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. This money, with applicable interest, is returned to the tenant upon moving out if they have:
- Paid their rent and related bills in full;
- Cleaned the apartment adequately;
- Maintained the condition of the property.
A security deposit cannot be more than your rent. Your landlord has the right to ask for a security deposit of up to one month's rent if the rent is paid monthly, or up to one week's rent if rent is paid weekly.
Landlords cannot request “key money”, a “holding deposit”, a pet deposit or both first and last month’s rent.
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.
Before you move out, carefully inspect the rental unit with your landlord. Document any damage using the inspection form that was used prior to moving in. Consider taking photos and videos. It is a good idea to do this inspection prior to your official move out time. Your landlord could give you time to address any cleaning or damage that wasn’t completed prior to the inspection.
See Inspection for more information.
Returning your Security Deposit
Your landlord returns your full security deposit
If your landlord plans to return your security deposit, and any applicable interest, this must be returned to you within 10 days of leaving your apartment. You can calculate how much the interest should be by using this calculator created by the Rental’s Office.
Your landlord keeps a portion, or all, of your security deposit
If your landlord plans to keep your security deposit, you must be given written notice within 10 days of leaving your apartment. Your landlord must give you Form 8 – Notice of Intention to Retain Security Deposit. On this form your landlord must explain why they are keeping your security deposit.
If you disagree with the reasons given by your landlord for keeping your security deposit, you must file Form 9 – Application Re Determination of Security Deposit with the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property within 15 days of receiving the Form 8. You must file this at the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property and attach the Form 8 that was given to you.
The Director will then ask that the full or remaining amount of the security deposit, as well as interest, be given to their Office within 5 days. The Rental Office will hold the security deposit until there is a hearing.
Once you file Form 9, a hearing will be scheduled. You and your landlord will have the opportunity to provide testimony and give evidence about the security deposit. If you filled out an inspection report or took photos or videos, you could provide this information as evidence. An order will then be given to return your security deposit in whole, in part, or not at all.
Your landlord does not communicate to you about your security deposit within 10 days
If your landlord does not return your security deposit or give you a Form 8 within 10 days of you moving out, you can file a Form 2 – Application for Enforcement of Statutory or Other Conditions of Rental Agreement with the Rental’s Office. A hearing will be scheduled.