3.14 Personal Information
The law has recently changed. TRAC’s page on Personal Information says the following:
Landlords in BC must follow the Personal Information and Protection Act, which outlines the rules for collecting, using, storing, disclosing, and protecting a tenant’s personal information. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (OIPC) has developed a helpful guidance document that explains these rules in plain language.
According to the OIPC, landlords can always ask for the following information:
According to the OIPC, landlords can sometimes ask for the following information:
Whether or not a landlord can ask for this information will depend on the situation. For example, a landlord may be allowed to ask for pay stubs, bank statements, income tax assessments or consent for a credit check, but only if you are unable to provide satisfactory references or employment and income verification. Similarly, a landlord may be able to ask about your age if you are applying for housing reserved for seniors aged 55 or older.
SIN: If your landlord has grounds to ask for a credit check, they may also ask you for your birth date and SIN. To avoid having to provide your SIN, consider running a free credit check on yourself and distributing copies to potential landlords.
According to the OIPC, landlords can almost never ask for the following information:
If a landlord refuses to rent to you because you didn’t provide this personal information, you can consider filing a complaint with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC.