Landlords getting too personal, says B.C. privacy commissioner

B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner says some landlords are going too far when it comes to asking prospective tenants for personal information.

“Low vacancy rates may prompt landlords to believe they can collect whatever information they want,” Drew McArthur, acting information and privacy commissioner, said in a statement.

The office examined personal information collected by 13 landlords during the tenancy application process.

It released its findings in a report published Thursday. It found in some cases landlords were asking applicants to provide months’ worth of detailed bank statements, consent to do a credit check or even ask whether the applicant was single or married, which violates the Human Rights Code.

David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord B.C., said the majority of landlords respect the privacy of tenants and in cases where they don’t, it’s not malicious, but due to a lack of information.

“I think there is a lot of lack of knowledge, when you don’t have knowledge you don’t necessarily do the right thing,” he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/landlord-too-much-information-watchdog-1.4588430