What the modern tenant expects in a rental in Toronto

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

The amenities and services that today’s tenants look for

Today, the modern-day tenant is a millennial, a young professional, a family of two or downsizing aging parents, and of course many others. Whatever the reason may be, many people are more interested in renting rather than purchasing their home. Real estate trends have shown that the number of people seeking properties to rent has increased significantly, creating a competitive rental market in Toronto, and as can be expected, a long list of amenities, services, needs and wants.

The amenities and services available in rental properties have changed over the years. Gone are the days where tenants wanted just a concierge, a swimming pool or a gym located within their rental property. These are now standard features expected by most tenants. The rental properties being offered today, include state-of-the-art features like innovative common areas, communal garden settings, leading-edge technology, and in-building services, to name a few.

So what amenities and services does the modern-day tenants expect landlords to provide in a rental property? Well, it may actually vary by a demographic. A millennial, a family of two and an aging parent may have similar needs and wants, as well as those that are very different.

Let’s take a look at the expectations of each of these generation groups.


Currently, millennials (between the ages of 22-36) are the largest demographic living in rental properties. The real estate market across Canada has put millennials at a financial disadvantage for homeownership due to the high cost and expenses of owning a home (expenses such as a mortgage, closing fees, taxes, utilities, etc.)

A BNN Bloomberg poll from 2018 found that 44% of millennials rent while 21% live with their family members. Not only are millennials renting a property or living at home longer but also 84% of millennials would like to own a home, even if they don’t think it’s a realistic option. For landlords, this is excellent news as it has opened a huge underserved demographic looking for rental properties.

Marketing rental properties to millennials require a unique approach to compete in this highly competitive market segment. The needs and wants of this generation are very different from the generations before them. They are looking for more than just a place to live but rather a lifestyle.

Here is a list of the top amenities and services millennials are attracted to and expect in a rental property:

· Access to public transit or a parking spot

· Smart home technology

· Digital presence during the listing process

· Ability to pay rent and/report a unit problem online (from their phone, actually)

· Easy access to shopping and entertainment

· Close to their workplace, family, and friends

· Clean, modern and well-maintained living space

· Pet-friendly property (35% of millennials own a pet)

· Access to state-of-the-art community rooms to entertain

· Access to fitness and wellness spaces

· Access to outdoor communal garden and cooking area

· In-home laundry services

· Energy-efficient appliances

· Access to reliable and high-speed Wi-Fi

· Concierge and in-home security system

· Access to shared working/office space


When young professionals (adults up to 40 who are employed in a profession- i.e. doctor, engineer, lawyer, financial advisor, etc.) are looking for rental properties, they are looking for features that make them feel comfortable and make their lives simple so they can spend their limited free time on activities they enjoy.

Young professionals expect a rental property to provide them access to a broad selection of unique and convenient amenities and services. The most important of these are listed:

· An open concept floor plan

· Energy-efficient appliances

· Access to state-of-the-art technology including high-speed Wi-Fi

· Outdoor space (balcony or backyard) that is an extension of their living area

· Pet-friendly with a dedicated outdoor area

· Common areas to work or gather with friends and family

· Access to public transit or a parking spot

· Walking distance to shopping and entertainment

· Close to workplace, family, and friends

· Storage space for hobbies, activities and fitness gear

· Fitness area that includes an indoor or outdoor pool, sauna or yoga studio, etc.

· Garden space where tenants can relax and have the option to grow their own food

· Concierge service and in-home security system


Families of two and downsizing aging parents who are looking to rent, expect a rental to offer larger units that are family-focused and more high-end amenities and services, as they are looking for features that help simplify family living and downsizing aging parents want to maintain the same standard of living they are accustomed too. These two demographic groups often have overlapping expectations as renters.

The most important features in rental properties have been listed below:

· Professionally finished rental space and well-maintained building property

· Outdoor space, balcony or yard access

· Outdoor garden area and communal cooking area

· Speed at resolving maintenance issues

· Large windows that let in natural light

· Central heat and air conditioning

· More closet and storage space

· Spacious, open concept living area to entertain family and friends

· In-unit or building laundry services

· Dedicated parking spot

· Stainless steel professional appliances

· Communal party spaces for large gatherings

· Easy access to public transportation

· Accessible building and grounds

· Fitness and wellness space

· On-site concierge and in-unit security system

· Access to high-speed Wi-Fi

· Walking distance or easy access to shopping, entertainment and health services

· Pet-friendly with dedicated outdoor area


Landlords have used amenities to entice tenants to rent one of their properties. Over the years, tenants’ needs have changed depending on their lifestyle needs and demographics. New and improved features and services that landlords can integrate into rental properties can be a deal-maker for the modern-day tenant and can give property owners are a competitive edge.

We recently worked with a couple, Steve and Kathy, who had decided to sell there home in Etobicoke and downsize into a rental property. Steve and Kathy enjoy traveling during the cold Canadian winters but wanted somewhere to call home during the summer and didn’t want to deal with the stress of worrying about their home while on vacation.

“Steve and I for years have wanted to downsize but didn’t know where, and we no longer want to put in the time and effort into maintaining our home. Both of our children have recently moved out, and we are ready to sell our home. We were speaking to a friend who had just dealt with an OnlyWith agent and expressed how happy they were with the assistance they received in selling their home and finding a fantastic rental property that completely met their needs. Our agent, Steve Lubarsky found a wonderful condo for us just outside of downtown Toronto that had all the amenities we were looking for, including a spacious green space for our dog. We are so pleased with the sale of our home and our new rental property and the assistance we received from our OnlyWith agent; we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

Toronto’s market is saturated with the rental properties that include amenities and services to suit any preference, wants and needs. At OnlyWith.ca, we take pride in knowing we have helped thousands of people find the right rental property. Each one of our agents knows and understands that finding the right rental property is essential whether you are a millennial looking to rent your first home or if you’re a couple who are looking to downsize. We will assist you in finding a rental property that includes amenities that fit your lifestyle, make you feel comfortable and safe. Reach out to one of our agents today.

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