Privacy of personal information is an important principle to WJ Properties (the “Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our”). We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and in a manner that recognizes the right of privacy of individuals with respect to their personal information and the need for Us to collect, use or disclose personal information for purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances. This document describes Our privacy policies (this “Policy”).
Who We Are
Our organization, WJ Properties, provides property management services of residential buildings in various locations throughout the City of Toronto. We have a number of staff, consultants and agencies that may, in the course of their duties, have access to the personal information that We collect and hold. These include building superintendents, security, cleaning and maintenance organizations, accountants, computer consultants, temporary workers to cover holidays, cleaners, and lawyers, to name a few. We restrict their access to the personal information We hold as much as is reasonably possible, and in any event no less than what is required under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, S.C. 2000, c. 5 (the “Act” or “PIPEDA”).
What is Personal Information?
Personal information means information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to their personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, family status), their health (e.g., disabilities) or their activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, opinions about an individual). Personal information is to be contrasted with business information, such as information of an individual that We collect, use or disclose solely for the purpose of communicating or facilitating communication with the individual in relation to their employment, business or profession, which is not protected by PIPEDA. Other personal information in that is not protected by PIPEDA includes the following: an individual’s Notice of Assessment and Social Insurance Number; email addresses and messages; customer membership and account information in the context of frequent flyer or consumer loyalty programs; and, customer complaint information.
Why We Collect Personal Information: Primary Purposes
Personal Information About Tenants
Like all property managers, We collect, use and disclose of the personal information of Our tenants in order to ensure that Our properties remain accessible and operate with minimal interruption. Our primary purpose for collecting, keeping and disclosing personal information is to protect public safety, and assure a high level of security at Our residential premises, permit and maintain quiet enjoyment, to ensure Our tenants have ready access to the services We provide, to preserve Our property and to collect rents and other fees in a timely and orderly fashion to minimize any service interruptions, among other things. Examples of the type of personal information We collect for these purposes includes the following:
- Names of all occupants of the unit;
- Business and emergency contact information;
- Permitted uses of the property;
- Compliance with the tenancy agreement and Our building’s rules and regulations, including for example a tenant’s code of conduct, any of which we may revise from time to time;
- Payment, banking and other financial information;
- Any special needs of tenants (e.g., disability or health); and
- Social insurance number, but only for the purpose of issuing a tax receipt for interest on the rental deposit.
As a service and convenience for tenants We post a list of tenants’ names in a simple directory by the front door of our buildings for visitors and deliveries. By signing this Policy below, and as part of your lease agreement, you hereby give Us express consent to use and disclose your personal information for the use and purposes as set out in this Policy. If you do not wish to be listed in any directories or wish to be described in a particular way, please let us know.
It would be rare for Us to collect or disclose of any personal information without express consent. But there are exceptions to this rule as permitted by the Act, such as in the case of an emergency that threatens the life, health or security of an individual , where the collection of personal information is clearly in the interests of Our tenant but it is impractical to obtain consent in a timely way, as may required by the appropriate governmental authorities (e.g., in an active police investigation), for the purpose of collecting a debt owed by the individual to Us, or as may otherwise permitted by the Act.
The information set out below about prospective tenants can be collected or updated if the tenant is in arrears of rent or fees or wishes to renew a tenancy agreement.
Personal Information About Prospective Tenants
Prospective tenants are requested to complete a rental application form so that We can assess their suitability as tenants, and so that We have the necessary basic information should they become tenants. This would include the following types of information:
- Past tenancy history
- Employment history
- References and conduct history
- Financial means and credit history
- Automobile information and
- Intended use of the premises
We will use and disclose this information with the individual’s consent, to check their references and history to assess their suitability to become one of Our tenants. This might include following up with other individuals identified during the course of these inquiries according to the information that you provide to Us. We may also contact a credit agency and/or a consumer reporting service for more information about you, with your consent. We might also check appropriate public sources (e.g., government, court or tribunal records). By completing a rental application form you agree to Us collecting and using your personal information for the purposes of determining your suitability to be a tenant at one of our properties in accordance with this Policy and any and all applicable privacy legislation in effect in Ontario.
About Members of the General Public
We collect the personal information of members of the general public, to promote the safety of tenants and the maintain the general security at Our properties. A majority of this information is collected by closed circuit security cameras that capture, record and monitor footage of the presence, vehicles and the conduct of visitors and non-tenants, in addition to tenants, occupants, and staff that access certain common areas of Our property. To do so, We provide appropriate and ongoing training to the operators of the closed circuit security cameras to ensure that they understand their obligations under all relevant privacy legislation and this Policy, and that surveillance is only conducted for the purposes that We identify is germane to Our operations.
All security footage is collected and stored in a secure location which We only use and/or disclose when there is a breach of security or reasonable threat to the security of Our premises, in accordance with this Policy, and at all times in accordance with the Act. The right to access surveillance footage is only granted to a limited number of authorized individuals.
On Our website (www.wjproperties.ca), We only collect, with the exception of cookies (electronic markers identifying computers that have previously visited Our website), the personal information you provide and only use that information for the purpose you gave it to Us (e.g., to respond to your email message, to provide information about Our services). Cookies are only used to help you navigate Our website and are not used to monitor you.
We intend to provide the website for use only by persons located in Canada. The website is not intended for use in any jurisdiction where its use is not permitted. If you access the website from outside Canada, you do so at your own risk and you are responsible for compliance with local laws of your jurisdiction.
Suppliers and Contractors
We often deal with suppliers and contractors who provide goods and services to Our properties. We monitor their performance, including their promptness, reliability, quality and value of services. Most of this information is business information and would not be covered by privacy legislation. However, occasionally, this information relates to the conduct of an individual in the course of their employment as engaged by Our suppliers or contractors (e.g., skill of a particular employee of a supplier or contractor, inappropriate behaviour or comments by a particular representative). We reserve the right to collect this information, up to and including any footage captured on Our closed-circuit security cameras, use it in deciding upon future services and to disclose it to the landlord or others involved in related or similar operations. We may also collect home contact information to reach them in case of emergencies.
About Contract Staff
For people who are contracted to do work for Us (e.g., temporary workers), Our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to ensure We can contact them in the future (e.g., for new assignments) and for necessary work-related communication (e.g., sending out paycheques, year-end tax receipts, tax filings). Examples of the type of personal information We collect for those purposes include home addresses and telephone numbers. It is rare for Us to collect such information without prior consent, but it might happen in the case of an emergency (e.g., an outbreak of a contagious disease) or to investigate a possible breach of law (e.g., if a theft were to occur). Although, as in the case with Our suppliers and contractors, most of this information is also business information that is not considered personal information pursuant to the Act.
Why We Collect Personal Information: Related and Secondary Purposes
Like most property managers, We also collect, use and disclose personal information for purposes related to or secondary to Our primary purposes. The most common examples of Our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
- To collect rents and other fees on behalf of the landlord.
- To advise tenants and others of new developments in the area of landlord and tenant relations, or to provide general updates about the community (e.g., a newsletter sent to a home address of a tenant).
- We review tenant and other files for the purpose of ensuring that We provide high quality services, including assessing the performance of Our consultants, suppliers and staff. In addition, external consultants (e.g., auditors, lawyers, business consultants) may on Our behalf conduct audits and continuing quality improvement reviews of Our operations, including reviewing tenant files and interviewing Our staff.
- Various government agencies (e.g., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) have the authority to review Our files and interview Our staff as a part of their mandates. Also, We reserve the right to use your personal information without your knowledge or consent if We become aware or have reasonable grounds to believe that doing so would useful in the investigation of a contravention of laws of Canada. We will keep this disclosure to a minimum and only to the extent permitted by applicable privacy laws. In these circumstances, We may consult with professionals (e.g., lawyers, a private security service) who will investigate the matter and report back to Us.
- If a tenant’s rent or fees are paid for by a third party (e.g., employer, your trustee, the government) We may be asked to provide them with certain information. These third party payers often have tenant consent or legislative authority to direct Us to collect and disclose to them certain information in order to demonstrate tenant entitlement to and responsible use of this funding.
- Tenants, or other individuals We deal with may have questions about the services they received. We also provide ongoing services for many tenants over a period of months or years for which the access to and use of previous records containing personal information may be helpful.
- If WJ Properties or its assets were to be sold, the purchaser would want to conduct a “due diligence” review of the organization’s records to ensure that it is a viable business that has been honestly portrayed to the purchaser. This due diligence may involve some review of Our accounting and service files that contain personal information. The purchaser would not be able to remove or record any personal information for any reason other than in connection with the proposed acquisition of WJ Properties or its assets. Before being provided access to the files, if at all, the prospective purchaser in this case must provide a written promise to keep all personal information confidential, protect that information from being disclosed or used, and destroy any personal information if the transaction is not completed for any reason. Only reputable purchasers who have already agreed to buy the organization’s business or its assets would be provided access to personal information, and only for the purpose of completing their due diligence search prior to closing the purchase.
You can choose not to be part of some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g., declining to receive Our newsletter, by not having a third party pay your rent). We do not, however, have much choice about some of these related or secondary purposes (e.g., external regulation).
Protecting Personal Information
We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, We have taken the following steps:
- Personal information recorded on hardcopy records is stored and accessed only under authorized supervision, in a secured, locked or restricted area. For example, paper records are typically transmitted in specifically addressed and sealed envelopes or boxes.
- Personal information stored on electronic hardware is stored and accessed only under authorized supervision, in a secured, locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, all of our computers and digital equipment, including Company issued cellphones, are password protected, and accessed only by trained staff. Electronic information is transmitted either through a direct line or is anonymized or encrypted.
- Note that we engage certain external consultants and agencies that require access to personal information, from time to time. When this happens, we require such external consultants and agencies to provide Us with appropriate privacy assurances. You hereby acknowledge and agree that We can use your personal information for these limited engagements. However, we will always give you advance notice of the anticipated use or disclosure of your personal information in this way, and provide you with a chance to ask questions and seek clarification.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information
We need to retain personal information for a limited period of time to ensure that We can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for Our own accountability to external regulatory bodies.
Our policy is to keep tenant files on record for a period of seven (7) years from the date that such tenant or tenants move out of our managed properties. We regularly update our tenant contact directories to remove any information when it does not appear that We will be contacting you again. Digital information is routinely deleted and/or overwritten every 30 days to preserve storage space on our digital devices. We destroy all paper files containing personal information by shredding, and retain no copies of destroyed paper records. We destroy electronic information by deleting it from our systems. For clarity, we do not keep any electronic hardware storage devices.
You Can Look at Your Information
With some exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information We hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify the records that we retain which have your personal information. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g., short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if We do not know you, before providing you with access to your information. We do not disclose any personal information of individuals that we collect to any one but the individual to which that personal information pertains. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests.
If there is a problem, We may ask you to put your request in writing. If We cannot give you access, We will tell you within 30 days of your request and tell you the reason, as best We can, as to why We cannot give you access.
If you believe there is a mistake in the accuracy or completeness of your personal information in Our records, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. We may ask you to provide supporting documentation to show that Our files are wrong. Where we agree that we made a mistake, We will make the appropriate corrections and update anyone to whom We previously sent your personal information to. If We do not agree that We have made a mistake, We will file a brief statement from you on the inaccuracy and/or incompleteness of Our records, and forward that statement to anyone else who received the disclosure of your personal information.
Do You Have a Question?
Our Information Officer, Perry Fryers, can be reached at:
7 St. Dennis Drive Suite 101 | Toronto, ON | M3C 1E4
PHONE (416) 429-6555 ext. 243
He will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about Our privacy practices, you may make it in writing, delivered to the mailing address listed above. He will acknowledge receipt of your complaint; ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.
For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
Phone: (613) 995-8210
Fax: (613) 947-6850
TTY: (613) 992-9190