B.C. privacy commissioner releases FAQ on rights of renters and landlords
Can your landlord ask for your social insurance number?
Should you have to go through a criminal records check to rent an apartment?
As a tenant, do you have the right to see what personal information your landlord has collected about you?
According to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, these are questions frequently asked by both tenants and landlords.
The office released today (October 14) a document called Privacy Guidelines for Landlords and Tenants.
With answers to 38 common questions, the guide offers renters information about their rights under B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act.
According to the guide, tenants should “avoid disclosing” their social insurance number to landlords.
“It is not necessary for a landlord to request a tenant’s SIN in order to complete a credit check,” the guide states. “All that is required is the tenant’s full name, date of birth and current address. Therefore, landlords should not require that tenants provide their SIN on either tenancy application forms or rental agreements.”
The guide says that a landlord cannot ask for a criminal records check as a condition of renting someone an apartment.
Tenants may ask in writing to see the personal data that landlords have collected about them. A landlord has 30 days to respond, but may withhold information protected by legal privilege and other kinds of confidential data.
Here’s a copy of the guide:
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