Landlords collect too much information
Crawling through social media websites, or using a google search, to find out information about tenants, or prospective tenants is not legal.
Acting information and privacy commissioner Drew McArthur says low vacancy rates seem to have prompted landlords to believe they can collect whatever information they want from prospective tenants…….
McArthur says in some cases, landlords required applicants to provide detailed bank statements, or for consent to conduct a credit check, or for information protected by the Human Rights Code, such as marital status.
He says , if a tenant has references, none of that information is necessary.
McArthur says some credit reporting agencies provide tenancy reports that only describe a tenant’s rent payment history and other tenancy information.
If a reporting agency offers a product to landlords that only includes information about a tenant’s name, place of residence, previous places of residence, and their paying habits in relation to those places of residence (but not credit history), then a landlord would always be authorized to collect this information.
This type of report is not the same as a credit history report, which is generally not authorized to be collected by a landlord because a full credit check includes a large volume of sensitive information
According to the last census there were just over 7800 renters in the Cowichan Valley.
By the way, employers are also not allowed to do “reference” checks on prospective employees by a google search of their name, nor by crawling through their social media pages.