Before hitting the classifieds and websites, make sure you have established how much you would like to spend on your monthly rent. If you are looking into a Toronto apartment rental you will find that an average 1 bedroom apartment ranges between $650 and $1400 depending on the neighbourhood, size and building, while rent for a two bedroom apartment typically ranges between $900 to $2500 depending on the same factors. However, bargains can be found, so be patient.
It is recommended to spend around a third of income on rent. If this amount will leave you living in a broom, there are options. You can widen your search out of the city and into the GTA where you might find cheaper rent; you can find a roommate and you will see the costs go down significantly, or you can wait until you save up more money.
Where to look for a roommie? (follow next week’s blog for a full article on how to find a roommate)
A group living situation is often times the best way to cut down on costs on your Toronto apartment rental as long as the roommate doesn’t turn out to be a mental case.
Here are the basics to finding someone appropriate:
1. Find someone within your circle of friends.
2. Use a roommate referral service to find someone with similar interests.
3. Look for ‘roommate wanted’ and ‘apartment to share’ ads.
It is very important to be careful when choosing a roommate because a bad decision can leave you in regrets for a year or more with your Toronto apartment rental. There are some questions that will help you to filter out the ones who might drive you up the walls.
- Have you had a roommate in the past?
- Has anything bothered you about your past roommate? Did you fight a lot? About what?
- Do you have a significant other or any other friends that might be staying over?
- Are you promiscuous?
- Do you smoke, drink or use drugs? How often?
- Do you stay up late at night?
- Do you or have you had any credit problem?
- Do you have pets?
- What do you do for a living?
- What do you watch on TV and what music do you listen to? Do you play it loud?
- Do you clean after yourself? Do you cook? Do you drink directly from the OJ bottle? Do you know how to clean a toilet?
- Do you have any referrals I could speak with?
- Will you be able to pay the rent every month on time?
- Can you name all of the seven dwarfs? Alphabetically?
Some of these questions might be outrageous, but the point is that you should feel very comfortable with your to-be roommate. It’s a big deal sharing the same roof with another person. Think about it, you don’t want to dread going back home because somebody is in your Toronto apartment rental.
One more thing about roommates: make sure that they co-sign the lease with you. If your roommate gets in some sort of financial situation and cannot afford rent anymore you will be the one held responsible if only your name is on the lease. Keep yourself out of potentially sticky situations and avoid having to kick your own butt, just make them sign. If your landlord is amenable, suggest two leases: one for you and one for your roommate, each with your share of the rent.