Five Tips for New Tenants

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You’ve found the apartment of your dreams (or at least one that meets your needs and you can actually afford)? Here are some tips about requests that landlords sometimes make. Know your rights to be well prepared!

Yours rights as a future tenant

As a future tenant, you have some important rights!

Refuse to provide certain information

You can refuse to provide the landlord with personal information that’s not necessary for renting the apartment. For example, the landlord cannot ask you to provide a copy of your driver’s licence or your Medicare card.

Courts have also decided that it is generally unnecessary to provide your social insurance number to rent an apartment.

If the landlord refuses to rent you the apartment because you don’t wish to provide information that’s not necessary for renting the apartment, you can file a complaint with the Commission d’accès à l’information (access to information commission).

Refuse to pay a security deposit

It’s illegal for a landlord to ask for a security deposit, for example, to cover possible future damage to the apartment. Therefore, if the landlord requests such a deposit, you can refuse to pay it.

A landlord who requests such a deposit can be ordered to pay a fine by the Tribunal administratif du logement (formerly Régie du logement or rental board).

The landlord also has rights!

The landlord also has some rights you should be aware of.

Do a Credit check

The landlord has the right to check that you are able to pay the rent. Therefore, the landlord can do a credit check, at your expense and with your agreement.

Require you to pay the first month’s rent

The landlord can require you to pay the first month’s rent in advance when, you sign the lease. However, they can’t ask for any additional months in advance, whether it be the last month’s rent or the rent for any other month.

Prohibit animals — with some exceptions

A landlord can generally prohibit having animals in the building. However, your landlord cannot prohibit you from having an animal if you require it to assist you with a handicap or for therapeutic reasons. To learn more, please see our article: Pets in Rental Housing