When it comes to renting a home, what do prospective tenants need to know?
The process can be very different depending on the landlord. However, if you’re working with a REALTOR® to help you find a rental property, there are generally 5 steps in the process.
Step #1: Gather Documentation
In preparation for the tenancy process, you will want to gather the required documents together. These include:
- Residential Tenancy Application
- Credit Score – Full report if possible. Some landlords require the full report, some only need to see a screen shot with your name and credit score. If your score is borderline, remember to check both Equifax and transunion because one will almost always be many points higher than the other.
- Letter of employment – showing your salary, start date, duration of employment and your current status.
- Proof of income - including your pay stubs for past 2-4 pay periods, sometimes longer.
- Cash payments - if you received any cash payments as part of your income, collect your bank statements showing proof of deposit.
An important step in the process is to of course determine the best property for your needs.
Since you’ll already be receiving daily listing emails matching your preferences, the decision will ultimately be driven by what home works best for you and your family.
Step #3: Submit Offer To Lease
Your REALTOR® prepares all the paperwork and submits this to the listing agent. The documents include a deadline for the Landlord, who must respond by the time and date indicated, or the offer is void.
The listing agent reviews all documentation with the Landlord, who decides if they will accept the lease (this is usually based on a combination of income, credit score, and references).
Step #4: Submit Deposit
After the Offer to Lease is accepted, you will need to visit the bank within 24 hours to make the deposit to the real estate brokerage’s trust account. This is first month’s rent + last month’s rent, total. Your REALTOR® will provide you with the bank account information.
After the deposit has been made, you simply take a photo of the receipt and send it to your REALTOR® who will then advise the other side.
Step #5: Moving Preparations
Before you move, you will need to prepare any other documents as required by the lease agreement. For example, post-dated cheques or additional documents the landlord required at the time of signing.
You will want to consider contacting utility companies to disconnect hydro, gas, internet at your current address, and reconnect at your future address.. It will be important to change your driver’s license and Ontario health card address as well (you can use www.serviceontario.ca).
Finally, contact a moving company, if needed, to schedule your moving date.***
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