New Guidance Addresses Privacy and Access Issues for Landlords and Tenants

December 13, 2023

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) of Alberta has developed new guidance for landlords and tenants on privacy and access to information issues.

The guidance is available on the OIPC website in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), which provide landlords and tenants with a quick way to address questions related to their own specific situation. It is also being distributed to organizations whose stakeholders have a direct interest.

“As Alberta’s rental market becomes increasingly competitive, this guidance will help ensure landlords and tenants alike remain aware of privacy and access to information responsibilities and rights under provincial law,” said Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod. “With the updates to this resource, we are also addressing emerging privacy concerns raised by the alleged over-collection of personal information and use of social media to screen prospective tenants. These concerns have been widely reported on in the media.”

Under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), Alberta’s private sector privacy law, landlords have obligations related to the collection, use, disclosure and protection of the personal information of tenants, including prospective tenants. PIPA applies to any residential property owner who is renting out property, including property management businesses or an individual acting in a commercial capacity. Tenants also have privacy and access to information rights set out in PIPA.

Since PIPA was enacted in 2004, the OIPC has received several privacy complaints relating to landlord/tenant relationships. Examples include alleged over-collection of financial information; inappropriate notices for collections on debt; concerns regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information for screening prospective tenants; and issues related to ensuring the accuracy of tenants’ personal information collected by landlords. This guidance addresses some of the issues that have previously arisen or could potentially arise in landlord/tenant relationships.

The OIPC would like to acknowledge the assistance of two Government of Alberta ministries, Technology and Innovation as well as Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction, which were sent a draft version of the guidance and then provided helpful input.

The Landlord and Tenant FAQs are available on the OIPC website here.

Through the OIPC, the Commissioner performs the responsibilities set out in Alberta’s three access to information and privacy laws, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act), the Health Information Act (HIA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The Commissioner operates independent of government.

For more information:

Elaine Schiman
Communications Manager
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
Mobile: (587) 983-8766

Follow us on Twitter/X at