TORONTO – Landlords are arranging to sign Rees Nam and their accomplice as occupants, despite the fact that the two have just discovered a condo in Toronto – a long way from when Nam kept going on the chase, two years prior.
In those days, it took an individual association for Nam to make sure about a rent, however, this time around them and their accomplice marked one every week in the wake of seeing the condo, which is both greater and less expensive than their present unit.
“It was speedy,” said Nam, who utilizes unbiased pronouns. “Speedier than what I encountered two or three years back when I was searching for a spot. I found that not exclusively were the rental costs high, however, the turnaround was not so quick.”
The procedure was so fast this time proprietors have been catching up with Nam and their accomplice for a considerable length of time, calling to check whether they’re despite everything keen on observing destined to-be-empty units.
The financial vulnerability fashioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped around Toronto’s rental market, industry insiders said.
Power once wielded exclusively by landlords has been passed to their would-be tenants, giving renters the chance to negotiate lower prices – and bigger perks.
Nam and their partner, for instance, asked that the unit be painted before they moved in. And they were able to choose a place with a hands-on landlord with long-term tenants.
The market has been flooded with rental units previously used as AirBnBs or occupied by people who have since moved in with parents or friends to save money, said Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations.
“You’re hearing this kind of across the board. A lot of people are moving into units that are semi-furnished and looked like they were ready to go as an Airbnb,” Dent said. “The other area where I think you might see some increasing supplies (is) from student housing.”
According to a report released this month by the online brokerage Zoocasa, the number of condos listed for rent in Toronto spiked 45 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same time last year. In the downtown area, it grew a whopping 80 per cent.
The average condo rental price across the city dropped by six per cent over the previous year, the report said, as the number of condos leased declined by 25 per cent in the same period.
Sara Rowshanbin, a broker who represents buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants, said her business has seen a dramatic shift during the pandemic, with fewer people looking to rent.
“When I usually have tenant clients this time of the year, it’s almost exclusively students or new immigrants looking to secure housing before the school year starts,” she said. “And that’s come to almost a full standstill.”
But for those who are looking for units, she said, the benefits are manifold.
“In the downtown core, which is where most of my tenants would be looking at this time of the year, it’s so, so much easier in terms of finding a better price,” Rowshanbin said.
She said some have been shocked by the shift.
William Blake, a landlord and member of the Ontario Landlords Association, agreed.
“Let’s face it, landlords have been having a very solid, strong market. We’ve had the advantage over the past 10 years especially,” he said. “But tenants now have higher expectations. They can shop around, so landlords have to take that extra step to make their place stand out.”
Blake said he has been upgrading the appliances in his units and lowering rents, he said – anything to make them “sparkle.”
He said he hopes this serves as a wake-up call to absentee landlords.
“The professional landlords who take being a landlord very, very seriously, like myself, we’re still doing very well. The turbulence is fine,” he said.
“But it’s the amateur landlords who thought, ‘Oh, it’s just an investment. I don’t have to work at all. I just put people in and collect the rent.’ These are the people who are going to be having a hard time during this period.”
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg
News source: The Canadian Press