A security deposit is money paid by a tenant to a landlord before moving in. The landlord holds this money in trust for as long as the tenant lives in the rental unit.
Your landlord can charge you a security deposit. A security deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent if you pay rent monthly. If you have a weekly rental agreement, it cannot be more than one week’s rent.
It is unlawful for your potential landlord to request key money, a holding deposit, pet deposit, or both first and last month’s rent.
This money, with applicable interest, is returned to you upon moving out if you have:
- Paid your rent and related bills in full
- Cleaned the apartment adequately
- Maintained the condition of the property
Your landlord can keep your security deposit to recover any losses, such as unpaid rent, cleaning bills, or repairs. They cannot keep your security deposit to repair normal wear and tear.
Carefully inspect the rental unit with your landlord prior to moving in. Doing so is not required by law, but it ensures you both agree on any pre-existing damage. This can give you protection against claims you caused damage when you move out. You can use this form to do the inspection with your landlord before you rent and when leaving your rental. It is a good idea to take photos and videos during this inspection.
See Leaving your Rental – Security Deposits to find out more information about having your security deposit returned to you when you move out.
Overpaying a Deposit
If you were charged a security deposit that was more than one month’s rent, you can make an application to the Director of Residential Rental Property to have this money returned to you. For example, if you paid a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent, you could apply to have the last month’s rent returned to you. Use Form 2 – Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of Rental Agreement to make this request.