Every landlord hopes to find good tenants to stay in their rental property.
When it comes time to choose a renter, landlords should do their due diligence in evaluating any potential renters since it’s in your best interest. No one wants to deal with the headache of a problem renter and this way you protect yourself and your investment by choosing the right person.
While landlords may want to know everything about a renter to help them make a decision, there are some questions landlords are not legally allowed to base their decision on.
What can a landlord ask renters about?
When a landlord meets a potential tenant for the first time, they likely want to know as much about you as you want to know about the property.
Some questions they’re allowed to ask include what your current job is and how much income you earn in a year. While this may seem too personal to you, this helps a landlord evaluate whether you earn enough to consistently pay rent on time. Landlords may also ask you to provide proof of employment from your employer since this verifies your job situation.
To learn more about a person’s financial situation, landlords are legally allowed to ask a potential renter for written permission for a credit check. While a person’s income gives landlord’s idea of how much money the renter earns, the credit check paints a better picture of the amount of debt a person is responsible for and whether they can afford their debt payments and expenses with their income. This helps a landlord ensure they won’t be stiffed on their monthly rent.
The number of people living in the space and who they are is also a question your landlords can ask. If there are other adults, a landlord may ask for their proof of employment as well. All homes are built in a way that follows health and fire safety regulations and landlords will need to know the number of people living on the property to ensure they’re follow these laws.
While renters see owning pets or smoking as their own personal choices, a landlord is allowed to ask a tenant these questions since they could be concerned that these choices will affect their property value. Landlords aren’t allowed to charge a monthly pet rent, but they can charge a pet damage deposit to renters. Each province and territory has its own pet deposit legislation, so be sure to check out details on what’s legally allowed.
A landlord may also ask for a reference, which could be your past landlord, and their contact information since they’ll want to learn more about how you are as a tenant. They might ask your previous landlord whether you paid your rent on time, whether they received many complaints while you were staying there or whether you took care of the property.
What can landlords not ask renters about?
There are some queries landlords aren’t allowed to ask potential renters about since they could infringe on a person’s human rights.
Here are a few examples:
- Do you plan to have more children?
- What is your ethnic background, religion or sexual preference?
- Will your family be visiting?
- What is your Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
- Are you married, single or divorced?
Visit Renting Toronto for listings on available places for rent in Toronto. Before looking for a place to live, first have a good idea on what you want to look for. Our company has been in the business of placing competent, qualified tenants in owners and landlord’s properties since 1999 and owners have the final say on all prospective tenants.