What documents do landlords ask for?

Before they rent housing to you, landlords may ask you to provide references and documents that show you are responsible and have enough money to pay the rent.

They may ask you for:

  • Basic information about where you live and work.
  • A letter from your employer that states your annual income.
  • A bank statement that demonstrates you have enough money to pay the rent for a few months, that you haven't recently had a cheque come back as 'non-sufficient funds' (NSF) or that provides information for a credit check.
  • A guarantor or co-signor (someone who agrees to pay your rent in case you cannot or in case you leave the city or country).
  • References (the names and contact information of people who know you and can confirm that you would be a good tenant – for example, former landlords or friends).

Newcomers may have difficulty providing these documents. For references, some newcomers turn to a community agency, a social worker or a language instructor. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

It is much harder, however, to find someone who will be a guarantor. If you receive social assistance, you can show the landlord a copy of your family benefits statement to prove that you will have enough money to pay the rent every month.

A landlord cannot select or refuse you as a tenant based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (for example, children) or disability.

If you need help or more information you can contact a legal clinic or housing help centre in your area using Services Near Me.

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Last updated: March 15, 2022 4001276