Learn about credit checks

Before a landlord rents you a place, they might want to do a credit check to see if you usually pay your bills on time.

A landlord does a credit check by getting a copy of your credit report. A credit report is a detailed list of your debts, your bill-paying history, and other information about you.

A bad credit history means that you have had trouble paying your bills in the past. A landlord can decide not to rent to you if you have a bad credit history.

A bad credit history is not the same as having no credit history. Many young people or newcomers to Canada have little or no Canadian credit history. If a landlord refuses to rent to you for this reason, that could be discrimination.

Ontario law says what can and cannot be included in a credit report.

A landlord needs your written permission to check your credit. Usually this permission is part of the rental application that you fill out.

To do a credit check the landlord will need your:

  • full name
  • current address
  • date of birth or your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A landlord cannot ask you for your date of birth but you can give it to the landlord to do the credit check.

A landlord can ask you for your SIN but you do not have to give it to them. They will need either your date of birth or your SIN to run a credit check.

If you choose to give your SIN, it is a good idea to ask the landlord how they will protect their records and keep your information safe.

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