I recently went through the process of ending my current tenancy and looking for a new place to live. During my hunt for a new home, I was filling out an application for a suite I really liked and noticed that there was a box for my social insurance number (SIN). There was the word “optional” in brackets at the top, but I was a little unclear about the rules for providing my SIN. I did a bit of digging and this is what I found…

Do I have to provide my SIN when applying for tenancy?

No. You are not required to provide your SIN when you submit a property rental application. So, in general terms, it’s really up to you as to whether or not you feel comfortable providing your SIN. Here’s a list on Service Canada’s website that explains the instances when you need to provide your SIN, and when you can say no.

While this issue falls outside of the areas we regulate, we want to share useful information with British Columbians. For this blog post, we sourced our information from Service Canada (Service Canada is responsible for issuing SINs).

About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.


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