Most applications will ask about rental and employment history. This type of information can help a landlord determine what type of person you are and how you will behave as a tenant. The goal is to list references who can help convince the landlord that you will pay your rent on time, respect the property, not disturb neighbours, and otherwise follow your legal responsibilities.
For some individuals, such as first-time tenants, it may be challenging to provide references. If you do not have any previous landlords, try to get references from employers, coaches, teachers, volunteer supervisors, or anyone else who can provide a positive description of your character. If a reference says you are always on time for your volunteer shifts, that can be a good indicator that you will be on time with your rent. Similarly, if you have an employer who claims that you display a caring attitude in the workplace, that may help convince a landlord that you will respect their property.
If you are struggling to gather references, you can also complete Renting It Right: Tenant-Landlord Law in BC, and include the certificate of completion as part of your rental application. This certificate can help demonstrate to a landlord that, despite not having the best references, you have taken the time to educate yourself on what it means to be a good tenant.