Rental Market Insight Pt. 1

April 14, 2022

The Guelph Rental Market is incredibly competitive right now, and with such a limited inventory, many of the properties that are available are getting dozens of applications and numerous showings, so many in fact, that many landlords have taken to having open houses to allow more potential renters the opportunity to see the property in person. 

Many properties are going for well over their asking price, and there have been numerous instances where potential renters have offered to pay multiple months or even a full year’s rent upfront! One client of mine, who is a chef, even offered to provide a free 6-course catered dinner for the landlords. All in an effort to make their application more appealing.

I personally have dealt with clients who have put in applications on over a dozen properties, and despite good credit, great income and references have still not been successful at securing a rental property.

Despite the fact that inventory is so low within the city of Guelph, not all properties are being rented right away. This has to do with the fact that landlords are able to be extremely picky and wait for what they think is the “perfect” tenant. What that means can differ significantly from landlord to landlord, as some only prefer to rent to students, a family, or young professionals. Many chose not to rent to tenants who are smokers or have pets. Most landlords want tenants who have good credit, a steady job, sufficient income, and great personal and previous landlord references.

Here are some ways that you can make your rental application more appealing to potential landlords:

If your credit isn’t great, look through your credit report and make a list of the debt you currently have, and create a plan of how you will pay it off. This shows that you are proactive and honest about your current situation and know how to change it for the better.

Be sure to include personal, professional, and previous landlord references. Ensure you have the correct names and phone numbers for these people so they are able to be contacted easily. Also, ensure that these individuals will provide you with a very positive and honest reference. Many landlords actually prefer to speak to your second to the last landlord as their opinion and reference may be more accurate than your current one, so ensure you include them as well.

Ensure that all the required documentation is included with the application so that the landlord does not need to chase you down for it. This documentation can include a credit report/score, references, letter of employment, and proof of income (recent pay stubs).

It is also important for renters to know their rights and protect themselves when it comes to renting a property in Ontario. The only lease that can be used is the Ontario Standard Lease, and it outlines all of the landlord and tenant responsibilities and any additional fees/charges as it pertains to the rental property. It is important for tenants to know that a landlord can only ask for a deposit for last month’s rent, and a refundable key deposit- they cannot insist on a damage or security deposit.  And that they can, and should, require that the tenants have rental insurance, and are allowed to request proof of it.

If you are looking for a rental property in Guelph or the surrounding areas, or have any questions about the rental market,  please feel free to reach out as we would love to assist you and help find you a new place to call home!

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