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Short-Term vs Long-Term Rental Properties in Toronto

Short term rentals inquiries have increased considerably in Toronto. Now that travel restrictions have eased and people are once again travelling for work and school, the need for temporary leasing options has grown tremendously.

A short term lease agreement is typically one to six months in length while a long term rental contract is six to 12 months in duration.  There are many pros and cons to both options for both tenants and landlords.


A short term apartment lease offers more flexibility for both renters and landlords. Neither party is obligated to sign or renew a lease contract.  Short term agreement durations are easier for landlords and renters to negotiate.

Long term leases offer less flexibility to both landlord and tenant. As a renter, if you choose to leave before the end of your lease, you are responsible for the remaining monthly payments unless you can find another tenant to sublet or take over your lease agreement. Likewise, landlords can’t rent your place out to another tenant while you are legally living in the rental suite.


Long term rental apartments offer more stability. If you want to settle in an area for a longer period of time, year-to-year leasing options are better suited to your needs.  Landlords also benefit because they don’t have to continuously look for new tenants.

Short term agreements don’t offer the same stability for landlords or tenants. They are not set up for long term accommodations.  


Short term leases often cost more than long term agreements. Short term rentals can cost up to 20% more per month than long term apartment leases. That’s great news for landlords but as a renter, you are paying more for a short term accommodation.

However, short term apartments are often cheaper than hotel accommodations. For travellers looking for a temporary home-away-from-home, brief leasing options on apartments are more appealing.

The monthly rental payment on a long term lease is considerably less than shorter ones but they offer a stable rental income for landlords as well as a consistent monthly expense for renters.


Finding an apartment in Toronto is difficult. With supply outweighing the demand, finding a long or short term place is challenging. However, with short term leases, there are typically peak times where demand is high and slower seasons when the demand is less. For example, it can be more difficult to find a place to rent temporarily during the school year, special events, or holidays. As a tenant, you will likely have a harder time finding a place and pay more for short term rentals when the demand is higher. When there is less of a demand, as tenant you have more options so you can shop around until you find a place within your desired location and price range.

High demand seasons are great for landlords but if no one leases a short term place during the slower times, landlords can lose money. 

Long term apartments often have waiting lists or a list of people waiting to get into the building. The demand is not based on events or seasons so availability is based more on location and price.

Furnished vs Unfurnished

Most long term rentals are unfurnished so tenants are responsible for purchasing and moving their own furniture.

Shorter rental agreements are often furnished so landlords are responsible for the price and upkeep of all furnishings. As a tenant, all you need to get is the key to move in.

Legal and Insurance

There are different legal and insurance considerations for short term vs long term rentals in Toronto. In Toronto, a landlord can only have one renter in their primary residence.

Along with different legal considerations for short and long term rental places, insurance fees and coverage also differ. It is important that both landlords and tenants know their rights before signing a short or long term lease agreement in Toronto.


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