What is PIPEDA?
PIPEDA is federal legislation that governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information and requires that it be treated in a manner that respects individual privacy. PIPEDA balances an individual's privacy rights against an organization's need to collect, use and disclose personal information for legitimate and serious purposes considered appropriate in the course of commercial activities or where required by law.
What is personal information?
Personal information is information, which relates to a person and allows that person to be identified. Examples of personal information include: gender, age, income, date of birth, driver's license number, current and previous home address, home phone number, family status, credit score, names of former landlords, social insurance number, income, employment details except the title, business address and business telephone number of an employee, names of family members and monthly rent.
What does this Policy encompass?
This Policy describes how the Landlord complies with PIPEDA including the purposes for which it collects uses and discloses personal information and your rights concerning your personal information. It is based on the principles in the Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information found in Schedule 1 to PIPEDA. This Policy applies to all personal information collected by the Landlord including, without limitation, that of applicants for residency and tenants.
The responsibility for the personal information under the Landlord's control rests with its Privacy Officer. The individual designated as Privacy Officer may change from time to time, however his or her identity will be updated in this policy when required.
Protecting your privacy is a top priority of the Landlord. Accordingly, procedures have been adopted to give effect to this Policy. The Landlord's employees have received training concerning this Policy and the procedures in place to implement it.
The Landlord will occasionally disclose personal information under its control to third parties, but only for an identified purpose set forth herein. When disclosing personal information, the Landlord uses contractual means to ensure that it is treated in accordance with PIPEDA by the third party.
Consent is required for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
The form of consent obtained by the Landlord varies depending on the sensitivity of the information requested and the reasonable expectations of the average tenant. Consent shall be implied for all purposes, unless the purpose dictates that express consent will be obtained.
The Landlord may collect, use or disclose your personal information without your consent in circumstances indicated in PIPEDA. For example, the Landlord may disclose personal information about a tenant to a collection agency for the purpose of collecting any rent that is owed by the tenant to the Landlord.
Leasing and Business Operations: Personal information is collected in order for the Landlord to operate its business as a landlord. This includes activities indicated in the lease agreement, other activities incidental to tenancy in the building (for example: responding to tenant inquiries, bringing or defending Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal claims, collecting rent or other amounts due, or informing tenants about various building rules and policies) and activities common to the running of all businesses such as collecting and retaining records for income tax purposes or providing receipts. A withdrawal of consent during the term of the lease or any renewal of it shall not absolve an individual from his or her obligations under the lease, including any amounts owning from an individual to the Landlord.
Consumer Reports: Personal information is collected for the purpose of conducting a credit check on applicants for tenancy. The credit check is a risk assessment tool used to ensure that an applicant will be able to make the monthly payments required to lease premises. Consent to the collection of personal information for the purpose of conducting a credit check will be requested on the application for accommodation or offer to lease premises. An applicant's refusal to provide information and consent to its use and disclosure for the purposes of conducting a credit check is grounds for the Landlord to refuse rental accommodation. The Landlord may also obtain a credit check in the event that the tenant is in arrears of rent or wishes to renew his/her tenancy agreement. The Landlord will retain the results of a credit check for a minimum of two and maximum of seven years following (i) a rejected application or (ii) the end of a tenancy.
References: (1) Personal information may be used to provide credit or rental-history references to third parties. (2) Personal information is collected in order for the Landlord to conduct a reference check during the application process. The reference check will include references concerning rental payments, cleanliness, noise violations and complaint history (the "Factors"). The reference check is an assessment tool used to determine an applicant's suitability to be a tenant of the Landlord based on the Factors. The refusal to provide reference names and telephone numbers and consent to their use and disclosure for the purpose of conducting a reference check is grounds for the Landlord to refuse rental accommodation. The Landlord will retain the results of a reference check for a minimum of two and a maximum of seven years.
Enforcement: Personal information is also collected for the purpose of enforcing any terms of the Tenancy Agreement or Tenancy Application or to act in respect of an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of the tenant.
Identification: Personal information is collected for the purposes of identification when the need arises. Consent may not be withdrawn for this purpose during the term of the lease of any renewal of it.
Collection of Personal Information
The types of personal information collected include: (i) information related to facilitating the tenancy including your name, proposed occupants, address, amount of rent paid, payment history, complaints, requests, etc.; (ii) information necessary to have a credit check conducted on you, including your social insurance number; (iii) information necessary to evaluate good tenancy such as current and past employment information, banking information and references from prior landlord; and (iv) information necessary to identify you such as telephone numbers, persons to contact in case of emergency, vehicle information, posted information and email addresses.
Transfer and Disclosure of Personal Information
Selling or Financing a Building: When the Landlord sells a building, or finances it, the personal information of the tenants of the building contained on the building's rent roll will be disclosed to the potential buyer or financer. The rent roll contains personal information including the location and size of leased premises, the amount of rent paid, if there are rental arrears or ever have been, and other similar information. The rent roll is used to calculate the value of a building. Disclosure of it to a buyer or a financer is essential to assess the risk involved in buying or financing the building. Withdrawal of consent to this disclosure during the term or the lease or any renewal of it is subject to the conditions of the lease which provide that a tenant agrees to the disclosure of rent roll information in connection with a sale or financing of the building in which the tenant is leasing property.
Co-Tenant's, Guarantor's Access Requests. Your personal information may be disclosed to a tenant with whom you have co-signed your lease, or a guarantor of your lease, if a request is made by that tenant or guarantor to access his or her personal information, or in the event we need to contact your guarantor to inform them of any obligation brought about by your lease.
Manager May Be Used: The Landlord may use a management company to operate its leasing business. The management company may differ depending on the building, and it may change from time to time. When a management company is used for a building, personal information of tenants in and applicants for tenancy in the building will be exchanged between the management company and the Landlord and may be collected, used and disclosed by either the management company and/or the Landlord for any of the purposes identified above. Withdrawal of consent to this disclosure during the term or the lease or any renewal of it is subject to the conditions of the lease, which provide that a tenant agrees to the disclosure of personal information to the Landlord's Manager.
Co-Owners: The Landlord may own one or more buildings in a co-ownership with one or more co-owners. The Co-owner may differ depending on the building, and it may change from time to time. When a building is owned in a co-ownership, the personal information of tenants in and applicants for tenancy in the building will be exchanged between the co-owner or co-owners and may be collected, used and disclosed by either the co-owner(s) for any of the purposes identified above.
Assessments: Pursuant to the Assessment Act (Ontario) your personal information must be disclosed to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation for the purpose of assessing the value of the property on which the building in which your leased premises are situate. This disclosure is made for the purpose of municipal taxation. Your consent for this purpose is not required, as this disclosure is required to comply with a provincial law.
Other Third Parties: In addition, the Landlord may disclose personal information to the following third parties:
Government Organizations (Municipal/Provincial/Federal);
Real Estate Agents;
The Landlord does not collect personal information indiscriminately. The Landlord limits the collection of personal information to that which is necessary for purposes it identifies.
The Landlord primarily collects personal information directly from you. However, personal information may also be collected from other sources including credit bureaus, employers, previous landlords, referees, other tenants or other people who represent that they have the right to disclose the information.
The personal information that the Landlord collects from you may be disclosed directly by you to the Landlord, generated by your transactions with the Landlord, or generated from the Landlord's observations.
Personal information will be kept as accurate, complete and up-to-date as necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used. You are responsible for informing the Landlord about changes to your personal information as appropriate. The Landlord encourages you to examine your lease agreement, application for lease and any other documents that you submit to the Landlord that contain the personal information in order to ensure that the information is accurate. If you have concerns about the accuracy of your personal information collected by the Landlord, contact the Landlord at the phone number and address indicated at the end of this document.
The Landlord protects personal information against loss and theft as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying use or modification, with security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information. Files are protected by keeping them in areas restricted to employees, and/or in locked filing cabinets or rooms. The Landlord's employees have been made aware of the need to safeguard personal information and they only access personal information on an as-needed basis. The Landlord also uses firewalls and passwords to protect electronic personal information.
The Landlord's policies and practices related to the management of personal information are contained in this Policy, which it makes available through the Privacy Officer on request.
Upon written request, the Landlord will divulge the existence; use and any disclosure made of personal information about you and will give you access to your information except in limited circumstances prescribed by law. Written requests should be delivered to the Privacy Officer at the address at the end of this Policy.
The Landlord will respond to an access request within thirty (30) days, unless an extension of time is required, in which case, pursuant to PIPEDA, the response may take up to an additional thirty (30) days. A fee for reasonable costs incurred to respond to the request may be charged to you by the Landlord, provided that you are informed of the fee in advance and do not withdraw your request.
The Landlord may require additional information from you in order to locate certain personal information. If this is the case, the additional information will not be used for any purpose other than locating the personal information.
Should your information on file with the Landlord be proved to be incomplete or incorrect, it will be amended as required. Where necessary, the amended information will be transmitted to third parties that use the information.
The Landlord will not comply with access requests:
If compliance would reveal information about a third party;
If the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege;
If compliance would reveal confidential commercial information; and
If the information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process.
If the Landlord does not comply with an access request, it will inform you of the reasons for such refusal and of your right to appeal the Landlord's decision to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Any concerns respecting the Landlord's compliance with PIPEDA should be addressed to the Privacy Officer. A Privacy Complaint Form for making complaints or Personal Information Request Form for obtaining access and requesting the correction of personal information is available from our Branch offices. The Landlord will investigate and respond to written complaints within thirty (30) business days of receiving a complaint. If a complaint is found to be justified the Landlord will take appropriate measures, including, if necessary, amending its policies and procedures.