Landlords and property managers in Toronto are offering rental incentives during the COVID-19 pandemic to entice prospective tenants.
According to a report by Rentals.ca supply for housing has increased while demand has decreased.
The causes include: immigration stopping; international and domestic students not being around to rent; lower-income job earners are finding cheaper rentals or moving back in with family; those working from home wanting more space, while some aren’t moving to save money.
Common incentives include one to three months free rent, plus something extra such as Visa gift cards or cash back, free parking, furniture, appliance gift cards, and free cable and internet.
In Toronto and the GTA, there are more incentives for renters as vacancies began to rise in the summer.
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In November and December, renters were seeing incentives such as 1 Month Free + $1,000 donation to any charity of their choice. Those were mostly tied to Black Friday and holiday sales.
“In January, we are now seeing referral bonuses with offers to residents who refer friends and family to rent in their buildings,” the report said.
In Toronto, renters are finding most incentives on luxury units, downtown units, new units and condos, while landlords with fewer units offer incentives such as free parking or shorter leases.
Incentives could continue to be offered through 2022, depending on how quickly vaccines are distributed and how quickly rental demand can catch up to supply.
- Two months free rent plus a free gift
- Cash back available
- Receive up to $2000 in rental incentives on select suites rented by January 31
- One month free on a 13 month lease and 200 gift card signing bonus
- One month free rent and move in anytime in January plus 500 visa gift card
- 1 month free rent and $1,000 visa gift card
- Receive one-month free rent and up to $2,500 in move-in bonuses including, a choice between a $1,500 gift card to Structube, or a new 128 GB iPhone 12 Pro, or a $500 gift card to Yonge Sheppard Centre, or a $300 Ritual gift card to support local restaurants, or a $200 Netflix gift card
- First month is rent-free plus a $1,000 bonus
- Residents can receive up to $200 for referring their friends to join the Greenrock community
- You could earn $750 by referring someone to live in a Greenrock community. This special limited-time promotion is only available until February 28, 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changing the once booming condo market, as free rent and gift cards become a way to try and salvage the sector.