The rental market in Toronto has been getting increasingly tighter with each passing month. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Rental Market Report for the third quarter of 2016, the vacancy rate for the GTA is sitting at 1.8%, but keep in mind that this number speaks for all of the GTA in all different housing types. If we focused solely on downtown Toronto vacancy rates, I’m pretty sure that percentage would be much lower. It’s a competitive market for tenants out there right now!
That said, whenever a new building comes on the market after receiving occupancy, there are a lot of new units that surface at the same time. It’s really only at this point when tenants are in a more favourable situation, since for a short time in a specific building, there are usually more listings than tenants.
Still, when it comes to making your offer shine in the face of competition, I’ve seen how making one small step can help improve the success of your offer being accepted: an offer cover letter. It may sound silly, and really corporate or work-related, but a cover letter along with your offer can help warm up the introduction between you and the landlord.
When normally submitting an offer and supporting documents, it’s a very rigid and formulaic approach, which though very important and quite frankly required, leaves little to the landlord to get a sense of who you are as a tenant.
A letter that introduces who you are, why you’re looking forward to living in the space, and a promise to be respectful of the unit and the neighbours really adds to your professionalism and the confidence a landlord will have in choosing you as their tenant.
It’ll be an extra 15-20 minutes to prepare, but it may well make the difference between you happily moving into your new home, or searching over and over again for a new place. I’ve heard the feedback from listing agents myself when representing tenants on how nice it is to receive a cover letter. It really can work!