What documents can your landlord ask for in Ontario?

by Carter Toni

Your landlord can ask for many documents when you’re renting a house or property, but they can’t ask you anything they want. In Ontario, we all have human rights, which means there are restrictions on what a landlord can ask you.

This is true both during the rental application process and once you have been accepted as a tenant. Let’s look at Ontario’s usual rental application procedure and discuss what your landlord can ask you and what they are not allowed to ask you.

Before we get started, we should mention that renters that are looking for quotes for affordable tenant insurance in Toronto can start their search by contacting a Surex advisor.

Continue reading to learn the answer to the question, “what documents can a landlord ask for in Ontario?”

What information can a landlord ask for Ontario?

When applying for a rental property, you must fill out a rental application. If a prospective tenant wants to be considered for a rental property, whether it’s a condominium, an apartment, a house, or another type of dwelling, they’ll need to complete these forms.

You will be asked to share specific information with the landlord as part of your application. The landlord could want to know things like:

· Your given name

· Your previous rental history

· Your work experience

· What is your present job situation?

· Approval of a credit check

It is legal for a landlord to conduct a credit check in Ontario before agreeing to rent a property. The landlord will require your name, address, and date of birth to perform a credit check.

They can potentially ask for your social security number. It is lawful, but you are not obligated to supply it by law. A landlord might use this information to assist with credit checks, but if supplying your SIN number makes you uncomfortable, they can use other information.

A landlord can also ask for the following information in an application:

· Previously used addresses

· Email addresses of references

· Drivers’ license number

· Criminal background checks

· Emergency information about how to contact us

· Income

· Financial documents to support debt information

Is it legal for a landlord to demand bank statements?

Your bank account number and other banking information such as statements and pay stubs may be requested by your landlord. This information is frequently sought to confirm that you can afford the rental property’s monthly payments.

You are not compelled by law to provide this information, but it may influence the landlord’s desire to rent to you.

Is it legal for landlords to inquire if I have a pet?

Yes, landlords can inquire if you have pets, even though this is a sensitive topic in Ontario. There are no lawful documents or stipulations that indicate otherwise as of yet.

That means if a landlord does not want pets in their home, they can reject an applicant or possible renter.

The landlord cannot ban the presence of pets in a dwelling. They cannot, for example, inform you that “no pets are permitted.”

You may not be ousted from your home if you have a pet once you have become a renter. Any landlord who tries to terminate your tenancy agreement because you have a pet breaks the law.

So, while a landlord can technically refuse an applicant because they have a pet, they are not allowed to do so legally. Furthermore, a tenant who has possession of a property cannot be requested to vacate because they have a pet.

Is it legal for a landlord to inquire if you get public assistance?

No, all landlords must adhere to the human rights code. Tenants or potential tenants may not be discriminated against because they receive public assistance under this code.

It makes no difference how you get the money as long as you can make your monthly payments. As a result, a landlord may not inquire about your status as a recipient of public assistance during or after the application process.

In a rental application, what can’t a landlord ask for?

Everyone has their own set of basic human rights. As a result, there are several things that a landlord may not ask for.

The most prevalent source of concern is a landlord who requests any information that could lead to discrimination. This is not permitted.

In other words, a landlord may not inquire about your ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or citizenship. They may also refrain from inquiring about your personal life, such as your marital status or whether or not you have children.

What should you do if a landlord asks for illegal information?

You can file a human rights complaint with the human rights tribunal of Ontario if you believe a landlord has sought illegal information or if you believe a landlord has discriminated against you. 

When it comes to renting, the only approach you should adopt is one of complete honesty. Furthermore, the tenant screening procedure, which includes reviewing references and doing credit checks, is likely to unearth rental and financial history lies.

Can landlords assess a tenant’s rental history?

Yes, as part of the tenant screening process, landlords will contact a tenant’s references (prior landlords) to verify rental history. While this isn’t required, it’s good practice and demonstrates that your possible landlord is cautious.

They want to know that the renter was responsible, respectful, and paid rent on time. If you don’t have a rental history, you can still demonstrate your reliability by supplying the landlord with sufficient financial and job documents.

Is it possible for your landlord to know how much money you have in your bank account?

No, your landlord will not be able to see how much money you have in your bank account. If you give your landlord your bank account number, they are obligated to keep it secret, and your bank will not disclose your balance to them.

If you don’t have pay slips or other means to establish your financial status as a tenant — for example, if you don’t have any banking history in Ontario or are a student — you may want to give bank statements to a possible landlord.

In Ontario, can a landlord refuse to rent to someone?

Yes, landlords in Ontario can refuse to rent to people as long as they obey the Ontario human rights code and residential tenancies act, protecting renters from discrimination based on age, race, family status, and other factors.

For example, a landlord may refuse to rent you an apartment if they believe your income is insufficient to cover the rent. However, they cannot refuse you a unit because you have young children.

What can a landlord do with my personal data?

Your safety and security should be a major consideration whenever you give out personal information. You should not give out personal information to someone you don’t know.

Landlords who have access to your personal information are obligated by law to adhere to strict security rules.

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