Dec 26 16

Neighbourhood Profile: Yonge & Eglinton

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Neighbourhood Profile: Yonge & Eglinton

The bustling midtown intersection of Yonge and Eglinton is a neighbourhood that’s located in the northern portion of Toronto. It’s a popular hub for young professionals and families. Although it’s not directly located in the heart of the city, if you take a walk along these streets, you just might think it is. There’s an unmistakable urban vibe that resonates as you take in all that this happening neighbourhood has to offer.

Here’s an overview to showcase the trendy neighbourhood of Yonge and Eglinton:

Location

North Midtown Toronto centralizes around the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton, but it stretches eastward to Bayview Avenue, westward towards Avenue Road, North to Blythwood Road and south the Eglinton Avenue.

This intersection is the hub of the neighbourhood and it’s where to be if you’re looking to take in the sounds and vibe of the city streets. And of course, it’s right on the Yonge/University subway line, so you can hop on and get to anywhere in the city, fast.

Demographic

This is a bustling neighbourhood, but it also blends the perfect balance of calm as you stroll on through some of the trendy neighbouring side streets. It’s a popular location for families since there is a variety of housing options available, as well as private and public schooling and recreational facilities. Together with the convenience of location, proximity to transit, schools, and green spaces, it’s really no surprise why so many families love it here.

Entertainment

Just because families flock here, doesn’t mean there isn’t a great source of entertainment for young professionals to indulge in and embrace. Young 20-something professionals flock to this midtown hotspot. It entails trendy restaurants and comedy bars, movie theatres, and designer outlets for those who love to shop. Yonge & Eglinton Centre has everything you need from a fitness club to clothing stores, and you dine around the globe.

Housing

Yonge and Eglinton is the place to be if you’re looking to experience the energy of what the city streets have to offer. And best of all, it has a variety of housing and apartment rentals for you to choose from to suit your particular taste and lifestyle.

So although this is a busy area, it is still a subtle version of what you would experience right in the core of downtown Toronto. As a result, it really offers just the right amount of action and city bustle without being overwhelming. If you’re in search of a neighbourhood that offers convenience, access to transportation and a great selection of rentals to choose from, it’s time you pay Yonge and Eglinton a visit!

Search Toronto apartment listings now!

Dec 12 16

5 Tips for a Rental Ad That Gets the Right Tenant

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5 tips for a rental ad that gets the right tenants.

Finding that perfect tenant can sometimes feel like finding a diamond in the rough. We all know someone with a horror story or two of a rental situation gone wrong. So needless to say, we’d rather avoid any situation that might resemble any those. Reducing that risk all comes down to a few important factors when placing up your rental ad, as well as during the screening process.

Use these five tips when creating your rental ad to help you steer clear of any nightmare potentials and land you that perfect tenant.

Use Good Quality Photos

When advertising your apartment, having good quality photos will influence the first impressions about your rental space. If the photos are poor quality and not very good, they can automatically deter potential tenants from applying. When you use good photos you can attract more interest, while setting a respectable and professional impression.

Be Accurate and Up Front

Being a good landlord means being professional, courteous, and also up front about any issues. When it comes to screening, it’s always best to be honest with potential tenants. If there isn’t parking, say so. If the nearest subway stop is 10 km away, don’t say it’s near transit. By being honest right from the get-go with your potential tenants, you won’t waste your time (or theirs) showing the apartment to people who aren’t a good fit. There is someone out there who bikes to work or works from home so transit is not an issue. Appeal to that person, don’t fudge the truth to appeal to someone else.

If these issues are fixable, take care of them before putting up the listing to attract the right tenant and maximize the rental value of the unit.  

Use Professional Language

Always use a professional tone and language when creating the write-up for your advertisement. Avoid using any slang, or delving into any unnecessary details about your life, home, or situation. Anything that’s doesn’t involve direct details about the rental property – leave it out of the ad. In addition to using quality photos, using professional language will increase your chances of attracting professional and respectable tenants.

Many apartment hunters search by keywords, so if your apartment is buzzworthy, use the right vocabulary. Spotlight the great features of your rental, like washer/dryer in unit, spacious, 5-minute walk to U of T, updated kitchen, parking included, den etc.

Be Very Clear About Your Expectations

When you create your ad, be very clear about what you expect from a tenant. Whether it’s no smoking, no pets, or if you’re only looking for a single occupant, whatever it is, be clear about your requirements and expectations. Once again, don’t waste your time or theirs, and you’ll find the right tenant.

Treat it as a Business

Treat this as you would a business and always remember to maintain a professional attitude towards this role. If you treat your tenants with a level of professionalism and respect, the chances are much greater that they will treat your property with the same level of respect as well.

Need a little help searching for the right tenant? Just give Simplified Rentals a call. As a leading property management company in Toronto, we take care of everything so you can focus on the short- and long-term return of your real estate investment, not the day-to-day stresses.

Dec 5 16

4 Tips for Your First Apartment

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4 Tips for your first appartment

When you’ve moved on to your third or fourth apartment, there are inevitable lessons that you’ve learned along the way – many of which you wish you could have known right from the start. And thanks to the Information Age, we can share some of that insight for others so they can prep themselves in ways we often never could.

So before you make that first big move into your new apartment, here are four tips to keep in mind.

Be Utility-Conscious

Living at home, it’s easy to leave the lights on for hours, leave the TV turned on, or keep the water running extra long for a nice hot shower. When you live on your own and keep up the same habits, you might get a big shock when the utility bills come in. You don’t have to change your lifestyle completely, but be conscious about small energy saving and water conservation efforts that you can make. Turn the lights off when you leave the room, don’t let water run while brushing your teeth, and set the A/C or heater to run less during the day when you’re not home.

Expect Noise

Unfortunately, you can’t choose who your neighbours will be. And in many cases, when moving into your very first apartment complex, you should expect to experience noise. If it gets to a point where it’s impeding on your life, politely approach them and have a conversation to ask them to lower the level. If all else fails, utilize the magic of white noise to help absorb some of that sound so you can at least get a good night’s sleep.

Try and Talk to Previous Tenants

This isn’t always possible, but if you have an opportunity to speak with any previous tenants, it can be a huge help for knowing what to expect. When you first move in, it can take a while to really understand and experience any little (or big) kinks that the apartment may have. So whether it’s getting an insider tip about how to open that closet door that gets jammed, or learning about the best neighbourhood pizza place, having a conversation with previous tenants can prepare you for potential situations that may arise.

Get to Know the Neighbourhood

To avoid simply falling into a routine that involves you going from your apartment, straight to work and then back, take the time and effort to embrace your new neighbourhood and explore what it has to offer. One of the best parts about moving into your own apartment for the first time is being able to embrace that new feeling of discovering what’s around you.

Moving into your first apartment can be one of the most exhilarating moments where you get to embrace life independently for the first time. So make sure it remains a positive experience by following these four tips first.

Nov 30 16

How to Be a Good Neighbour

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how-to-be-a-good-neighbour

If you’ve ever experienced living in an apartment building or condo, chances are that you know just how important good relations with your neighbours can be. You want to be able to come home at the end of the day, put up your feet and relax without having to endure hours of raging parties or thumping music. And with the right strategies, you can develop good relations with your neighbours where you keep an eye out for each other, fetch mail when someone’s out of town, and lend each other spices when you run out.

No matter what your lifestyle may entail, being a good neighbour is important. It not only benefits your neighbours, but can put yourself in a good position should you ever end up in need of a lending hand or two. So whether you’ve just moved into your very first apartment, or are a veteran of Toronto apartment living, here’s how you can become a good (or better) neighbour.

Late Night Noise

Sure, it may be easy to develop an attitude that makes you feel like “It’s my home and I should be able to do as I please!” But you’ll soon realize how being considerate of others will get you so much further in life. Be respectful of the fact that there’s just a partition of drywall or concrete that cannot fully filter sound from the other side. Whether it’s a late night flick, or a rowdy game of D&D, keep the volume down.

Pet Banter

Living with a dog can be the best roommate you’ve ever had. But all of that puppy love and barking can be like a form of incessant torture for your neighbours. Allowing your dog to run around late at night and bark is simply not fair to others around you. So if you have a furry loved one, be courteous about it and have them properly trained.

Pounding Feet

As much as we may take into consideration our neighbours beside us, it’s also important to consider those below us. Believe it or not, that ceiling (and your floor) often has very little to buffer out sound as well. So when you decide to re-arrange your furniture at four in the morning, just think about how much you would appreciate those banging footsteps and vibrations through your bedroom ceiling when trying to sleep.

Living in an apartment can be an amazing experience when you’re a good neighbour– you get to meet new people, and embrace the independence and convenience. But it’s important to be respectful and remind yourself that your actions matter to those around you.

Oct 17 16

5 Tips to Succeed as a Landlord

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landlord toronto

 For many people, the idea of renting out an apartment to tenants is a simple way to gain more income to fund retirement, education, or vacations. That said, being a hands-on landlord is not easy work. From the process of finding good tenants to maintaining the property, collecting rent, handling complaints, and ensuring that everything runs as smoothly and pain-free as possible, it’s almost a full-time job. If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, or are new to the role, here are five tips to help you succeed:

Tip #1: Treat your Property as a Business

If you want your rental property to provide you with stable income, you must first treat it like an actual business. It may be your basement or a separate property, but once you place it up for rent, it becomes a business – your business.

And like any business, you wouldn’t just jump head first into it without having at least a solid foundation of knowledge on what’s required for both landlord and tenant. So before diving in, get to know the laws, requirements, rights and responsibilities for both parties. Read the Residential Tenancies Act, make sure your rental unit is legal, inform your insurance company that you have a rental unit, and so on. The more you know ahead of time, the more successful your business will be.

Tip #2: Screen Tenants Thoroughly

It can be a challenging feat to find great tenants that can be relied on to pay rent and are mature enough not to cause undue wear and tear on your property. In order to avoid dealing with those headaches and situations, it’s imperative to screen each potential tenant as thoroughly as possible. All prospective tenants should fill out rental application, which you can create yourself or find online. Follow up with previous landlords and ask the right questions, like “would you rent to this tenant again?” Verify employment, ask for income statements, and run a credit check. If you are concerned about smoking or pets, do your due diligence before signing a lease.

It can takes months, or even years to recover from one bad tenant, so it is absolutely imperative to employ a proper screening process.

Tip #3: Be Respectful of your Tenants

Just as you wish your property (and yourself) to be treated with respect, always ensure to treat your tenants with the same decency. That means handling any situations in regard to them or the property, such as broken appliances or a leaky faucet, promptly and professionally. It is your responsibility to establish your reputation as an honest, reliable landlord.

Tip #4: Don’t be Too Nice

Being respectful and kind is important, but so too is the need to draw a line when it comes to discrepancies and knowing when you need to put your foot down.

This falls back to the point of treating your property like a business. When you keep that mentality, you will be better equipped dealing with any situations that require a firm response.

Tip #5: Get Help

Being a landlord can be challenging, exhausting, and even overwhelming at times, depending on the situation and the scale of your rental property. Between the maintenance and repairs alone, sometimes you simply cannot do it all. That’s where a Toronto property management company can help. We step in to help you reap the benefits of being a landlord, without all the hassle that often goes along with it.

If you’re considering becoming a landlord but feel unsure about the work that’s involved, know that you can always ask for help and have a property management team handle all the work for you.

Aug 8 16

Renting Furnished vs. Unfurnished

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A furnished apartment with bright red accent pieces

If you’re a landlord ready to place a home, condo, or apartment on the market, chances are you might be experiencing that internal debate that tends to go along with it:  “Do I keep it furnished or unfurnished?” It can be a tough decision to make, especially if you’ve already got some furniture to spare. Well, put your mind at ease. Here are a few pointers on the pros and cons of furnished versus unfurnished properties to help you figure out what’s best for you.

Furnished

Pros

Depending on the location of your property, furnished apartments or homes can be an optimal and preferred choice for the general demographic of the area. For example, if you’re living in an area that is home to colleges or universities, chances are that they attract out-of-towners such visiting professors, grduate students, or international students who require apartments to stay in for a while. For the neighbouring financial area, furnished apartments are appealing to travelling businesspeople. These kinds of neighbourhoods can yield the type of clients where having a furnished apartment is most convenient and preferable. The same applies if you own a vacation property, such as a cottage in the Muskokas or a beach-front retreat in Collingwood. Often, it will make sense to offer a furnished option for these types of properties.

In addition, furnished apartments generally yield a slight premium in rent in comparison to unfurnished ones, so if you’re looking for a higher price, it could help to keep the furniture.

Cons

On the other hand, furnished properties do tend to attract tenants that are generally interested in renting for a short period of time. That means more frequent time and effort needed from you to search for other potential tenants.

There’s also the factor of maintenance. If you’ve provided all the furnishings and kitchenware, you’ll be responsible for maintaining them and replacing these items as necessary. You also have to be conscious of investing in furniture that is universally appealing and timeless – modern renters may not appreciate a brown and yellow overstuffed chesterfield.

Another important consideration is that generally speaking, the market for people looking for furnished apartments is much smaller than those looking for unfurnished. So the quality of the tenant and the price they are paying may be great, but it might take a little longer to find them.

Unfurnished

Pros

Rentals that require tenants to provide their own furnishings and belongings means there’s more effort and commitment involved. This means you can attract tenants with the intent to stay long-term. So it’s less effort on your part to go through the hassle of frequently searching for tenants.

This also means that what they bring, they are responsible for. So less stress, maintenance and cost for you. And since the apartment is furnished with what they own, they’ll be more inclined to be respectful towards the property.

Cons

Though the vast majority of homes and apartments are rented out unfurnished, there are a couple of cons to consider. Mainly, unfurnished apartments are generally listed at slightly lower prices than furnished ones on the market.

Also, if you have furniture in the rental unit that you don’t need for personal use, you will have to take the time to try and sell it, or find a place to store it.

So before you decide how to list your property, go through these pros and cons and give your situation some thought. Consider your location, the type of tenants you desire, along with the commitment involved. This will help you narrow down your scope and choose whether furnished or unfurnished is the right way to go for you. If you like the idea of a furnished apartment but don’t want to deal with frequent searches for renters, a property management company in Toronto can handle it all on your behalf.

Jun 20 16

How to Maximize Space in Your Toronto Studio Apartment

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A hip studio apartment

A studio apartment (also known as a bachelor apartment) is an apartment rental that combines the living room, kitchen, and bedroom into one multi-use space. Despite the size limitations, studio apartments can be quite cozy and functional with a bit of organization and foresight. Here are some great tips to help you get the most out of your studio apartment in Toronto:

Tip 1: Buying Smaller Furniture

You would be surprised to know that although furniture stores typically have huge pieces on display, they also have smaller sized versions of the pieces in their back room. Typically referred to as apartment-sized or condo-sized furniture, these pieces are perfect for smaller spaces. These pieces usually shave a few inches off the depth and width to recapture floor space. You’ll get the right amount of furniture that you need for entertaining without having to compromise on your floor space.

Tip 2: Buying Versatile Furniture

Other ways that you can save on space by having a sufficient amount of furniture is to buy pieces that have more than one purpose. It’s easy to find beds that have under-the-bed storage or ottomans that have lids that give you storage space as well. You can keep extra linens, pillows, magazines, and other items put away so it doesn’t clutter your space.

Tip 3: Using Dividers

If you know that you’re going to be entertaining guests on a regular basis you might want to consider sectioning parts of your studio apartment off to the naked eye, such as your bedroom. You can use dividers but make sure that you use them sparingly as you won’t want to create too many rooms as it can take away from common areas. Consider using a thin glass or a curtain with a modern rod to close off areas to wandering eyes.

Tip 4: Emphasizing Light

The number one advantage that you have with a studio apartment is the fact that you can use natural lighting to improve the appearance of space. If you use too many drapes and heavy fabrics to cut off your main source of light, it can turn a relatively spacious apartment into a claustrophobic dungeon. Make sure that you not only avoid blocking the light, but that you promote it to move around the room by adding mirrors and other reflective surfaces.

Tip 5: Choosing Lighter Colours

Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a 1000 sq. ft. studio apartment, it’s important that you choose light colours when it comes to painting your walls. Much like the idea of promoting light, brighter colours are essential for making spaces look larger. Pull paint chips that relate to blue, pastel pink, yellow, greys, or white.

As a leading property management company in Toronto, Simplified Rentals is proud to provide expert advice to landlords and tenants – get in touch if you have any questions.

May 30 16

Neighbourhood Profile: Queen West

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Queen Street West Toronto

Queen West is renowned for being one of the most desirable areas within the city of Toronto. Many refer to it as the heartbeat of the city for both businesses and residents alike. With a bustling cool vibe, steps from the downtown core, and great access to transportation, it’s no wonder that Queen West has made a name for itself on the world stage, and continues to be one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods for businesses to set up shop.

Bustling Area with Lots of Pedestrian Traffic

Set amongst some of Toronto’s most historic structures, Queen West has become a thriving, shopping mecca. Also known as the Art and Design district in Toronto, this neighbourhood is home to trendy boutiques, vintage shops, designer stores, shoe stores and of course, craft and sewing supply stores. It is vibrant, creative, electric and an exciting artistic, fashion hotspot.

Downtown Nightlife

Located amidst downtown Toronto, at night you can stroll along to find lively patios and bars, trendy cafes and restaurants, and world-famous live-music venues such as the Rex, hosting some of the best live jazz in the world. It is a haven that comes alive no matter what day of the week it is with something for everyone to enjoy.

Vibrant Commercial Area

The area is home to over 400 businesses and continues to grow. The busy pedestrian traffic, combined with being a top spot for tourists to flock and explore, makes this neighbourhood one of the best for businesses. With increased development, it has become infused with of activity and investment.

Great Access to Transportation

With access directly to subway stations and streetcars, this area is easily accessible for pedestrians.  And since it is located alongside the downtown core, it’s the perfect place for people to browse through on the way home from work or grab a bite to each at lunch.

Queen Street West is without a doubt, one of the most exciting areas of Toronto. It is the neighbourhood that everyone flocks to in order to enjoy the bustling city vibe, shop for some of the top designer items, dine at the trendiest spots and spend some of that hard earned money. With easy access to transportation and consistent flow of activity, it is a growing mecca for businesses to invest in and benefit from all the great features this area has to offer.

Looking to lease a commercial space in Toronto or retail space in Toronto? Contact Simplified Rentals to get the process started!

May 23 16

Apartment Living: Little Changes That Make a Big Difference

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A bed with storage built-in

Apartments can have the tendency to all look the same regardless of where you live. From the Financial District to Richmond Hill, Mississauga to Scarborough, a small space is a small space, right? Wrong. By making a few small changes you can completely transform the inside of your apartment and for a limited cost as well. Whether you need more storage space or if you want updated furnishings, these tips can help you make small changes that offer a whole world of difference.

Under-the-Bed Storage

If you have a bed frame that rests relatively high off of the ground, you can easily find under-the-bed storage containers to put to good use. If you have limited closet space, you can change your clothes out for each season and put last season’s clothes in the storage. You can also store all of your personal mementos and trinkets in the event that you don’t have room to display them. The best part is that you’ll be getting rid of clutter in your apartment and keeping it all in a contained and accessible area.

Changing Lamp Shades

Whether you have bedside table lamps or lamps on the coffee tables in your living room, you would be surprised at how simple it can be to completely change their appearance just by updating the shades. You can make a room more modern by finding a glass shade or more traditional by finding a material shade. It’s also a great way to brighten up a room that has looked the same since you moved in. Lamp shades are incredibly affordable as you can find them in department stores and even dollar stores.

Adding Wall Art

There’s nothing that transforms a regular apartment into a home better than decorating your walls. Depending on the agreement that you have with your landlord, you may not be able to paint, but you should be able to add wall art. Find a few prints of your favorite cities or landmarks, have them framed, and display them in common areas. You can also take photographs of your friends and family and display them on the walls in your bedroom. It will really help to add a personal touch to the property and make it feel more comfortable.

Adding Area Rugs

Area rugs are designed to add dimension to a room, particularly if your apartment is filled with hardwood. You can find them in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours to compliment the decorative design that you have inside of your apartment. It can help to minimize echoes, protect the floor from your furniture, and help to make the space feel more like home.

Want to learn more about little apartment changes that make a big difference? The Simplified Rentals team is happy to help and offer practical advice so you can get the most out of your Toronto rental apartment!

Apr 11 16

The Advantages of Being a Renter in Toronto

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An apartments for rent sign

If you’re a fresh graduate seeking to find your first ever space away from your parents’ place or if you’re the breadwinner of a small family prepping to relocate, it’s time to think about what housing option is best for you. While it might seem like a smart idea to buy a house right off the get go, that’s not always the case. If you really want to make the most of your money you should consider renting. There are few cities in the world with a better, more varied rental market than Toronto.

Reduced Buying/Selling Expenses

In Ontario, when you buy a home you will have to pay the Provincial Land Transfer Tax (PLTT). And the City of Toronto charges an additional Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT). First time homebuyers are eligible for a rebate for a maximum of $2,000 for the PLTT and $3,725 for MLTT, but that won’t necessarily be enough to cover you. The amount of the tax depends on the value of the property, but as an example, the combined land transfer tax you would have to pay for a $500,000 property is $12,200. So take the down payment for your home, add the land transfer taxes, lawyer fees, and the expenses add up quickly. And when you sell, you will have to pay closing costs as well, including real estate commissions (if applicable). As a renter, you only need to worry about first/last months’ rent. All of these extra funds can go toward buying furniture for your rental property or you can begin to save toward a down payment if home ownership is in your future plans.

Operating Expenses

Now that you’ve bought the house, everything in it is your responsibility. That includes anything that’s broken. How much would it cost to repair a broken furnace? How much to unclog gutters? That paint seems a little old and tired – what would it cost to have a repaint job? It won’t be apparent at first, but the costs associated with keeping your house in tip-top shape can be pretty heavy on the wallet, not to mention property taxes, which are more onerous when you live in a desirable neighbourhood. As a renter in Toronto, you get to enjoy all of the advantages of living in one of the world’s best cities without these ongoing drawbacks.

No Need for a Mortgage

Rental contracts often only require a couple months’ worth of a deposit and a one-year lease. It is easy to be a rental tenant with no extra financial burden. When you buy a home, however, it’s almost always necessary that you take out a mortgage. Locking yourself into a mortgage restricts your financial flexibility, especially if you choose to buy a home at the top end of your budget.

Are you interested in renting a home, apartment, or condo in Toronto? You can view current listings and search by location, property type, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and square footage.