For The Tenant: Renting During COVID

I’m getting lots of calls, from both landlords and tenants. This article is for the tenant who wants to know what to do and when to do it. Here’s what to consider:
The rental market throughout the country will be the softest it’s been in a long time. Most landlords have vacancy or vacate notices! So if you’re looking for that dream home, that perfect apartment, the place you want to live in for the rest of your life start looking now. By the time you read this article tenants will also be giving notice because they’ve been staring at the same four walls for months and
feel they need a change too. Yes, for the first time in years it’s going to be a renters market.
Part of the reason that is going to happen is that the condo market is also going to go through some changes. People will be thinking twice before they book an Airbnb. Owners have lost revenues on Airbnb’s. Some will want to sell as a result. As such, the market is soon going to be flooded with condos for sale, especially in the large urban centres.
So pick a neighbourhood, the very best neighbourhood that you can afford – a place where you can call home for three to five years. Unless you’re planning a short term rental situation steer away from renting condo units from independent owners. Many are going to need to sell In the near future and we all know they can ask you to move if retaining the asset is going to put them in financial distress.
‘Financial distress’ are key words right now and they’re key indicators that the market is changing.
A very recent survey of Mississauga shows almost every landlord has both vacancy and availability. Are landlords reducing rents? Not really but what they are doing is offering incentives to those that qualify and some of the incentives for those with solid landlord references and the propensity to pay the rent are pretty good.
So how do you improve your situation during a major global crisis? Make sure your source of income is stable (ie. Employer). Find a place to live within thirty minutes of work so that you can get to work no matter what happens. It also provides for a better quality of life. Then choose a place that will give you room to grow. Remember, Amazon was booming during the isolation period. Canadian’s are great accumulators and even though you make think you’re a minimalist we all collect. Remember every time you move your rent is going to start at market rent again in several provinces. As such, be selective from the start. Pay attention to your body and your inner spirit. If you are drawn to the sun like I am try to find an apartment with a South exposure. That direction provides the most natural light during the day. If you’re an early riser you might want to choose East.
If there is one thing we all learned from these last months is that we all need fresh air. We all finally see the value of a balcony more then ever. Start your own potted garden (ie. Tomatoes). It gives you a reason to step outside your doors and think about your pets. For many of us it gave us a reason to leave our homes.
Many of the experts say this Covid virus will most likely have another wave. Change your life so you’re prepared if it happens again. You know that they say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Change it up if it needs to be changed because this is the time to do it.