No one likes moving and that’s especially true in the fall when the colder weather starts to set in.

But, according to one real estate agent in Toronto, you can actually use that observed lack of demand to play the field and lock down a lease on your own terms.

“When renters have already found places [in the fall] and people start to dissipate from the market…there's more of an opportunity for people who are looking to rent,” Marlon Deogracias, a realtor at RE/MAX, told CTV News Toronto.

According to Deogracias, August and September are typically the most popular months to move into a new place and landlords can be inundated with prospective tenants, not to mention students looking for housing in time for the fall semester. 

“For a rental we might be getting like 15 applications within the first two days on the market. And that being said, there's going to be very little chance for most of those [tenants],” Deogracias explained.

That means fewer options for you as a renter in the summer months, which could put you up against other applicants who can potentially offer more money for rent to seal the deal.

On the flipside, Deogracias said there’s much less competition in October, November, and December, when rentals can sit on the market for “a little bit longer.”

While the average price of a rental in Toronto won’t change dramatically as the seasons change -- the average rental price for a one-bedroom in Toronto in September was $2,472, according to a study published by National Rent Report -- the lack of demand can also benefit the landlords in selecting a good tenant as well as the tenants themselves.

“Yeah, because, I [as a landlord] have more selection. I'm really just going through the applications seeing which one creates the least resistance: One that I don't need to follow up with or ask too many questions of or investigate. Their application is complete,” Deogracias said.

To that end, there are some things you can do to stand out as an applicant if you find your ideal place.

First off, Deogracias says, in his experience, using a realtor can set you apart from the rest of the pack.

“That realtor can properly prepare a lease package for you. One that’s really organized with all the documents that [landlords] are looking for,” he said.

Those documents should include, at the very least:

  • A credit history report with credit score
  • Rental application documents
  • All documents to verify income, including bank statements, employment letters, pay stubs,

On top of that, professional references will go a long way especially if you’ve got previous rental experience as a former landlord can speak to your qualities as a tenant.