So, it’s finally happened: my friends and I have found our apartment for next year, and it is almost perfect, let me tell you. It’s right on the Ryerson campus, only one block down from the theatre school where two of us attend. It’s a beautiful stone Victorian house, situated over a little sandwich shop. It has a number of perks—probably the best one being that it is still on the Ryerson campus, so we can use the school’s WiFi rather than paying for our own Internet service.
The apartment does have some issues, though. While it is unbelievably cheap for a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto, the lease we were given to sign was rather… odd. For one thing, it was strangely controlling, with vaguely worded rules like “If alcohol use gets out of hand, the landlord is allowed to request the tenant get rid of it.” Normally, leases don’t come with lists of rules, and tend only to deal with how payments should be made and what fines will be applied for damages.
The other issue is that pets are absolutely not allowed. This means that my roommate Tessa must give up her dog and her cat, and I can’t bring my lizard, Buttercup, with me. This is upsetting for both of us, since we both love our pets very much. I was away from Buttercup all this past year, since I couldn’t have her in residence, and I was looking forward to bringing her with me. I mean, I’ve had her since I was six years old, so I miss her a lot when I’m gone. Unfortunately though, this apartment is perfect for us, and we’ve waited too long to be able to find anything better. This building is a rare find, what with it being so close and so cheap. So we’ll have to leave our pets at home for another year.
When looking for an apartment, alone or with friends, it’s important to have your parents look over the lease with you in detail. Signing a lease is something we all have to do eventually, and it is better to have someone experienced to help you with it. A lease is a legally binding document, so you must be absolutely sure that you understand everything in it before you sign. Also, most landlords require a student tenant’s parents to co-sign the lease, meaning that if you fail to pay your rent, they are on the hook to pay it. A lot of places will not give you an apartment at all unless you have a parent or guardian willing to co-sign for you.
The apartment we got is great, and we’ll be living there for at least the next year. But like I said, the lease is a bit odd and Tessa and I are a little nervous about how oppressive it is. So we will certainly be spending some time over the next year looking for another place—one that will allow pets.