By now, stories of Toronto-area residents showing up in Waterloo Region willing to pay more than the asking price for a home aren’t particularly surprising.

But here’s what you might not have realized: The same thing is happening on the rental market.

Real estate broker Kay Hoshoian’s go-to story is of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse that was advertised for $1,450 per month. Its owner ended up renting it out for $1,700 a month.

“People from Toronto came in and outbid everybody else,” Hoshoian says.

The combination of prospective buyers from Toronto eyeing Waterloo Region and prospective renters from the region doing the same thing is creating a double whammy for people already in Waterloo Region looking for new rental accommodations.

There are more than a few stories out there of people only looking for new homes in the first place because their landlord has decided to cash in while the market remains hot.

That’s the situation Amber Allen finds herself in.

She, her partner and their two children have been given until June to leave their current home, which has been sold.

They’ve been checking out one property after another – 26 in total, as of Wednesday night – but haven’t had any luck.

“We’ve lost sleep over this. It’s been hard on our kids too,” Allen says.

“We don’t know where we’re going to live.”

Allen says she’s often heard landlords refuse to rent to families with children, or with pets.

At one open house, people were outbidding each other in front of the landlord – putting the property out of her price range.

The family of four is now considering one-bedroom apartments, because it doesn’t know if anything else is realistic in a market where the vacancy rate is below two per cent.

“There’s a lot of pressure on renters right now,” Hoshoian says.

“It’s not normal at all.”

With reporting by Max Wark