Summer 2015 - Happy Canada Day from all of us at NOBLE!

BC ID Sample

Can we ask for ID?

Often times, owners will ask us about how we verify prospective tenants' identity and some will ask to have a copy of the tenant's identification.

In this issue of the NOBLE newsletter, we will reference the Privacy Guidelines for Landlords and Tenants from the OIPC (Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia) and explore this topic.

Can a landlord ask to see a tenant’s identification?

Yes. Typically, a landlord’s purpose for requesting to examine identification is simply to verify a tenant’s identity when entering into a rental or tenancy agreement and such a requirement is reasonable. Given that a landlord must be able to properly identify a tenant in the event that damage is caused to the property, an emergency occurs, or the tenant does not honour the lease, it may be reasonable to authenticate a tenant’s identity.

Can a landlord ask for a tenant’s driver’s licence number or photocopy the licence?

A landlord may not collect, copy or use a person’s driver’s licence information because it is not necessary in order to consider a prospective tenant’s rental application. A landlord may not refuse the application of a tenant who refuses to provide his or her driver’s licence. A landlord may ask to examine a person’s driver’s licence in order to verify the person’s identity. However, the landlord must not write down or photocopy this personal information.

So now we know! Even if we cannot have a photocopy of their identification as we are not allowed to according to the regulations, rest assured that the tenant’s identity is always verified.