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Leased: 120 Parliament St #803


120 Parliament St 803

East United condos

Price: $1,850/month

Bedrooms: 1 + Den

bathrooms: 1

Be the first to live at East United

​Be the first to live in the newly completed, East United Condos by the SigNature Communities!

This spacious 1 bedroom plus den unit features 9-foot ceilings, an open concept living and dining room (perfect for entertaining), and a private balcony with stunning city views to the North.

The real value is in the separate den – you won’t find any “nooks in the wall” here. The separate room can be used as a nursery, guest bedroom or work from home office!

The bedroom can comfortably fit a queen-size bed, and comes with ample closet space. The landlord is in the process of having window coverings installed throughout.

The building amenities include a Fitness Centre, Rooftop Terrace, Yoga Studio, Party Room and front desk concierge.

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LEASED: 1030 King St West #233


1030 King St. West #233


Price: $2,100/month

Bedrooms: 1

bathrooms: 1

A rarely available corner unit at DNA 3!

For the “down-to-earth” dweller who distains heights – this spacious corner unit is perfect for you! Located at DNA 3, this second-floor unit offers and efficiently laid out floorplan complete with kitchen island, built-in appliances and an open concept living/dining space.   The bedroom has ample closet space and can comfortably fit a queen-sized bed. 

Wrap around windows provide ample natural light and give the suite a very airy vibe. Unwind after a long day on your private balcony or meet-up with friends on the rooftop terrace.

Conveniently located in King West, the building features a ton of amenities and services including front desk concierge/security, well-equipped gym, entertaining room, and a roof-top deck complete with BBQs and lounges. Grab all your groceries and more from the various businesses at the base of the building too!

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Advice for Landlords Video Blog

The Ontario Government Introduces New Standard Lease Agreements for Residential Rentals

The Ontario Government is introducing a new standard lease for all residential rental agreements in Ontario! All residential leases signed on or after April 20th, 2018 will have to be written on the new forms and this will include all single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary suites (such as basement apartments).

Where Can I Download a Copy of the New Lease Agreements?

You can download a free copy of the agreement from the Ontario Governments Website!

Why is the Government Introducing the New Standard Lease Agreement?

As part of the Ontario governments Fair Housing Strategy – they promised to overhaul the process and create a standardized lease agreement.  The purpose of the change is to make the wording of residential leases consistent across the province. For years, many agreements have included clauses and conditions that are not allowed in a lease as per the Residential Tenancies Act.

How Has The Wording Changed in the New Lease Agreements? 

The new agreements are written in a easy to understand language and go further in-depth than the current lease docs being used. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease.
You may have been using the same lease for years, not knowing that the clauses and conditions in it were not allowed.  For example, the new agreement states that a landlord can only ask for a deposit equal to 1 month of rent. Many (us included), have made it standard practice to ask for First and Last month as a deposit.  Another example is in regards to the NSF charge a landlord can ask for when a cheque bounces.  We’ve seen leases that require a $50-200 fee – a sum that is way over the $20 allowed by The Act. The new agreements very clearly state that no more than $20 can be charged as a fee for Non Sufficient Funds.
Although these items may seem like a change – remember, these were the rules all a long – they weren’t very well enforced or made clear in past contracts.

Is This Going to Change Rental Values

It’s unlikely to have much of an impact (up or down) on values.  This is more a change of process as opposed to a change of policy.  

Are There Exceptions to Those who use the New Lease Agreements?

The standard lease form does not apply to most social and supportive housing, retirement and nursing homes, mobile home parks and land lease communities, or commercial properties. The government will develop separate standard leases to address these other types of residential tenancies.

Can I Still Add My Own Clauses to the New Standard Leases?

The 15th Clause of the new agreement states that a landlord and tenant can agree to additional terms provided the term are written in plain language and clear set out what the landlord or tenant must or must not do to comply with the term.  If a term conflicts with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 or any other terms set out in the lease, the term is void and cannot be enforced.
Advice for Landlords

A Summary of Kathleen Wynnes Changes to the Real Estate Market in Toronto

Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Housing Minister Chris Ballard announced plans to cool Ontario’s housing market.  We’ve summarized the proposed changes, and included our thoughts on how it we feel it impact the market:

Rent Control For All Tenants

Current rent controls, only apply to properties built prior to 1991 leaving many of Torontos downtown condos exempt from increase limits (currently set at the rate of inflation). The new proposals will now cover all properties regardless of when they were built.  

They are also looking into unlocking provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development and a $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges. 

These steps won’t really do much to add to the current lack of supply, and with the introduction of rent controls, will probably deter developers from ever actually building new rental stock.

I do think that rent controls are needed, but at rate higher than just inflation – something as simple as inflation plus 5% would result in only a $140 rate increase/month on a $2000 rental.  I was hoping the Liberal government would have introduced some controls on Hydro and Heat costs to help with monthly affordability for all!

Standardized Lease Document for all Tenants

This was briefly mentioned in todays announcement – Its purpose was to ensure “illegal terms and conditions” were not included in leases. I’m not entirely sure how they plan on handling this one as the Landlord and Tenant Board already has pretty specific guidelines that cover what can and can’t be included in leases.  Also, every rental provides its own unique set of challenges that require the crafting of pretty specific clauses. To have a standardized lease could leave both sides unprotected!

An Assignment Ban

The government wants to ban speculators from assigning their pre construction purchases before completion. It’s not clear how they plan on qualifying someone as a speculator vs. a buyer who’s outgrown their space before the project completes.

A typical project takes about 2-5 years to complete and in that time things can change.  I’ve worked with several buyers that have outgrew their initial purchase and wanted to sell before the project closed.  When buyers take this route, the often sell at less than market value, but for more than their original purchase price.

We don’t see very many properties sell by way of assignment as they are often tricky to complete and require builders approval before the sale can be finalized.  Those that do sell, often sell for less than market value (which helps those trying to get into the market)- so I’m not really sure how this will help with affordability.

Speculation Tax for Non-Resident Foreigners

Several reporters at todays announcement asked the officials for data to back up the claim that foreigners are buying up all these properties – but each time the question was avoided.  In reality, the government doesn’t currently collect this information. As part of todays announcements, all purchasers will now have to reveal their citizenship and where they live. Buyers will also have to disclose if the property will be used as primary residence or investment (something we already have to do when applying for a mortgage)

They also planned to introduce a 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners… but of course, since they currently don’t have any real data on exactly how many foreigners are actually buying property at the moment – it’s hard to say if this actually take any competition out of the market.

Final Thoughts

I’m a bit relived that these aren’t the catastrophic changes some have speculated may happen. “This plan balances those needs to stabilize the market and prevent a sharp correction that would be harmful to everyone,” said Wynne. My take is that ultimately these measures won’t bring much change to Torontos real estate market. 

If you’re a buyer, things won’t be getting any easier anytime soon. You’ll still be faced with 5-20 people bidding for your “dream home”, with or without the foreigner tax.

Sellers, the climb continues (unless you’re trying to sell an assignment). Economics 101 teaches us that this price increase is fueled by a lack of supply and a ton of demand.  

Renters of properties built after 1991 who haven’t received a rent increase in the last 12 months – expect a price bump in the coming weeks.

Home Improvement

REVIEW: My Experience Using Jiffy On Demand

The Problem

With the winter winds rolling in, the time had come to do some maintenance at my rental property. All I had to do was turn off the outside water off from in the home – a fairly standard job that I do every year. As luck would have it, the valve wouldn’t close.  So I did what any stubborn male would do… I tightened it until I broke it.  My one problem quickly became three: The water line wasn’t closed, the valve was broken, and I had no time to master the art plumbing.

The Solution – Jiffy on Demand

JiffyOnDemand is a new Toronto based app that makes home maintenance a breeze! They connect homeowners with professionals in a variety of trades – from small jobs like furniture assembly and lawn maintenance, to larger jobs like electrical and duct cleaning… they even have professionals on call for seasonal jobs like BBQ cleaning, and Christmas light installation!

Jiffy on Demand Services
Above is a small sample the services JiffyOnDemand offers

The “Jiffy” concept is to connect homeowners for jobs that need same day attention – but you’re also able to schedule jobs for future dates.

I needed a plumber – and fast! After downloading the app, I typed in “plumbing”, filled in a few details about the job, and was instantly connected with a plumbing professional.  Within minutes I received a phone call from Mike Ginglo from Momentum Mechanical Contractors (so refreshing to actually speak with the person carrying out the work).  I loved that they were able to give an exact timing for when the work would start (instead of a 8 hour window that most trades offer). On the day scheduled for work, Mike followed up with another call to reconfirm the time – I’m a stickler for detail, and was so impressed with how organized he was! 

The JiffyOnDemand app displayed the minimum price and first hour rate of the job as well as a break down of what additional time would cost.  This in itself was a huge timesaver as I didn’t have time to wait for a call back to confirm price. As part of the signup process, you provide them with your credit card number, and they bill you once the job is complete.

Mike and his assistant showed up on time, and got right to work.  The job required replacing the old pipe, valve and hose bib with new parts. Within the hour they had everything done! I’m one of those eager beavers who likes watching the job get done so I can learn for next time.  Mike went the extra mile by explaining what was wrong with the old valve and the benefits of the new one. He even answered my follow up questions via email and offered a few tips for winterizing the house for future seasons – this gave me complete assurance in his expertise and the job preformed!

The Verdict

Had I decided to fix the pipe my self – it would have easily turned into a month long project! From my first few taps with JiffyOnDemand to the overall experience with Mike and Momentum Mechanical – I give them: 4.95 plumber wrenches out of 5 … the only minor improvement would be with communicating the cost of materials.  Jiffy can only display prices for the labour, as the cost of materials vary based on the job! I was charged fairly for the materials, it just would have been helpful to have a rough estimate at the start of the job.

Advice For Buyers Advice For Sellers City Livings Real Estate Toronto

Parking Spot Rental Agreement for Toronto Condo’s

Tips For Renting Out a Parking Spot In a Condo

1. Check with your property manager first to ensure you have the authority to rent out your spot and ask about any special bylaws that may apply.

2.  Set a term and price for how long the rental will last for.

3. Factor in the potential that the unit may sell during the term set out for in the lease.  Both parties should have a clear and easy out should the unit sell and the parking spot be needed by the new owner.

4. Put everything in writing, always…From parking spot location, description of the car,  to post dated cheques. Feel free to use my Parking Spot Rental Agreement by signing up below, but be sure to edit or add anything that applies to your unique situation.

Toronto Star ran a great article chronicling the legality of renting out a private parking spot in the City.   The gist of the story was that the bylaws haven’t been updated to reflect today’s times and that renting out a parking spot in your own driveway is in fact – illegal!

In my daily business of working the downtown condo market, this problem becomes even more complex! Often times there are more rules and by-laws that must be met before renting out a spot. For example, most condo bylaws only allow owners to rent out to residents of the building ONLY! Because most spots are located underground, a remote garage door opener is often needed.  This device can also open several other doors to the building and allow non residents access to private common areas… ie gym, pool, etc.

Parking Spot Rental Agreement

Truthfully speaking, I have no idea where the city stands on the legality of renting out parking stalls in private condominium building… but I do know that rentals happen very often, and typically without much organization. Due to this grey area, problems range from non payment to lost remotes.  In an effort to make the process easier for everyone, I’ve come up with a simple Parking Spot Rental Agreement for those looking to lease out their spot.