Canada’s Renter Bill of Rights Update: Impact of Rent Payments on Credit Scores Explained

Understanding the Potential Benefits & Challenges of the New Credit Score Integration for Renters

In a bold move to reshape the Canadian housing market landscape, the government has proposed a significant addition to the Canadian Renters Bill of Rights—integrating rent payments into credit scores. This policy change proposes to reward consistent rent payments in a similar fashion to consistent mortgage and credit repayments.

Each rental payment made or not will affect the person who holds the tenancy of their rentals’ personal credit score and history. Rental payments on time will have the ability to build up a good credit score and history.

This initiative seeks to level the playing field for renters with aspirations toward homeownership, especially younger Canadians aspiring to homeownership. While the idea holds promise for some, it also raises concerns about the potential burdens for those already struggling with Canada’s high cost of living.



PMO’s office writes:

 “Renters deserve credit for the money they put toward rent over the years, especially when it comes time to apply for a mortgage for their first home.

We’re going to amend the Canadian Mortgage Charter and call on landlords, banks, credit bureaus, and fintech companies to make sure that rental history is taken into account in your credit score.”

“Fairness for Every Generation” Published March 27th, 2024

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Who Will This Policy Change Help?

This proposed change is set to bridge the gap between renting and homeownership, providing tangible benefits to several key groups within the housing market. Here are some examples of who stands to gain from the inclusion of rent payments in credit score calculations:


Aspiring Homeowners

By counting rent payments towards credit scores, renters who consistently meet their monthly obligations could see improved credit ratings, which might facilitate a higher chance of mortgage approvals and lower borrowing rates.

Young Renters

The proposal is particularly beneficial for younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z who are presently more likely to rent rather than own, and for whom this change could enhance their financial credibility.

“The Credit Invisible” Little To No Credit History

Individuals without significant credit history could become “scorable,” thereby opening doors to broader financial opportunities. Remember, if you don’t have access to credit or have a personal credit history, it’s extremely difficult to acquire a mortgage or make large purchases which require an element of financing.

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Who Could This Policy Hurt?

While the integration of rent payments into credit scores aims to support many, it could also place additional strain on certain renters. Here’s a look at who might face challenges under the new policy:


Struggling Renters

For renters facing financial difficulties, especially in economic downturns or high-cost living areas, this policy could negatively impact their credit scores if they fail to pay rent on time.

Lower-Income Groups

Those in lower-income brackets might find their options further constrained if poor rental payment histories lead to lower credit scores, affecting their ability to secure housing of any kind. These days your credit score may be assessed not just by mortgage lenders, but also by prospective employers and landlords. It may even adversely affect the cost of insurance!

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Implications of the Proposal

With any new government policy, there are bound to be many implications and challenges that come with this change. Below are some examples of the many implications of integrating rent payments into credit scores.

Data Verification

How will the information on rent payments be verified and deemed accurate before being reported by credit agencies like Equifax and Trans Union? Many ordinary Canadians own rental properties.

This raises questions: Will Equifax and Trans Union simply take our word on our tenant’s rent payment history? What about kids who pay rent to their parents? Will this info be accepted at face value?

Market Dynamics

While potentially beneficial for personal credit scores, the policy does not address larger systemic issues such as housing supply and overall affordability in the Canadian real estate market.

Economic Inequality

There is a risk that this policy could widen the gap between those who can afford to rent punctually and those who cannot, potentially leading to increased economic disparity.

Landlord-Tenant Relations

This move could change dynamics between landlords and tenants, with increased pressures on timely payment potentially affecting tenant welfare.

Landlord Reporting

Considering the vast number of private landlords, how will their submissions be managed? Will rent payments to family members be regarded with the same credibility?

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Integrating Rent into Credit Scores: Key Impacts & Preparation Guide for Canadian Renters

What Are The Potential Benefits For Canadian Renters?

Understanding the potential upsides of this policy change can help renters maximize its benefits. Here are some key advantages to consider:


Credit Building

Renters can build or improve their credit scores by having their on-time rent payments reported to credit bureaus. This is particularly beneficial for those with limited or no credit history, as rent payments become a form of credit-building without incurring debt.

Access to Financial Opportunities

A higher credit score can lead to better loan terms, lower interest rates on mortgages and car loans, and higher limits on credit cards. This can make significant life purchases more accessible and affordable for renters.

Enhanced Rental Applications

Tenants with a history of on-time rent payments reported to credit bureaus may have an advantage when applying for new rental properties, as they can demonstrate financial reliability to potential landlords.

Recognition of Financial Responsibility

Rent reporting acknowledges the financial discipline of tenants who consistently meet their rental obligations, giving them deserved recognition in their credit profiles.

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What Are The Potential Negative Impacts on Tenants?

It’s crucial to also consider the potential drawbacks of this policy for tenants, as it could introduce new challenges for individuals who are already struggling financially.


Credit Score Damage

Tenants who miss payments or withhold rent due to disputes with landlords may see their credit scores negatively affected, which can impact their ability to rent in the future, obtain loans, or secure mortgages.

Increased Vulnerability

Vulnerable tenants, especially those who have struggled to pay rent during financial hardships such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could be pushed into homelessness if negative rent payment information is reported to credit bureaus.

Screening Disadvantages

Landlords often use credit reports and scores as part of their tenant screening process. A history of late rent payments could lead to application rejections or higher security deposits, further marginalizing tenants who have faced financial difficulties.

Financial Burden

Some tenants may be required to pay additional fees for credit reporting services, which adds to their financial burden, especially if they are already struggling to make ends meet.

Loss of Bargaining Power

The threat of negative credit reporting can diminish tenants’ willingness to withhold rent legally as a means to pressure landlords into maintaining and repairing properties.

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5 Ways Canadian Tenants Should Be Preparing For This Policy Change

In light of the coming changes where rent payments will be integrated and be able to affect your credit score, tenants need to be particularly vigilant about their rent payment habits. Here are five ways tenants can take practical steps to safeguard their credit score, ensuring they maintain a favourable financial profile as these government policy changes take effect in the future.


1. Consistent Rent Payments 

Ensure your rent is paid on time every month. Late payments could negatively impact your credit score once rent payments are included in reporting.

2. Document Rent Payments

Keep diligent records of your rent payments, such as bank statements or digital payment confirmations, to dispute any inaccuracies that might appear on your credit report. 

3. Communicate with Your Landlord

Engage in discussions with your landlord about how they will report rent payments. Understanding their process can help you ensure your payments are reported accurately.

4. Review Your Credit Report Regularly

Once rent payments start being reported, check your credit report frequently to make sure the information is accurate. Report any discrepancies to the credit bureau immediately. Borrowell and Equifax let you do this for free once each month.

5. Financial Planning

Manage other aspects of your finances diligently, such as credit card debt and loans, as these will continue to impact your overall credit score. We recommend all Canadians use a monthly/annual budgeting system to keep track of their finances and monthly obligations. This could be a spreadsheet, notebook, or budgeting software tool – whatever you are most comfortable with that allows you to keep track of your finances.

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New Credit Scoring Policy for Rent Payments: Benefits for Landlords and 5 Key Preparation Strategies

What Are The Potential Benefits For Canadian Landlords?

The integration of rent payments into credit scores is not just potentially beneficial for tenants; it offers advantages for landlords as well. Here’s how landlords stand to gain from this policy change:


Incentivizing On-Time Payments

The prospect of building credit can motivate tenants to pay their rent on time, which ensures consistent cash flow for landlords and reduces the likelihood of late payments and delinquencies.

Improved Tenant Screening

Landlords will gain a more comprehensive view of a tenant’s financial behavior, which can aid in making informed decisions when selecting tenants.

Attracting Responsible Tenants

Properties that report rent payments to credit bureaus may attract tenants who are keen on building their credit, potentially leading to a more financially responsible tenant base.

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What Are The Potential Negatives for Landlords?

While there are benefits, landlords must also prepare for potential challenges associated with this policy:


Administrative Burden

Landlords may face increased administrative work to accurately report rent payments, which could be particularly challenging for those with many properties or tenants.

Costs of Reporting

There may be fees associated with reporting rent payments to credit bureaus, which could increase operational costs for landlords.

Tenant Relations

The use of rent reporting as a collection tool or as a means of pressuring tenants could strain landlord-tenant relationships and potentially lead to higher tenant turnover.

Legal Compliance

Landlords must ensure their methods of collecting, storing, and reporting tenant information comply with privacy laws and regulations, which could require legal consultation and additional resources.

Potential for Disputes

Inaccurate reporting or disputes over rent payments could lead to legal challenges from tenants, which can be time-consuming and costly to resolve.

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5 Ways Canadian Landlords Should Be Preparing For This Policy Change

As the Canadian government moves towards including rent payments in credit scoring, landlords must prepare to adapt their practices accordingly. These are five ways you can manage and report rent payments accurately, which is critical for both compliance and maintaining good relationships with your tenants.


1. Understand Reporting Requirements

Stay informed about how and when you need to report rent payments to credit bureaus. This may require registering with a service that facilitates rent reporting.

2. Adopt Reliable Payment Systems 

Implement electronic payment systems that automatically track transactions, providing you and your tenants with clear records that simplify reporting.

3. Educate Your Tenants

Inform your tenants about the new credit reporting changes and how their rent payments will be included. Education can help manage their expectations and encourage on-time payments.

4. Maintain Accurate Records

Keep detailed and accurate records of all rent payments received. This will be crucial for reporting purposes and for resolving any disputes with tenants or credit bureaus.

5. Legal Compliance

Ensure your methods of gathering, storing, and reporting tenant information comply with Canadian privacy laws and regulations.

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3 Ways All Canadians Can Prepare For This Change

With significant changes on the horizon regarding rent payment’s influence on personal credit scores, it is crucial Canadians stay informed and proactive. These steps will help you navigate and adapt to these policy changes, ensuring you are well-equipped to handle the new credit reporting landscape.


1. Stay Informed

The details of how rent payments will be integrated into credit scores are still evolving. Keeping abreast of new developments can help you adjust your preparations accordingly.

2. Financial Literacy

Enhance your understanding of how credit scores are calculated and the factors that impact them. Greater financial literacy can help you make more informed decisions about renting, lending, and credit management.

3. Engage with Financial Advisors

Consider consulting with financial experts to better understand the implications of these changes on your personal or business finances. 


Helpful Initiatives: Reporting Your Rent Payments

Companies like Front Lobby are already pioneering this space by enabling landlords and tenants to report rent payments directly to credit bureaus. This existing framework could serve as a model for broader implementation.

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Credit Score Policy Implementation Timeline

In the short term, do not expect any immediate changes. Equifax Canada reminds us that integrating mortgage payment reporting took five years. Given the complexity and the broader scope involving hundreds of thousands of landlords, the integration of rental payment reporting could require an even longer timeline.



The integration of rent payments into credit scores is a promising step towards fairness in housing. However, it is a complex initiative that will require careful planning and robust systems to ensure its success and protection of Canadians already struggling financially. 

In the interim renters and landlords, should prepare for gradual but significant changes to the credit reporting landscape. Get ahead and start implementing the steps we laid out above to ensure both Canadian tenants and landlords are protected and prepared for the impacts of this policy shift.

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