Someone is trying to rent out their unfinished basement as an apartment
Basement apartments are some of the last truly affordable rental housing available anywhere near downtown, but this $500-per-month place in Bloor West Village, currently being advertised on Craigslist, is beyond affordable. It’s practically a steal. Oh yeah, there’s a catch, though: it’s completely unfinished, and if you want that cheap rent, you’re going to have to spend all your spare time doing the renovations yourself.
“I’m looking for someone Handy or familiar with Renovations to finish and live in my unfinished basement,” writes an anonymous landlord with a sticky shift key. “I will buy the materials, you do the labour at your own pace.” According to the ad, the basement has space “available” for a bedroom and living space. There’s a private entrance, a private bathroom, and “possible on site laundry in 2018.” The landlord wants the tenant to handle framing, soundproofing, drywall, flooring and paint, but promises to hire a professional electrician to do the wiring.
Considering the fact that other west-end basements can rent for well in excess of $1,000, there might be an economic case to be made for an arrangement like this. Some down-on-his-luck handyman who doesn’t mind being paid in instalments could lock in years of bargain rent by putting in a few months—or maybe more than a few months—of work. (Anyone considering doing this will definitely want to get a lawyer to look over the lease before they start with all the free labour, though.)
Still, one has to wonder if it wouldn’t be simpler for the landlord just to pay a contractor and then recoup the expense with crazy rents, like every other homeowner in Toronto.