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.

(SOLD)Luxury 2bd 2ba Apt Harbourfront
Toronto, Ontario

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:
Credit check
Landlord references
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

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  • Marco Bianchi For those curious, this is a new building and as such the unit is not rent controlled.

    Welcome to Doug Ford's Ontario.

    We are working on adding this as another aspect of the posting guidelines to help ensure people have as much information as possible before renting a place.
    Hide 42 Replies
    • David Kong Thanks Marco, I did not actually know this!
    • Marco Bianchi -deep sigh-
    • Jessica Micheline Richard Marco Bianchi you didn’t know it but you put a clearly above guideline increase right into the post??
    • David Kong Yes, Jessica Micheline Richard and Cassie Ackerman it is done using rent discounts in the first year. That is, I believe I am listing the first year below market to incentivize this to be rented quickly
    • Cassie Ackerman David Kong ....discounting rent, then raising it? So does that mean it increases again in the second year and if so, by how much?
    • David Kong Cassie Ackerman it's $2990 in year 1, and then $3150 in year 2, but that was in the post, so not sure if I answered your question
    • Kali Shmali Is $2990 for a 2 bedroom truly *under* market value? Even for though it's a nice place in a nice spot that's one of the highest prices for a 2 bedroom I've seen.
    • Tim Sun Kali Shmali not for that area. It sucks but that's the reality
    • Emily Hallissey Kali Shmali it surprisingly IS under market rent for the area. 2 bedrooms generally go up to $3800/$3900 in the area at the moment.
    • Kali Shmali That's completely insane.
    • Marco Bianchi Emily Hallissey that can't be right, can it? I wouldn't say it's under market, but it's not over market. 1500ish for 2BR is what I would expect...not 2K
    • Jude De Almeida Marco Bianchi Hi Marco. Realtor here. Can confirm it approaches 3500$ for a 2bed/ 2 bath. It’s unfortunate the rent prices have gotten this crazy all around. Even at 3500$ it’s a bidding war.
    • Cassi Chanel Kali Shmali it’s actually a really good deal... and then the following year, when 2 bed 2baths go up, 3150 will still be under the market price
    • Marco Bianchi Page 65, Average rent is still 2815ish in the former City of Toronto.

    • Jude De Almeida Cassi Chanel this building is on the luxury side. It has direct lobby access to a high end Groccer, pure fitness, and health and wellness centres.
    • Anisa Mather Marco Bianchi While definitely still new, I thought this building was older than November 15 2018, no? I could be wrong, though.
    • Cassi Chanel Marco Bianchi sorry, maybe I’m misreading but is this article saying 2 bed 2 baths are 1400? 😂
    • Cassi Chanel Jude De Almeida exactly, most luxury condos tend to be in this price range, if not more expensive to date
    • Jodi Lynn Cassi Chanel don’t get it twisted... this is not a really good deal. Slightly under market? Maybe, but not a good deal.
    • Marco Bianchi Anisa Mather Hmmm. Maybe. But also, was this used as a rental before the Nov 2018 date? I look forward to having this in post approval moving forward.
    • Vi Tan This is the first time I heard of a 2 bedroom being $1500 in Toronto
    • Anisa Mather Marco Bianchi For sure, I think that would be a super important bit of required info for the posting template!
    • Cassi Chanel Jodi Lynn compared to 3500 which is the average now, it is decently priced. Of course there could always be better deals, but in Toronto, for a luxury condo, it tends to be rare. My point is it is not overly priced, there isn’t anything wrong with the asking price
    • Marco Bianchi Cassi Chanel I don't think the average is 3500. Data shows it to be closer to 3000. I trust the data.
    • Marco Bianchi Vi Tan The GTA primary average should not be confused for regional differences in market price.
    • Cassi Chanel Marco Bianchi that’s completely fair. The realtor above did confirm it, but also when I was searching last year, the average for an unfurnished 2 bed 2 bath was 3100 and has since gone up. I went through several realtors and this continued to be the case. The issue too is there is a lot of bidding wars, that sometimes isn’t always accounted for within the data.
    • Marco Bianchi Oh for sure. However realtors have incentive to inflate the market price for their financial benefit so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    • Shelley Letofsky This is definitely market rent... I just leased my 2 bed 1 bath for $3000 in only 36 hours
    • Tim Sun Marco Bianchi GTA does not equal downtown waterfront luxury condos. If that is the case, then bridle path houses should cost the same as those in the junction
    • Marco Bianchi Tim Sun the data is more specific than that
    • Emily Hallissey Marco Bianchi unfortunately you’re wrong with $1500.
      They range from like $2900 in the downtown core for older units, for renovated new places with amenities etc, it goes right up.
      Its a sad thing to say but the cost of living is getting unaffordable for many, especially small families.
    • Marco Bianchi Emily Hallissey Sorry, that is not what I said.
    • Emily Hallissey Marco Bianchi you said above $1500 is what you expect 🙈
    • Marco Bianchi Ah I see the confusion. I meant per room.
    • Emily Hallissey Marco Bianchi ahhhh!! Yes, unfortunately it is an expensive market.
    • Emily Hallissey Marco Bianchi i work for a property management company & we have 1 bedrooms for a range from $1850 to $2250.
      2 bedrooms range from $2800 - $3500, many factors affect the range including renovation levels/ year, size, laundry in suite or not, bathrooms, additional features...
    • Anik Ghosh That's not even remotely true. I lived in that building last year. The occupation in 88 Harbour was July 2017 and the condo Corp was registered in Aug 2018. To be above rent controlled the building has to be occupied on or after Aug 2019. I would double check your source Marco Bianchi
    • Marco Bianchi Anik Ghosh Yeah, I think I might have messed this one up.

      BUT it is from November 2018, not August 2019.
    • Anik Ghosh Marco Bianchi you could be right on that. I'm not sure when the exact date is but yeah I definitely rmemeber Harbour Plaza being rent controlled. You might be thinking of 10 York. That one is Def not. With that being said the lease could say $3150 and See More
    • Marco Bianchi Anik Ghosh Yeah no issues with the discount. No issues with this post at all. I approved it.
    • Anik Ghosh Well as long as the landlord is being completely up front about circumventing the rent control for the first two years, yeah
  • Rebe GA
  • David Ricci Christ I’m tired of uneducated landlords don’t follow the RTA rules. Discounting the first year 🤷‍♂️
    Hide 16 Replies
    • David Kong David Ricci I will be following the rent discounts allowed by the standard form lease. In any case I'm happy to be educated.
    • Jodi Lynn David Kong wouldn’t it make sense to be educated before you decide to rent your unit instead of learning from a rental group?

      Just sayin... and I’m pretty sure that’s what David is saying too.

      Everyone wants to be a landlord without doing the work of learning all the rules of being a landlord.
    • Neeka Keslow David Ricci Why do you all feel the need to be so snarky? I get educating someone but damn.
    • Tim Sun Jodi Lynn and David Ricci, isn't this board moderated? Aren't you two kind of slapping the mod in the face?
    • Mollie J Jacques This unit isn't covered under rent control, they really can charge whatever rent they want.
    • David Ricci Neeka Keslow we feel the need to be snarky because people are being left homeless 🤷‍♂️ snarky is being nice
    • Marco Bianchi Tim Sun I don't feel slapped. All good.
    • Anisa Mather David Ricci Section 7 of the standard lease is for rent discounts, which a landlord is entitled to offer under a few conditions that are stated in section G of the appendix.
    • HB McLellan David Ricci people are being left homeless because of short term rentals and owned vacancies. A shortage on units because of this means rent rises. you can be snarky all you want, but it isnt going to change the laws/bylaws that allow for rent prices to get ridiculous.
    • Jodi Lynn Tim Sun slapping mods in the face? I don’t think so... I don’t think it’s too much to ask that landlords be educated on the laws and rules of rental units BEFORE putting a unit up for rent.

      Would you open a business in a market you knew nothing about
      and learn as you go? Most likely not... so why should real estate rentals be any different? This is a major problem in the rental market... everyone thinks they can be a landlord and make a quick buck without knowing the ins and outs of what being a landlord entails.
    • Tim Sun Jodi Lynn so based on the rules, i can assume that posts that are approved follow RTA. So aren't you indirectly saying that the mods that approved the post don't know the laws that govern rental units?
      Image may contain: text
    • Jodi Lynn Tim Sun what is your damage? I simply said that if you’re going to be a landlord, you should know the rules and regulations.

      I didn’t say that this post doesn’t fit the criteria of the RTA.


      My point is that you shouldn’t post a listing and then learn, you should already know. I am not sure the validity of you trying to prove me wrong... I never said that OP was a)violating the rules of the group or b) that his post wasn’t within the guidelines of the RTA.

    • Marco Bianchi Jodi Lynn Ok we all need a cool down period.
    • Neeka Keslow David Ricci It is what is.. You really think your dickish comments make anything better? How about keeping that same energy and being productive and speaking to/writing to people who have the power to affect the laws?
    • Neeka Keslow HB McLellan Just said the same thing before reading your post. Some people just live for that sort of thing.
    • HB McLellan Neeka Keslow Must be. The landlord is well within their right for the discount and the raise given that it is a new unit. It also is inline with the costs of the neighbourhood, so I don’t understand the attack on the poster.

      As a whole, the market in Toronto is in need of repair. Attacking one within their rights doesn’t address the issues at hand.

      I guess you are right that they live for that kind of thing.
  • Stephanie Nicole For what it’s worth, I lived in this building and it’s immaculate safe and well run. The path is convenient - I didn’t have to go outside on my way to work unless I wanted to. I don’t get why people comment if they have no intention of renting?

    I had a 1 +den for 2700 two years ago this price is fair for the area/building/amenities
  • Madora Valentina So normally I’m all ready to post my anti-landlord memes but with posts like this, it’s very clear that only high earners can rent a place like this. There’s just no point in getting angry IMO because the target demographic is those earning six figures, and there is a market for that even if it’s exclusive. And there are people who fit that demographic in this group 🤷‍♀️

    It’s not like op is posting this acting like it’s affordable. It literally says “luxury”. Sadly under capitalism, having a nice condo IS luxury
    • Magdalena Madora Valentina yeah that’s absolutely correct, this is late stage capitalism and apparently owning a “”””luxury””””” ~condo~ is considered a luxury. But to be fair and frank, isn’t this bunz home zone, a zone geared for finding affordable housing ? 🤔

      idk, i guess the objective of this group is changing and more and more of these luxury ~absolute~ units are being posted in ratio to affordable rentals for folx of the middle-working class, which I would say make up the majority of the group?

      I mean isn’t this the PURPOSE of this group, to help us out ?

      am I out of touch here? Correct me if I am wrong.
    • Madora Valentina Magdalena idk but obviously there are many people here who have varied lifestyles and incomes
  • Shelley Letofsky Great unit, coveted split bedroom layout. Good luck!
  • Marco Bianchi This is marked as sold and I am closing the thread.
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