What kind of questions can a landlord ask?
Many landlords will ask you to complete an application form before they will rent an apartment or house to you.
Sometimes, rental application forms contain very personal questions, such as a bank account number, whether you are on social assistance, proof of income, and more.
Can a landlord ask for my Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
Many landlords want to check your credit rating before they will rent you an apartment. Many people think that a SIN is necessary for this process, but according to Equifax, a Canadian Credit Bureau, this is not true. A landlord can check your credit history with your full name, current address and birth date (if you are willing to give them that information).
This means that giving out your SIN for credit purposes is optional.
If a landlord is demanding that you provide them with your SIN, you can either refuse and maybe not get that apartment, or ask them how they will protect your SIN in their records, so that it is not easily accessible.
Find out more about how your SIN is used and who can ask for it.
Fill out the application form as completely as possible.
If the form is not complete, the landlord may use this as an excuse not to rent to you. For example, if you have no Canadian landlord references, do not leave that part of the application blank - write that you are a newcomer and have no Canadian references.
If you have a reference from your country of origin, offer it to the landlord. Completing the form fully will allow you to challenge the landlord if you are turned down unfairly.
If you are having trouble completing the application, ask the landlord or rental agent if you can take it away and bring it back later. That way you can have a friend or community worker help you complete the form. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.
For More Information
- What Tenants Need to Know About the Law - Topics covered include rent increases, deposits and other charges, repairs and maintenance, privacy, moving out, and eviction.
- Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) - Provides one-on-one advice and assistance to people who have experienced discrimination in their search for housing.
- A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act - Explains the most important sections of the RTA. Available in more than 10 languages.
- Landlord and Tenant Board - Provides information about the RTA and to resolve disputes between most residential landlords and tenants.
- CLEO - Landlord & Tenant Law - Find clear language publications on the rights of tenants in rental housing.