This summer, two of my good friends and I began searching for off-campus housing together.
Many emails, screenshots, and showings later, we have now secured an apartment for the next year. 🥳
Here are a few things I learned along the way.
When should I start looking?
We started looking at rental websites two months in advance to our move-in date, but only got serious with showings closer to one month before our move-in. The Toronto renting market is fast-selling, but there’s always more leases ending and more listings going up.
Where do I find apartments for rent?
My roommates and I searched on rental websites like realtor.ca, rentals.ca, and condos.ca. We got in contact with a realtor from one of these sites who helped us narrow down our search even further.
HOT TIP 🔥: Realtors are commissioned by landlords and will work with tenants for FREE. I’d totally suggest taking advantage of their help.
DID YOU KNOW? 🧐 U of T Housing has great resources for on and off campus living. Check them out.
How do I deal with roommate conflicts?
As your resident people-pleaser, I struggled with voicing my concerns to my roomies. It was so tempting to agree to everything they said just to keep the peace, but I learned it is much better to stir the pot with my concerns than keep them bottled up.
When it comes to compromising, decide what your non-negotiables are (budget, location, windows, furnished spaces), and let your roommates know.
Don’t worry, you got this!
The biggest thing I wish I could tell my past self is to be patient and have faith! You may have to make some sacrifices, but you will find a place to call home. 😌
That’s all for now,
2nd year Computer Science | Your Life @ U of T Digital Storyteller
2 comments on “I signed my first lease in Toronto and here’s what I learned”
I’m going into grade 12 and want to apply to UofT. I, of course, haven’t been accepted yet… So, my question is; Is it too early to search the market to see what’s out there? When is too early to start looking?
Hey Lexie! Grade 12 is such an exciting and stressful time. Hope you’re taking care of yourself!
I had a great experience living on residence for my first year. The StarRes Residences website provides information on all of U of T’s residence buildings. First year students get a residence guarantee.
If you’re thinking of living off-campus, I think it’s a good idea to check out renting sites ahead of time to get an idea of prices, sizes, and locations. I only got serious with apartment showings about a month or two before my move-in date. Hope this helps!