Our guide to Landlord Credit Bureau for Landlords

To date we have only explored the Landlord Credit Bureau from a tenant perspective. What we recognized as a missing component was outreach to landlords who may be considering using the service or have already signed up. They too deserve to hear about LCB from people who aren’t trying to sell them LCB.

Landlords using the LCB need to understand the possible risks and liabilities associated with the services and advice they are being offered. To that end we first want to state very clearly that landlords looking to do business with the Landlord Credit Bureau should seek professional legal advice before proceeding to ensure they will be compliant with both Provincial and Federal laws. Engaging a service like this is not without potential risks and you want to make sure you as the landlord are protected.

Here are some examples you might want to bring up with your lawyer when you meet to to talk about how the LCB can be integrated into your business:

The LCB advises landlords that they do not have to get consent from their tenants to use the service.

If you were thinking there was a “but” coming, you’d be correct. Because how you can use LCB for a given tenant can change depending on whether they consent or not according to the LCBs own legal framework page. If consent was not an issue and not necessary, why is it that the next section breaks down into categories for consenting tenants and non-consenting tenants? Shouldn’t there be no effective difference if consent is not an issue? Does it already sound like things are more complicated than they appear in the summary?

This is fairly uncontroversial. If both a Landlord and Tenant want to agree to this kind of reporting and understand exactly what the Landlord Credit Bureau is and what their rights are then this seems to be the ideal situation – everybody agrees and is properly informed.

The situation presented here by LCB is not without its possible complications though. The claim that including the LCB Application and Lease Clauses will put you in the clear isn’t so clear – in Ontario, for example, the Province has created a standard lease agreement that can only be altered under certain circumstances. You can’t just alter the language of it as you see fit, there are rules governing how you can go about modifying the agreement and what parts you can and cannot modify.

If a landlord changed the language in the standard Ontario lease and did not negotiate this change with the tenant they could find themselves at risk. This is one example in one Province.

Make sure you are getting your lease agreements checked out by a lawyer to ensure you are compliant with Provincial housing laws.

A second point of contention is in the assumption that a tenant logging in to the tenant portal gives consent by accepting the terms and conditions presented to them. This is also a more complicated issue than the LCB is making it out to be here.

Anyone can set up Terms and Conditions for using their services and put whatever they’d like in there. People can agree to those terms (often without reading them). This does not actually mean those terms and conditions are enforceable or even legal to begin with and the only way to actually find out is to test them in court. So despite your tenant signing in to the portal and agreeing to the Terms and Conditions it is something that can still be challenged in court or in other tribunals and in the end may not be lawful or enforceable. Who is at risk now in this situation? You are.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that if tenants have to sign in to the portal to find out what the service is all about and see what is on file about them, doesn’t burying consent to enable the LCB to do all of this stuff in the Terms and Conditions when you sign in seem a bit deceptive? Tenants get an email saying they’ve been signed up to some kind of credit bureau by their landlord so they click on the link to find out just what is going on and find themselves essentially tricked into consent. It’s a practice that is bound to see a legal challenge.

This is where things start to get confusing. We were told we didn’t need to get consent but now this seems to be pretty clear that if you do not have consent, LCB functions as a spreadsheet for the landlord. That’s it. You’re allowed to report payments for internal use only.

It’s arguable that putting the tenants data on the platform at all is sharing that data with a third party and could form the basis of a legal challenge. It also remains to be seen how LCB firewalls off this data from the rest of its dataset and whether their implementation is effective.

Now what is all this stuff about debt? We need to get to the next paragraph to examine this claim a little more closely.

Very important to note that this piece right here is the Secret Sauce the LCB is claiming to have that allows it to do what no other tenant screening service in the country does.

What they are presenting here is a legal theory – that these clauses in the PIPEDA enable them to act without tenant consent and these claims are simply untested. LCB brags they have had zero complaints (another claim we take issue with) as if that is a virtue when what they are really saying is that this whole legal framework has never been taken for a test drive. Nobody has given the tires a kick.

Provincial housing laws and tribunals govern how things like debt are assigned and ordered for collection. This theory they are floating about collecting debt, investigating breach of contract, fighting fraud and all that are going to come up against Provincial laws governing residential tenancies.

Generally speaking, unpaid rent and other arrears related to a residential tenancy are not considered a debt until there is a judgment from a tribunal or small claims court and an order for the tenant to pay up. Until then, it’s a dispute over terms of a private contract. Claiming a tenant owes you money and then reporting them to LCB without their consent and in turn harming their credit before you have a legal order in your hands could expose you to risk. Before taking any kind of enforcement step like this make sure you consult the tenancy laws in your area and proceed through the housing tribunals that are set up for this purpose.

What this arguably could be perceived as is an attempt by Landlord Credit Bureau to assist in circumventing your Provincial tenancy laws and the legal tribunals tasked with adjudicating them. The legal pitfalls here are numerous and landlords should tread carefully to protect themselves and get a legal opinion before proceeding.

Don’t just take our word for it though, here’s what a commenter who claims to be a landlord had to say about it under an article about the LCB in the Huffington Post:

Not that we think you should be taking legal advice from random internet commenters, or even from us. What we are doing is illustrating that things aren’t as cut and dried as LCB would have you believe and you need to seek professional legal advice before proceeding.

But wait, they claim they will provide free legal defence if someone files suit against you for using their services. Surely that means the service is safe to use, they are assuming all of the risk?

Let’s unpack some of this and see.

This is a completely new feature they are claiming. It didn’t exist on their site until sometime after November of 2020.

If you visit the Legal Defence Page what you learn is that you need to be a premium member and meet a bunch of other qualifications before they will cover you. We’re planning a deeper dive into this new feature of theirs so watch for it.

A few quick points on this section though:

  1. Again, zero complaints does not mean the service is legal. It doesn’t even mean the legal framework is strong, potentially the opposite. What they are telling you is that all the legal theory they are claiming enables and protects them (and you) is just that – theory that hasn’t been tested in court. Do you want to be their test case?
  2. This section about misuse of the platform really needs to be called out here because Landlord Credit Bureau themselves are the biggest misusers of the platform by far. Landlord Credit Bureau CEO Zachary Killam is also in the landlord business with his stake in LiveWell Property Management. This relationship is exploited to harvest data from LiveWell tenants without their consent. The ethical problems raised by this relationship are huge and potentially criminal in nature. This is a gross misuse of their platform and they are the main perpetrators.
  3. Continuing on the subject of misuse, the LCB has refused to comply with the Consumer Reporting Act and provide details of the data they have on file for tenants when asked by that tenant. I know this because they did it to me and to other neighbours of mine. They also don’t provide information about the tenants rights regarding security freezes anywhere on their public facing page despite a legal obligation to do so.

Recall that LCB is connected to LiveWell Property Management. How do they propose to impartially arbitrate disputes involving these tenants? The credit bureau is also the creditor. Do you think LiveWell tenants can expect a fair hearing when it financially benefits LCB to arbitrate against them? Is LCB really going to investigate LiveWell?

What are these mechanisms they claim tenants can use? I’ve had disputes with LCB and all I got in return was utterly rude, dismissive treatment and a refusal by them to actually comply with the law. I’ve already filed complaints, COVID has utterly derailed that process.

If the LCB are flippant about their legal obligations in this area, what makes you sure they aren’t also being flippant about their obligations elsewhere? Landlords need to ask tough, probing questions and get legal insight or else end up getting dragged into a whirlwind of risks.

Finally I want to unpack this section a little bit because it deals with Ontario and I can speak to it. They make similar arguments for other jurisdictions which I suspect suffer from similar weaknesses.

Again, right off the bat we can see that while they are saying consent isn’t needed they identify consensual scenarios and non-consensual scenarios. They say they PIPEDA enables you to report for certain purposes (which we will unpack a bit as well) but you could take the same facts and say that the PIPEDA doesn’t allow you to share data without consent, except under specific circumstances. They choose enabling language because it sounds like their consent argument still holds up this way. But does it? Aren’t they implicitly admitting they need consent to do anything without invoking special circumstances?

We’ve already talked about debt and how housing tribunals and small claims courts typically have to award an order to pay before a landlord can pursue debt collection and credit reporting. So how is this advice really helpful to the landlord? If you have an order for the tenant to pay arrears you already have legal mechanisms to pursue collection. What is the value you are getting here? Will LCB attempt to collect on behalf of the landlord? If not, how does reporting without consent assist in collecting the debt? The only utility in doing so seems to be for the purposes of blacklisting a tenant to other landlords subscribing to the service and that is an illegal practice.

How many landlords out there are “investigating a breach of agreement or contravention of the laws”? Would you consider yourself even qualified to do so? Or how about “detecting fraud or preventing fraud”? Again, these seem like clauses which are there to assist professional fraud investigators associated with the government and financial institutions, not somebody just trying to make a living as a landlord. These defences, just like the rest of them, are untested legal theory being projected by the LCB. Ask yourself if you want to pay a monthly fee to end up a test case.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a cross section of concerns that hopefully give you some things to consider.

We aren’t telling you whether you should or shouldn’t use the service. That’s entirely up to you as a landlord and businessperson. What we are trying to say with all of this is that this service hasn’t been legally stress tested and the risks are currently unknown. You should absolutely be getting legal advice from an accredited professional you trust, not a company trying to sell you a product or even a tenant trying to make sense of all of this. Talk to other landlords in your community and get their perspective. Do your due diligence and keep yourself protected.

Have questions? Want to share your experience as a landlord? Drop us a line: info@landlordcreditbureaufacts.com

UPDATE 01/28: We received some feedback about part of this article which was entirely fair and want to expand on.

The parts where we talked about debt and needing an order to properly enforce a debt really came off poorly and probably left people with the impression that an order is required in order to report to collections and/or a credit bureau and that’s simply not the case. Your landlord can try and enforce a debt as soon as there is an an arrears.

What we failed to communicate properly was that without an order from a court or tribunal the debt is a claim that risks a legal challenge from the accused debtor.

This doesn’t really come across in the piece so we wanted to be sure to correct things and try and be more precise. We are leaving the original text in place for historical purposes.

Landlord Credit Bureau in potential CRA violation by not informing tenants of their rights

According to the Consumer Reporting Act Section 12.5 the Landlord Credit Bureau is required to publish consumer information about the security alert and security freeze processes on their website. Specifically the Act calls for descriptions of the processes and instructions for consumers on how they can request them.

However when we conducted a site wide search for the term “security freeze” using Google there was nothing to be found as of the publication of this post. Browsing their legal page and other resource pages on the site we could find no mention of alerts or freezes.

It’s certainly possible we are just not finding the page they are legally required to provide so if anyone can find this information we’d appreciate a link and will update the story with that link.

It is also possible this information is located somewhere inside the LCB site which users would have to sign in to their service to see. That said, tenants should not have to first create an account and accept terms of service before being able to access information about their legal rights involving that service.

If the LCB would like to we’d be happy if they linked tenants to our instructions for enacting a security freeze.

Marv Steier Out at LCB?

According to a change act filed to the Landlord Credit Bureau articles of incorporation on November 2nd, Marv Steier no longer holds any corporate offices with LCB. Every listed office is now held by Zach Killam.

We have updated our post detailing the who’s who of the company to reflect this change. As to what it represents it’s difficult to tell .

It doesn’t necessarily mean Mr. Steier is no longer employed in some capacity or receiving dividends of some kind, all we can conclude based on the limited information at hand is that he is no longer legally an officer of the corporation. Did he get bought out? Was there a rift? Or did he just want to finally get some peace and quiet after transitioning the business to new ownership?

As we learn more about the situation we will update this story but for now it appears that there has been no official statement from LCB on this corporate reshuffling. Neither does there appear to be anything from Mr. Steier.

If Mr. Steier or anyone from LCB would like to clarify on this matter they are welcome to contact us at: info@landlordcreditbureaufacts.com

It’s our goal to provide accurate information and we welcome clarification or correction from LCB or Mr. Steier.

We did happen to notice a little something on his LinkedIn account that seems to be a recent change. On his listed work experience it still has him employed by LCB at “present” but just underneath you can see a status of “Happily Retired”.

Could it be that this man of many careers has finally found some time to rest? If so, congratulations on your retirement Mr. Steier. We wish you all the best.

Getting Started

Welcome

You probably have questions about LCB


Just found us? Want to get the full story on what the Landlord Credit Bureau is and what your rights as a tenant are? Here is an index to our introductory guides (all links open in a new tab).


Key Stories

Essential reporting


Media Coverage

Getting the word out

A Good Kick in the Ass for the Not-So-Good Tenants”

  • Danielle Paradis reporting for Canadaland

CANADALAND#365 An App For Landlords To Blacklist Tenants

  • Jesse Brown broadcasting for Canadaland

 ‘Consent Is Not Required’: List Of ‘Positive And Negative’ Tenant Behaviour Raises Privacy, Discrimination Concerns

  • Jack Hauen reporting for Queens Park Briefing

‘Free benefit’ or blacklisted? Hamilton tenants and landlords clash over private information

  • Sebastian Bron reporting for The Hamilton Spectator

LCB has responded to the Spectator article. You can read about it here:


Latest Posts

The newest posts from LCB Facts


Results

What we’ve accomplished so far

  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner investigation into Landlord Credit Bureau (findings pending)
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner investigation into LiveWell Property Management (findings pending)
  • Ministry of Government and Community Services investigation into Landlord Credit Bureau for Consumer Reporting Act violations (findings pending)
  • Exposed the secret field in the LCB Tenant Record viewable only by landlords and forced LCB to change its policy
  • After our reporting LCB stopped claiming EI3PA data security certification
  • Engagement from NDP MPP Jessica Bell, Opposition Housing Critic
  • Engagement from NDP MPP Andrea Horvath, Leader of the Opposition (MPP for our riding)
  • Engagement from NDP MP Matthew Green (MP for our riding)
  • Engagement from Hamilton Ward 2 Councillor Maureen Wilson
  • Engagement from Hamilton Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann

#Label

Spectator editorial: Hamilton councillor’s encampment decision will only make life more difficult for the homeless residents and advocates working on their behalf. That is not progress.
http://torstar.co/sCeI50FRhae

Announcement: We have updated several guidance documents to reaffirm some of the types of personal information generally considered sensitive in the context of the PIPEDA. https://priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/news-and-announcements/2021/an_210813/

I wrote about our building being up for sale and how our displacement is being promoted as “upside potential” to buyers.

https://www.blog.landlordcreditbureaufacts.com/my-building-is-for-sale-and-displacement-is-upside-potential/

Load More…

Have more questions? Feedback? Email us at: info@landlordcreditbureaufacts.com

Who is the Landlord Credit Bureau?

According to corporate filings, 2642985 ONTARIO INC has two officers, Zachary Killam and Marvin Steier.

UPDATE: Marv Steier is no longer listed on their corporate profile and was removed from all offices according to a change act filed on November 2nd 2020. Mr. Steier’s current relationship to the Landlord Credit Bureau is unknown but we are investigating.

Zac Killam CEO of Landlord Credit Bureau

From the LinkedIn bio for Zach Killam:

After acquiring a substantial array of experience as a corporate lawyer, coupled with a passion for strategy and entrepreneurship, Zac shifted his focus to business development and leading ideas across the elusive canyon to reality.

Top Forty Under 40 winner, Zac has built several businesses including Canada’s largest taxi advertising network and the 2nd largest of its kind in the world, a rapidly growing multi-family real estate business, and a PropTech company.

Zac’s experience includes:
building a national and international foundation of telecommunication, regulatory, video content, technology and advertising relationships, while simultaneously attracting top tier talent and funding;
– raising significant expansion capital from angel investors and private equity partners;
– negotiating international partnership and licensing rights with companies based in China and Australia;
– securing ground breaking regulatory approvals with governments;
– building large networks of industry and stakeholder partnerships across Canada, the US and abroad;
– product design and creation;
– systems design and implementation;
– and driving growth across all verticals.


Zac has been in featured in the Globe & Mail, Financial Post, Financial Post Magazine, Financial Post Executive Podcast, Marketing Magazine, Business in Vancouver, News 1010 Radio, News 1130 Radio, Media in Canada, Global TV, Toronto Sun, Tech Vibes, Breakfast Television, Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal. 

Currently, according to corporate filings, Zachary is the President, Secretary and treasurer of Landlord Credit Bureau as well as a Director of Live Well Property Management.

This means that Zach Killam is running a property management business where he acts as a residential landlord while at the same time running a supposedly impartial third party credit bureau. The conflict of interest situation here is very striking – if you are a tenant of Mr. Killam in one of his Live Well properties you are automatically getting signed up for the Landlord Credit Bureau and Killam would have a hand in arbitrating any disputes a tenant might raise against Live Well Properties reporting to the bureau. This would be like if Equifax also owned a bank that lent money. The people tasked with managing your credit should never be your creditors.

Marv Steier is a former RCMP officer turned landlord in his retirement.

UPDATE: Marv Steier is no longer listed on the LCB corporate profile and was removed from all offices according to a change act filed on November 2nd 2020. We are maintaining this section for historical purposes only. Mr. Steier’s current relationship to the Landlord Credit Bureau is unknown but we are investigating.

From his LinkedIn profile:

Marv is a retired a Police Officer (RCMP) from 1970-1990 10 of those yrs were as a Fraud & Serious Crimes Investigator.

In 1990 Marv joined the Insurance Corporation of BC ( S.I.U.) Investigating insurance fraud.

It was in 2000 that Marv decided it was time to become an Entrepreneur which he had always wanted to do, but hesitant in giving up a guaranteed pay check.

TVS Tenant Verification Service www.tenantverification.com was started in 2000 with the assistance of his wife Phyllis. She ran the office in 2001 while Marv went back to work with Royal Bank of Canada-Corporate Security Div. doing Fraud Investigations across Western Canada. Steady pay cheque!

After 1 1/2 yrs TVS began to do well with the addition of a USA market, Marv quit his RBC job and has been employed full time as CEO/President of TVS ever since.

As the saying goes you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good! There is a lot of truth to that and…as an old Serious Crimes Boss use to say, “make your own breaks boys.” That is also very true.

In 2016 TVS was acquired by a U.S. company.

www.landlordcreditbureau.ca (canada) and .com (USA) is the latest venture that benefits landlords and tenants. The LandlordCreditBureau is the first 3rd party company in Canada to report rent payments to a Credit Bureau, Equifax.

In 2018 Marv partnered with Zac Killam, an extraordinary young Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor, and now the CEO of LCB Services Ltd. aka www.landlordcreditbureau.ca (CDN) and www.landlordcreditbureau.com (USA) . Zac has and is making great strides in taking LCB to the next level. You should be hearing much more about US in 2020.

Marv enjoys spending time with family and friends and staying fit.

Security Freeze – Your Best Tool Against the Landlord Credit Bureau

Currently the best possible way to secure your personal information from being used by the Landlord Credit Bureau and their customers is by using the Security Freeze provisions of the Consumer Reporting Act. This prevents the Landlord Credit Bureau from updating your file or sharing it with any other party. It effectively cripples the usefulness of your data to them.

From Section 12.4 of the Ontario Consumer Reporting Act

Security freeze

12.4 (1) A prescribed consumer reporting agency shall place a security freeze on the file of a consumer on or before the prescribed deadline if,

(a) the consumer has, in accordance with this section and any prescribed requirements, required the agency to place a security freeze on the file; and

(b) the consumer has complied with subsection (9) and any prescribed requirements. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Effect of security freeze

(2) During the period that a security freeze on a consumer’s file is in effect, the consumer reporting agency shall not disclose any credit or personal information about the consumer maintained by the agency, including any consumer scores, to any person. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Suspending a security freeze

(3) The consumer reporting agency shall suspend a security freeze on or before the prescribed deadline if,

(a) the consumer whose file is subject to the security freeze requires the suspension in accordance with this section and any prescribed requirements; and

(b) the consumer has complied with subsection (9) and any prescribed requirements, including any requirements respecting the duration of a suspension. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Same, duration

(4) If the consumer reporting agency is required to suspend a security freeze under subsection (3), the suspension shall be for the duration specified by the consumer. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Same, effect

(5) A security freeze that is suspended is not in effect. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Terminating a security freeze

(6) The consumer reporting agency shall terminate a security freeze on or before the prescribed deadline if,

(a) the consumer whose file is subject to the security freeze requires the termination in accordance with this section and any prescribed requirements; and

(b) the consumer has complied with subsection (9) and any prescribed requirements. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Expiry

(7) Unless terminated earlier, a security freeze expires at the end of the prescribed period, if any. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Disclosure despite a security freeze

(8) Despite subsection (2), the consumer reporting agency may, in accordance with any prescribed requirements, disclose to prescribed persons and entities such information as may be maintained by the agency about a consumer, if the information is prescribed. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Identification

(9) A consumer who requires a consumer reporting agency to place, suspend or terminate a security freeze shall provide the agency with a copy of any prescribed identification and a copy of any other identification the agency may reasonably require to verify the consumer’s identity. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Fees

(10) A consumer reporting agency shall not charge the consumer a fee for placing, suspending or terminating a security freeze unless the agency is permitted to do so by regulations. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

Information

(11) When a consumer requires that a security freeze be placed on his or her file, the consumer reporting agency shall provide the consumer with the information referred to in section 12.5 and the name and telephone number or email address of a person the consumer can contact for an explanation of the information. 2018, c. 7, s. 6.

What does it all mean?

In a nutshell, this means that if you request that the Landlord Credit Bureau place a security freeze on your account they can no longer disclose any information about you to any party until a time of your choosing or even indefinitely. The only exception is in the case of government investigation or if you select parties you permit LCB to report to.

The Landlord Credit Bureau may not charge you any fees to perform this security freeze.

All you need to do is present proper government issued photo ID when you make your request.

How do I request a security freeze from Landlord Credit Bureau?

Scan a copy of the photo identification you intend to use in order to make your request.


Send the following email with your scanned ID attached to: legal@landlordcreditbureau.com

EDIT: We are hearing that LCB is no longer responding to emails sent to the above address. Readers are reporting they are getting responses from support@landlordcreditbureau.com


To Whom It May Concern,

My name is (INSERT NAME HERE) and my photo ID is attached.

I formally request that the Landlord Credit Bureau apply a Security Freeze on my account in accordance with Section 12.4 of the Consumer Reporting Act. I request that this freeze have no set termination date.

Please advise when this action is completed.

Regards,

(YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION)

That’s it?

Yep. That’s pretty much it. Once this is done it is unlawful for Landlord Credit Bureau to share your data with anyone, protecting your personal information and circumventing the process the LCB uses to put you on their bad tenant list.

Make sure to keep copies of all of your correspondence for future reference.

Will this work even if I’ve accepted the Landlord Credit Bureau Terms of Service?

Yes. Regardless of whether you agreed to their terms or not or even if you used your LCB profile the Security Freeze can still be instated.

How can I find out what personal information the Landlord Credit Bureau has on file for me? Do I have a right to see it?

You absolutely have a right to see everything they have on file about you. The Consumer Reporting Act is very clear on this issue in Section 12 of the legislation.

From Section 12 (3):

(3) If a consumer makes a request under clause (1) (a), the consumer reporting agency shall, in accordance with this section, section 12.0.1 and any prescribed requirements, disclose to the consumer the following information:

  1. The nature and substance of all information in the consumer reporting agency’s files pertaining to the consumer at the time of the request.
  2. The sources of credit information.
  3. The name and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of every person on whose behalf the file has been accessed within the three-year period preceding the request.
  4. If the agency furnished a consumer report pertaining to the consumer within the one-year period preceding the request,

i. the names and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of the recipients of that report, and

ii. a copy of the consumer report if it was furnished in writing or the particulars of the content of the report if it was furnished orally.

  1. If the agency generated and furnished a consumer score, furnished a consumer score generated by another entity or furnished any other information evaluating the credit or personal information of the consumer within the one-year period preceding the request,

i. the names and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of the recipients of that score or information, and

ii. the score and the particulars of any other information evaluating the credit or personal information of the consumer.

  1. Any other information relating to the consumer score that may be prescribed. 2018, c. 7, s. 5.

The Landlord Credit Bureau is not allowed to place any conditions on this disclosure besides asking for proper identification to ensure they are disclosing to an authorized party. They also cannot charge you anything for this service.

How do I make the request?

You will need government issued photo ID to make this request.

Scan a copy of the photo identification you intend to use in order to make your request.


Send the following email with your scanned ID attached to: legal@landlordcreditbureau.com


To Whom it May Concern,

My name is (INSERT NAME HERE) and my photo identification is attached. I am making a formal request under Section 12.3 of the Consumer Reporting Act for disclosure of the following information:

  • The nature and substance of all information in the consumer reporting agency’s files pertaining to my account at the time of the request.
  • The sources of credit information.
  • The name and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of every person on whose behalf the file has been accessed within the three-year period preceding the request.
  • If the agency furnished a consumer report pertaining to my account within the one-year period preceding the request, the names and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of the recipients of that report, and a copy of the consumer report if it was furnished in writing or the particulars of the content of the report if it was furnished orally.
  • If the agency generated and furnished a consumer score, furnished a consumer score generated by another entity or furnished any other information evaluating my credit or personal information within the one-year period preceding the request, the names and contact information, including the address and the telephone number or email address, of the recipients of that score or information, and the score and the particulars of any other information evaluating the credit or personal information of the consumer.
  • Any other information relating to the consumer score that may be prescribed.


Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Regards,

(INSERT NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION HERE)

What if I don’t want the Landlord Credit Bureau to collect and share my personal information anymore? Can I get them to stop?

Yes you can.

Within the Consumer Reporting Act there is a legal mechanism all credit reporting agencies must comply with called a Security Freeze. This hold allows the consumer to freeze their file with a credit reporting agency for any reason, at any time and for any length. While subject to a Security Freeze your information cannot be disclosed to anyone with the exception of law enforcement in the course of an investigation. This will mean the LCB can no longer share any of your data with their customers.

For more information please see our complete guide to Security Freezes.

Can my Landlord sign me up for Landlord Credit Bureau without my consent?

Short answer: No.

Long answer:

This is a matter which LCB disputes. Landlord Credit Bureau claims landlords have the right to share your personal information with them without your prior consent. Federal privacy laws in Canada seem to disagree and those disagreements are supported by case literature.

From a 2016 finding from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in another case involving a bad tenant list and landlords sharing tenants personal information without express consent:

Principles 4.2, 4.3 and 4.3.2 of the Act deal with matters of consent — for consent to be meaningful, individuals must be provided with a reasonably understandable explanation of why their personal information is being collected, and how it is going to be used. We could not see how consent “to obtain such credit reports or other information as may be deemed necessary” would lead individuals to understand they were consenting to their personal information being collected, used and disclosed for the purposes of a “bad tenant” list.

The Privacy Commissioner in this case found that the collection of data was not appropriate but also made an important finding for understanding why we have the LCB as it currently exists. The Commissioner found that in attempting to create this “bad tenant list” the landlords association involved in the complaint were acting as a Credit Reporting Agency when not licensed to do so.

It is clear that the Landlord Credit Bureau is well aware of this finding and the reason why they have licensed themselves as a Credit Reporting Agency. By doing so they are attempting to circumvent one of the core findings of this report.

That said, even though the Landlord Credit Bureau is a licensed Credit Reporting Agency, meaningful consent from the tenant is still required before the landlord can share their personal information with the LCB. From the Privacy Commissioners Report:

Knowledge and consent

We also considered whether the Respondent has ensured the knowledge and consent of the individuals on the “bad tenant” list in order to collect, use or disclose their personal information, or whether an applicable exception to this obligation under the Act applies.
In this respect, we were of the preliminary view that the personal information of individuals appearing on the “bad tenant” list is being collected, used or disclosed without their knowledge and consent.
We noted that the Respondent was not directly collecting the personal information from those individuals appearing on the “bad tenant” list. Rather, it was the members of the landlord association who were collecting the personal information from tenants and subsequently disclosing it to the Respondent to populate the list.


Our investigation revealed that the Respondent’s own standard tenant application form and rental agreement form did not explain in a reasonably understandable manner, as required by Principle 4.2, that applicants’ personal information could be collected, used or disclosed for the purposes of inclusion on a “bad tenant” list. With regard to the other association members, the Respondent was not aware, and did not provide, any evidence as to whether the member landlords were: (i) explaining in their respective tenant application forms or rental agreements that a prospective tenant’s personal information could be used or disclosed for purposes of inclusion on the Respondent “bad tenant” list, or (ii) obtaining meaningful consent for such a use or disclosure.


Based on the evidence before us at the time, we were of the preliminary view that individuals appearing on the “bad tenant” list had not provided their meaningful consent for the collection, use or disclosure of their personal information with respect to inclusion on the “bad tenant” list, as required by Principles 4.3 and 4.3.2.


In our view, in order for the Respondent to rely on any valid consent that may have been obtained by any third-party landlord for tenants’ inclusion on the “bad tenant” list, the Respondent would have to: (i) establish contractual terms stipulating that the members of the landlord association must obtain appropriate consent from tenants; and (ii) establish a method by which to obtain proof that the tenants affected have in fact consented.


It’s clear from our reading of the Privacy Commissioners findings that explicit consent from the tenant is required for your landlord to share your information with the Landlord Credit Bureau. If you did not give this consent you have a right to tell your landlord you do not consent and to cease any and all reporting to the LCB. If your landlord does not comply you are entitled to file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Is Landlord Credit Bureau really a licensed credit bureau in compliance with Provincial and Federal Law?

LCB is licensed to operate in Ontario as a Credit Reporting Agency under the name 2642985 ONTARIO INC. As such it is governed by the Consumer Reporting Act. There is currently no finding of fact from the Registrar that Landlord Credit Bureau is not compliant with the Consumer Reporting Act but there have been issues with them not disclosing information as required under the act which are the subject of pending complaints.

UPDATE: We can now report that there are two government investigations into Landlord Credit Bureau. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Affairs are both looking into LCB and their practices. We are also aware of an investigation into LiveWell Property Management by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. As these are matters under investigation we are refraining from publishing details at this time.