Learn about credit checks
Question & AnswerWhat information can a landlord ask me for when I apply for a place?
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.