Skip to main content

Long-Term Housing Options: Apartments and Condos

If you prefer to rent an apartment or condo, you’re in luck!

Toronto has thousands of private properties with varied living options: you can live with roommates or alone, within a shared house or entirely in your own space, near or far from campus, with a range of rent prices and amenities, renting from a property management company or an individual owner.
 



Note that most Toronto leases are 1-year, which roll over to month-to-month leases at the end of the initial lease agreement. You can always plan to sublet out your unit over summer (or during the academic year if you are going on co-op or exchange in another city). 

Did you know you should start looking 44-60 days in advance of your intended move-in date? Check out our search tips for more useful advice!

 

 

Required Documents

Landlords require several documents as part of a rental application (listed in the drop-down menu below).  

It's best to compile these documents before starting your search, as they will give you an advantage in moving quickly through a rental application.

A Guarantor (click for more info)

While you are renting as a student, most landlords will require you to have a guarantor. A guarantor, sometimes called a co-signer, who is someone with a Canadian bank account who agrees to pay your rent in case you cannot or in case you leave the city or country. For many students, this is a working parent or older sibling, but extended family and friends can also be guarantors.

If you are a mature student, graduate student, or work a steady part-time or full-time job, landlords may not require you to have a guarantor.

If you do not have a guarantor, you may wish to have letters from employers, scholarships, and other forms of income and/or a bank statement that demonstrates you have enough money to pay the rent for a few months.

Job Letter

Landlords want to verify that your guarantor is employed and therefore can afford to pay rent on your behalf.

If your guarantor is employed by a business, they will need a letter from their Human Resources Department that identifies the name of the company, their occupation/job title, the length of time they have been employed at the company, their salary and contact information for their HR unit or manager.

If your guarantor is self-employed, they will need to provide a business letter stating the same information.

If you have been working or maintain a steady part-time or full-time job, landlords may choose to forego you having a guarantor and could request a job letter from your employer instead. 

Please note that landlords may also require proof of income (T4s, bank statements, tax returns or CRA Notices of Assessment).  

Two Month's Rent

You need to have the amount of two months’ rent available in your or your guarantor's bank account, ready to be withdrawn as a money order, as the landlord can legally ask you to pay first and last month’s rent when you sign a lease.

Please refer to our tips on scams to learn about illegal fees such as application fees, reservation fees, security deposits, damage deposits. 

References

Landlords will ask for professional references for yourself, from previous landlords, employers, teachers, or volunteer leaders.

You should reach out three potential references and ask for their consent to share their contact information with potential landlords. You will need to state the nature of the relationship, the length of the relationship, and a phone number/email for the referee. 

Credit Report with Credit Score

Your credit report shows the detail of your credit history: whether you have paid back money you owe and have paid your bills on time. It also shows if you have filed or been discharged from bankruptcy in the last 6 years.

Get an updated copy of your Equifax Credit Report and Score for $25 (click the orange "Buy Now" button to proceed).

For most students, a landlord will be looking at a guarantor’s credit report and credit score verify if they can be considered responsible enough to pay rent. Credit scores are a number based on the information in your credit score, which range from 300 (lowest) to 850 (best). Good credit is usually considered 700 or more. Sometimes, credit scores are turned into a letter and number combination. In this system, R9 is the worst credit rating and R1 is the best.

Government Photo ID

You will need to have scanned copies of government-issue photo identification for yourself and any roommates you might have. This could include a passport or driver's license. 

Previous Addresses

Landlords often ask for the addresses of the last two places you resided, and the length of time that you lived at both. Compile this information (including unit number, street name and number, city and postal code) and have it ready. 

 

Search on your own

Once you've prepared your documents, decided in your preferred housing type, secured your roommates, and established your budget, you're ready to start searching!

Check out our partner site for all property listings, Places4Students, where property listings are posted regularly.

Get in contact with landlords using the contact information listed and arrange viewings as often as you can until you find a place that you can afford and feel comfortable in.

Don't forget to check our tips on effective searching!

Places 4 Student Logo

 

You may also want to look at other websites such as Kijiji, Viewit, Padmapper and Realtor.ca for postings. You can reduce the distance radius to 3km to find a place that is under 30 minutes walk to campus (1km = about 10 minutes walking). 

Please note: these websites are shared as a listing service only. Ryerson Housing & Residence Life does not investigate, rank, endorse, or recommend any particular properties/listings. Refer to our tips on avoiding scams.

Work with a realtor

Realtors can help you search—for free! As a renter, you can use a realtor's services for free; they are paid by the landlord. A realtor can help you find places that suit your intended number of bedrooms, location, and budget.

If you have a personal budget of $1,500/month or have multiple roommates with a rental budget of at least $1,000/month per person, working with a realtor may be a good option for you.

Please note you should have the abovementioned documents prepared before connecting with a realtor, as they will require you have them ready before sending you any listings.

For a realtor referral, email: offcamp@ryerson.ca