Over a number of years, I have been looking to rent apartments in Toronto. It’s a horrible job. It’s been horrible for years even when they were cheaper and more affordable and before the vast numbers of condos that are currently on the market for rent.
Renting sucks for a number of reasons. First of all, there is the search process. I have had unreturned phone calls, unreturned emails, unreturned requests for information built into landlord websites. There is Kijiji. Oh, my god! Kijiji. The land of the unregulated and the lost. Poorly organized and hard to find apartments. And then there are the unreturned emails and the unreturned phone calls. The never ending headache.
I would think that the currently low vacancy rate has made the landlords a rather independent group. I could understand that when owning apartments buildings was a mom and pop operation. But with these so-called professional management companies, you would have thought that renters who are paying $2,000 a month would be treated better. Wrong.
Years ago I lived in London, England. When I tried to find a condo/house/apartment to rent, the properties were handled by a property management arm of real estate brokers. They offered a “turnkey” solution to individual landlords who had a property for rent. Everything was handled by the estate agent. The landlord would provide a budget for maintenance and other ongoing issues with the property. Rent was paid to them and you always had someone to contact if there was an issue or a problem. No one to chase, no arguments. They were empowered to make decisions. No so here in Canada/Toronto.
There needs to be a more professional approach to all this that takes away the day to day necessity of property owners to run the show. This would make their lives easier. I have found that the problem is that individual owners are too cheap to subscribe to such a service. They would prefer to manage the process themselves. In the drive to reduce costs, individuals landlords run this, in many cases, in an unprofessional manner. Both parties, landlords, and tenants suffer as a result. A lack of professionalism impacts everyone.
Here is an example of the services provided by a company called Foxtons in London, England.