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Will My Criminal Record Stop Me From Renting?

Renting a home or apartment is the choice of the majority of people of all ages in Canada when it comes to their living situation. Not only does renting come without any real commitment (as opposed to a mortgage), it also is the most affordable option. Freedom and flexibility is one of the best things about renting in Canada. Having a criminal record might make this a bit difficult to obtain, however. One of the most common questions that people ask is “will my criminal record stop me from renting?” The good news is that having a criminal record won’t necessarily bar you from renting. Here is what you need to know about renting with a criminal record:

Many landlords do background checks

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Apartments or homes are valuable pieces of property, and since the laws are heavily in favour of protecting tenants, landlords always want to make sure that the people they rent out their places to are trustworthy and able to pay the rent. They don’t want you to damage anything, and they don’t want to be stuck in a long battle to get you out if things turn sour. This means that they may conduct background checks to assure that you are in good standing. A criminal record may turn them off, but there is still a chance that you could be accepted.

Other things to consider

A landlord cannot lawfully discriminate against you because of your appearance, religion, race, and so on. While they can refuse you because of a criminal record, if you believe you’ve been refused for another reason then you can file a complaint. If you have shown the ability to keep a job, make payments, and stay in good character, then there is no reason to be refused.

Recommendations

Be up front about your past, and show them that you have made an effort to turn things around. Most people are very understanding. If you talk to them about it first, then you could save a long and arduous process. Don’t be discouraged because you get turned down. Keep trying.

Being able to rent a nice place to call your own is a great feeling, and nobody should be forced to live somewhere that they don’t want to. You might think that your record could stop you from renting, but that isn’t really true. Keep trying, and know that you have a good chance if you have proven good character.

While having a criminal record won’t bar you outright from renting, there are things you can do to help your situation. If you haven’t had your criminal record pardoned yet, this is something that you should look into in order to improve your chances of being accepted as a tenant in Canada.