Navigating Toronto's bustling rental scene can be tricky, especially if you're grappling with a limited or non-existent credit history. Whether you're a newcomer, a student, or just starting your financial journey, Dwelly is poised to empower your rental application. Let's delve into some strategies to make your rental application resonate with potential landlords.

Maximizing the Power of a Co-signer or Guarantor: Have a family or friend that is willing to support you? This could be what is needed to help you secure a home. Teaming up with a co-signer doesn't just amplify your application; it illustrates that you have the support and backing needed to meet tenancy obligations. With no substantial credit backdrop, a co-signer becomes your staunch advocate. However, your co-signer or guarantor should be residing and working in Canada, ideally in the same province, and have a good credit history (e.g. a high credit score).

What's the difference between a co-signer or guarantor? A co-signer is placed on the lease agreement as a tenant, thus he carries all the same responsibilities as the main tenant, but does not actually intend on residing in the property. A guarantor on the other had is not considered a tenant on the agreement but as someone guarantying that if the tenant is not able to meet their obligations they will be available. Thus, a co-signer carries may more responsibilities that a guarantor since they are bound to all the lease agreement terms. Therefore, most but not all landlords prefer that the person supporting the main tenant to be a co-signer rather than a guarantor.

The Art of Financial Clarity: Lack of credit history doesn't equate to financial irresponsibility. By proactively sharing bank statements and proof of funds, you can weave a broader financial tale. This openness not only attests to your fiscal diligence but also reassures potential landlords of your financial capabilities. Whether you have an investments portfolio, a savings account, some assets back home, or another source of income from a side hustle, this can be a valuable aid to your rental application. At the end of the day the landlord just wants any reassurance that you will be able to meet the obligations of the rental unit and that your lack of or less than optimal credit history is not a concern.

A Proactive Gesture: Proposing Prepaid Rent: Stand out by showcasing proactive financial gestures like proposing prepaid rent. This initiative is more than just a kind gesture; it's a declaration of your earnestness. Such a move can instill confidence in landlords, especially when you're lacking a traditional credit history. This is by far the best action you can take to increase your changes of securing a home in the Greater Toronto Area. When it comes to how many months you should offer above the standard deposit (e.g. first & last months rent) there is no magic number as each situation differs but of course from the landlord's perspective; the more the merrier. At Dwelly we've seen people offer anywhere from just an additional two months to the whole year of rent paid up front. It mainly depends on the applicants overall profile (e.g. income, credit history, guarantor, etc.) and how competitive the market is at the time (e.g. competing offers). We understand that this may also be the most difficult strategy of them all, but coming up with creative ways to secure additional funds (e.g borrowing from friends or family) for the deposit may prove to be beneficial.

It should also be noted that all the above three strategies are not mutually exclusive and can be pursed at the same time to give you the highest possibility of securing a home in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.  

In Toronto's vibrant rental ecosystem, an absence or paucity of credit history need not to be a stumbling block. With the above mentioned strategies and Dwelly's guidance, your application can radiate confidence, demonstrating your readiness for taking on the responsibilities of tenancy. Our efficacy in aiding you hinges on your willingness to adopt these strategies. At the end of the day, it's the landlord's decision to accept or deny any application but we've worked with 100s of  tenants and landlords to know what's needed to get the job done. You can trust us with this.

Dwelly is a 5-star rated real estate brokerage in Toronto, Ontario that has helped over 500 tenants move homes in the Greater Toronto Area. Ready to work with us? Click here