Condo listing to rent half of queen bed for $655 goes viral
Toronto’s rental market has officially gone off the rails, with a recent listing for half a bed — priced at $655 ($900 Canadian) — serving as the latest proof of the city’s housing chaos.
Screenshots obtained by CTV News Toronto revealed an eyebrow-raising Facebook Marketplace post from January seeking an “easy-going FEMALE” roommate for a shared bedroom to bunk up with — quite literally, as the tenant would have to share one queen-size bed.
The ad, which has since been removed, demanded a jaw-dropping upfront payment of $1,900, including the first and last month’s rent plus an extra $100 for the key fob.
This absurdity caught the attention of Toronto realtor Anya Ettinger, who blasted the listing on TikTok, where her clip has racked up over 600,000 views.
“It shows really how sad it is here. I mean people are – rightfully so – so committed to staying in the city that there is a market for stuff like this,” she told CTV News Toronto.
Ettinger expressed disbelief, stating that despite her extensive industry experience, such listings were unprecedented. She pointed out a prior instance in Oakville where a bunk bed in a house’s foyer was offered for $650 monthly.
However, this madness isn’t isolated.
While a recent Rentals.ca report hinted at Toronto’s rental market slowing down, the average rent still hovers around a staggering $2,908 per month.
So, is renting a bed becoming the new norm in Toronto and will this idea spread to New York City, where rents are at an all-time high? But more importantly, is it even legal?
Legal expert Cassandra Fafalios highlighted the murky legality of such arrangements, pointing to the Residential Tenancies Act, which applies to landlords and tenants specifically.
Thus, individuals in such arrangements, often devoid of any formal contract, find themselves in a legal gray area with no rights or protections.
The lack of clear definitions for “occupant” or “roommate” in the Residential Tenancies Act further complicates matters. Without a contractual tie to the landlord, these individuals have no recourse with the Landlord and Tenant Board and lack any form of legal protection.
Fafalios emphasized the precarious nature of these agreements, especially if they occur under the table, leaving renters vulnerable without notice requirements or recourse to eviction proceedings.
Moreover, Douglas Kwan, director of advocacy and legal services at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, highlighted the potential health and safety risks for those resorting to such desperate living situations. He underscored the importance of due diligence when considering such arrangements, comparing it to a job interview.
“I would be very concerned for the health and safety of anybody who would determine that this would be their last resort to finding housing in Toronto,” Kwan said.
Meanwhile, in New York City, a third of New Yorkers are forking over half their income for rent.
The devastating data comes from the latest report from the nonprofit the Community Service Society of New York, which found that 55% of households, or nearly 1.2 million households, in the Big Apple were “rent-burdened” in 2021, meaning tenants spent at least 30% of their income on rent.