So one of my daughters wants to rent a new place. This place seems to be akin to Fort Knox or some other high-security establishment. Not only do they want a Guarantor to sign on the dotted line that they will be responsible for the rent should there be any problems with the renter(s) (i.e. my daughter), they also want my:
- Social Insurance Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Banking Information for an account, which I assume they will attempt to extract unpaid rent from.
They want this information to do a “Credit Check” on the Guarantor, and my big question is: what else will you do with this information? How will you keep it safe?
Why This Information?
I have checked on-line and one site claims that asking for a SIN number is an optional thing (as is the Driver’s License Number, in my opinion). A Credit check can be done with my name, date of birth and such. The Government of Canada Services website says Who can ask for my SIN and who don’t. Now the site does go to lengths to say it is not Illegal to ask for your SIN. However, they discourage you to give out this information.
I was in an interesting quandary. I understand that the Landlord (a corporation) does not trust my daughter. She was young and had no real Financial Background that they could check. They wanted someone trustworthy to stand up and say, “Yes I am the money behind this young lady” (or something like that). Why must I give them all this information to prove I am trustworthy?
My guess is, if I say, NO, to this invasion of my privacy, that my daughter will not get this rental unit. I may end up capitulating, but not before I ask the Landlord for a written assurance (signed by them) that this information will be protected, an explanation of how it will be stored (and maybe who has access to it), and finally an explanation of when and why this information will be used.
My daughter may not talk to me for a while if she does not get this rental unit.
Am I being unreasonable here? Any landlords out there care to comment on whether this is a common practice. I have not rented anywhere in 24 years.