Northern Property, Yellowknife's biggest landlord, is tightening up its rules on renting to people who rely on income assistance.

The company says it lost $200,000 last year because people on income support stopped paying rent.

People who apply to live in units must provide references, a credit check and proof they make more than double the monthly rent.

Lizaine Wheeler, the company's vice president of residential operations, says the company is no longer making exceptions for people on income support who don't meet the criteria.

"If anything, we've been not discriminating against them and giving them extra leeway because they're getting payment from income support," she said. "But because we realized our arrears is so high, we've had to say we're stopping this."

The territorial government says its helped 175 families living in Northern Property units pay rent over the past year.

The company says two-thirds of its tenants currently on income assistance are behind in rent payments.

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment says it is working with Northern Property to try to find a way to assist those who are falling behind on their payments but because most income assistance is re-evaluated every month the government can't guarantee the people will have a fixed income.