The Renter's Guide

How often have we heard “We are going to rent an apartment?” It is a step that most of us will take at a certain point in time of our life. This move, of renting a place to live, can be a very stressful process. A cooperative relationship between the renter and the management company can eliminate some if not all of this stress and make it an enjoyable event.

 

In order for us to find a place where we want to live, it is important that in addition to the place, we have a compatible management company that we can rely on. The first step in this process is for us to decide if we want to rent a unit in a high rise, or rent a townhome, or a house. Then the renter has to determine in which area and in which building they would like to live. At that time, they will have the first encounter with the management company, and at which time, the actual process of renting a unit will begin. A Property Management Company is the face of the rental property. They represent the Landlord, and they are looking after the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the rental building. The management company may have a number of people who represent them. They are the manager, rental agent, and the building’s care-taker. The manager or the leasing agent will be the one to give you a tour of the building. They will show you the unit and equipment which will be provided to you. The renter should know what it is that he is looking for: the rental amount that he can afford; what floor; the number of rooms; parking availability; what if any utilities are included in the rent. They will show you the amenities that are available in the building (a fitness room, a party room, a movie room, a swimming pool). They will advise you of close transportation; supermarkets; pharmacy nearby; and of course when they want to move in. Property management should be able to provide you with answers to all these questions. This information should be able to assist the renter in making the final decision on whether to rent a unit in this building. The manager should advise the renter of any rental policies which are in place, such as: the number people that can live in the unit, pet policies and rental qualification requirements, to name a few. Then the rental application process begins. You will be asked to complete a rental application which will require you to provide with it, personal and financial information of yourself, the names of the occupants and the unit identification and if parking is required. The application will also specify the breakdown of the unit rental, parking and utilities (if any). In addition, in the financial information requirement, you will be asked to provide employment and annual income information as well as banking reference. The manager should be able to walk you through it, if you need assistance. Once the rental application has been completed, you will have to submit it together with a first and last month’s rent deposit to the management company. The manager will then conduct a credit check which will assist management in accepting the rental application. Once the rental application is accepted, a Tenancy Agreement will be prepared. The Tenancy Agreement is a legal contract between the Landlord and the Tenant. The management company will prepare it and ask you to sign it, and will provide you with a copy of the agreement. Please remember to keep it in a safe place. You should not be afraid to ask questions and here again, it will be the property manager who should be able to provide you with the answers.

Now the fun part of renting begins: the move in. You should again meet with the property manager to coordinate all the move-in details. The manager will provide you with tips which will help to smooth the move-in process to your new home. The manager or the rental agent should be able to advise you of the rental criteria to be accepted. Please do not hesitate to ask for this information.

Once you arrive at your new rental unit, you should be able to get from the management company a booklet which details some of the necessary information, such as the emergency number for Police, Fire Department, nearby hospitals, after-hours emergency line, management office number, as well as TTC contact information. This will help you to get familiar with your new surroundings. The renter’s relationship with the management company will continue throughout the term of the tenancy. This will express itself on many occasions, such as a leak, a breakdown of equipment in your unit, as well any disturbances which will require the management company’s attention.

It is not uncommon, that a renter at a certain time during the rental period will decide to purchase a home. Here again, it will be the management company, who can assist you in providing you with the policy of sub-letting information, as well as can assist you on finding a new tenant which will sub lease your unit, as it is otherwise your responsibility to rent for the next 60 days. Please remember to have the manager on your side; it will always be to your benefit.

 

Shlomo Sharon is CEO of Taft Management Inc. and a member of CCI since 2002. Taft Management Inc. is an ACMO 2000 Certified Property Management Company and has been providing property management services since 1996. Visit the website www.taft-forward.com for further information or email him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .