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What information can a landlord ask me for when I apply to rent a place?

Question
What information can a landlord ask me for when I apply to rent a place?

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Reviewed: 
August, 2016
Answer

When you want to rent an apartment or house, you usually need to fill out an application or give some information to the landlord. Before they decide whether or not to rent to you, a landlord can ask:

  • what your income is
  • if you work, and where you work
  • how many people will be living with you
  • the names of people who will be living with you
  • if you have pets
  • if you smoke
  • permission to do a credit check
  • references from past landlords
  • in some cases, if you have a guarantor or co-signer

What a landlord is not allowed to ask

A landlord is not allowed to ask questions that could be used to discriminate against you. For example, they are not allowed to ask:

  • if you are pregnant or have children
  • if you plan to have children, or if you plan to have more children
  • if you are married, single, or divorced
  • your religion or ethnic background
  • your sexual orientation
  • if you get welfare or other public assistance
  • if you have a disability
  • your age (even if you are 16 or 17 as long as you are living away from your parents)
  • if you are a Canadian citizen

If the landlord asks any of these questions or won’t rent to you because of your answers, this could be discrimination.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)

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