who came out in my defense, which is encouraging, though they received far fewer likes. Most of the defense remarked that my pricing was below-market, which it certainly is, and that my rent discount is allowed.
One commentator called me an uneducated landlord. My attempt to be reconciliatory, that I’m happy to be educated, was also quickly shot down. The laws are fairly byzantine and each locality has its own by-laws, so I am, in fact, happy to be educated. Given that I currently have 20 tenants in Ontario, and 10 previous tenants, most of whom would give me positive references, and given that no one has left one of my units before they left the city, I believe that I probably am better educated than most of the commentators below.
Obviously the root of the issue has scarcely to do with me, and very much to do with general concerns with the rising rent to income ratio. I am sympathetic to this concern. I actually do not own any real estate in Toronto because I share these concerns. I am also sympathetic to the general difficulties for millennials to perform in the current environment. The issues lie in the over-emphasis in post-secondary education, particularly arts degrees, and the continued roll-out of AI. The issue does not lie in rent controls, as those affect a small part of the population and are reset when the tenant vacates. And it certainly does not lie in the pricing of an apartment below market rent.
Unit: 2bd 2ba Apt
Price: $2,990; includes water and a/c, parking available for +$250
Location: Harbour and Bay (100 Harbour St)...
What is your relationship to the unit: Family helping owner.
Lease terms: 1 year, start date immediate, rent price after 1st year is $3150.
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS for application:
Past rental history
Last month's rent deposit
Additional Information: 2 Bedroom 2 Bath Luxury Condo w/ P.A.T.H. access Spacious corner suite wrap around balcony Stunning floor-ceiling windows views 9' Ceilings Engineered quartz countertops, Miele appliances 24 Hr Concierge High-end amenities, including: pool, fitness centre steam rooms business centre outdoor terrace fireplace/theatre/lookout lounge party room & more! 1 Parking Spot additional $250; Conveniently connected to underground P.A.T.H with access to Union Station. Coppa's Fresh Market, Pure Fitness (membership included), Harbour Eats by Mercatino, Kinton Ramen, Izakaya all in the building; Kupfert & Kim and others within 3 minute walk