Getting Your Personal Information Back from your Landlord

While applying for an apartment your landlord asked you to submit a copy of your driver’s licence and a copy of both your passport and study permit. You’ve just found out that collecting this kind of personal information is illegal, but you’ve already given it away, what can you do? There is a three step process in order to access the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec (CAIQ); the governmental agency in Québec responsible for these matters.

Instructions

  1. Note specifically what kind of illegal information your landlord took from you; some common requests include: your social insurance number (SIN), a copy of your driver’s licence and its number, your Healthcare card, passport, and bank account numbers.
  2. Write a demand letter to your landlord and send it by registered mail; consider using the first letter form for a Request to Access Personal Information from the CAIQ as a template. This letter will inform your landlord that you want copies of any documents that contain your personal information.
  3. When you have received copies of the documents that contain your personal information send the second letter to the same address asking for either the destruction of said information.
  4. If your landlord refuses, partially or in full, you can file a claim at the CAIQ to have the government intervene and examine the situation; make sure to include copies of the original letter you sent your landlord and send the third letter directly to the CAIQ.

FAQ

What if my landlord doesn’t respond to my letter?

If you followed the steps above and you received your registered letter returned unopened, keep the envelope and make sure to keep it in a safe place. You can use this to show that your demand was not responded to. You can still file at la CAIQ to have your demand heard.

What if I signed a clause or contract saying I agreed to give my landlord this information?

Do not worry; even if you sign a clause saying you agree to these terms, your rights under the law take precedent over any contract you may have signed.