Rental Housing

Types of Housing


  • Apartment (suite, flat) – Includes 1 bedroom or more, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. Apartments may be in a building or a house. Apartment buildings can be highrise (6-30 storey with an elevator) or lowrise (fewer than 6 storey with no elevator). Apartments are usually owned by a landlord and are rented to tenants. A ‘Bachelor’ apartment or “studio” is an apartment consisting of a single large room serving as a bedroom and a living room with a separate bathroom.

  • Condominium (condo) – A type of home ownership where you buy a unit in an apartment building or townhouse complex, but do not own the land. Each owner pays their own mortgage, taxes, utilities and a monthly fee towards property maintenance. Sometimes, you can rent condos from the owner.

  • Duplex or Triplex – A house that is divided into 2 or 3 separate apartments, one on top of another. The owner of a duplex may live in one apartment and rent the other, or rent both apartments to tenants. A “triplex” is a house that is divided into 3 separate apartments.

  • Townhouse – A house that is joined to a row of other houses. Townhouses can be bought or rented.

  • Detached House – a single house that is owned by 1 or more persons. Owners may rent 1 or more rooms in the house.

  • Semi-detached house – A single house that is joined to another house with a common wall. The houses are beside each other and attached.

  • Room – A room in an apartment or house that is rented out. If the tenant shares the kitchen, bathroom and living room with other tenants then this type of housing is called “shared accommodation”. Shared housing is a great way to save some money if your budget is very tight. An important thing to remember is that the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply if you are sharing a house/apartment. “Room and board” means that meals are included.

  • Here is a list of Important Terms you need to know when renting a house.

Where can I find Rental listings?


  • The easiest way to search for housing listings is on the internet. Below are a few websites to get you started.

  • You can also find listings in rental guide magazines, bulletin boards, classified ads, and even by walking around a neighbourhood and looking for Vacancy or For Rent signs.
    *These listings are for your information only. CUIAS does not recommend or endorse any particular listing.

How much is rent in Toronto?


  • Rent prices depend on the city, the neighbourhood, and the size of the unit. In 2015 the average monthly rent for apartments in Toronto was: $902 for a bachelor, $1085 for 1 bedroom, $1269 for 2 bedrooms, and $1495 for 3 bedrooms.

  • You may also need to pay a monthly utility fee, which pays for the electricity and water that you use.

  • Your landlord can increase your rent every 12 months and must give you a 90-day written notice beforehand.

  • More information on ‘Renting a Home’ can be found here.

  • The website CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) provides more information on the guide and rent increases.

What else do I have to pay before I move in?


  • Your landlord may ask you to provide a “security deposit” before you move in. This deposit is money for the last rent before you move out. Your landlord cannot use this money for anything else. It is illegal to demand a security deposit for things like damage to the rental unit, even if the charge is refundable.

  • Your landlord can also ask for a key deposit, which is returned to you once you move out and give back the keys.

  • Your landlord can also charge you a fee if you provide a cheque but there is not enough money in your bank account. This is referred to as “Non sufficient Funds (NSF)” or a bounced cheque.

  • Most other deposits, extra charges, and advance payments are illegal. For example, sometimes landlords say that if you want to get the apartment, you must buy something in it, such as curtains or appliances, or that you must pay a damage deposit, rental fee, or commission. This is illegal.

  • It is also illegal for a landlord to require post-dated cheques or other types of automatic rent payments. It may be suggested, and you, as a tenant, can offer to provide post dated cheques, but this cannot be a mandatory requirement for renting a unit.

  • Always get a receipt when you pay a rent deposit or any other charge.

Late Rent and Evictions

    If you are facing eviction, speak to one of our counselors at CUIAS for more information on your rights and where to get help.


    • It is the tenant’s responsibility to pay the rent on time. Late rent or non-payment may force a landlord to seek compensation for that loss through the court system, and he or she may evict you from the unit. In addition, late rent or non-payments can ruin your credit score rating, which will make it difficult for you to obtain a loan from a bank or apply for credit cards.

    • More information on late rent payments, and what a landlord can and cannot do can be found here.

    • Read more about When Can my Landlord Evict me?


Rent Bank

is a program that assists individuals and families who are behind on their rent and/or are facing eviction. The Rent Bank provides an interest-free repayable loan. There are various Rent Bank centres across Toronto.