For the many that choose not to purchase a condo but desire the condo lifestyle, purpose-built rentals are on the rise.
The number of purpose-built rentals more than doubled in 2016 and this trend is expected to continue. Some are large buildings with 500+ suites ranging in size from 450 sq. ft. to nearly 2,000 sq. ft. and include three-bedroom spaces geared to families. These rental properties offer high-end appliances and furnishings plus amenities comparable to quality condo buildings. Amenities in newer buildings include lounge, dining room, conference centre, swimming pool, squash courts, exercise room, yoga/spinning studios, theatre and outdoor pet space. Renters in these buildings have access to on-site staff to deal with in-suite problems that may include broken appliances or water leaks. There is also greater protection against non-renewal of a lease.
Purpose-built rentals are not managed by a board of directors comprised of condo owners who may not be making the best long-term decisions. These properties are managed by an organization intent on keeping their units rented which means keeping both building and suites in good shape.
In early 2017 there were 43 purpose-built rental projects under review in the City of Toronto comprising over 8,000 units.
The market for purpose-built rentals includes millennials who may not be able to afford a home and empty-nesters who no longer require as much space or own a winter home in Florida. Many renters believe they are financially stronger by investing their money in other ways and avoiding the cost of home ownership.