Resources - Tenants - Returning Deposits
6. Returning Deposits
When a residential tenancy ends and after a tenant gives the landlord their forwarding address in writing, the landlord must return all of the deposits plus any interest unless the tenant agrees in writing to allow the landlord to keep all or part of the deposit or an arbitrator orders that the landlord may keep the deposit.
When a tenant moves out, they need to give the landlord their forwarding address in writing. The landlord is required to return to the tenant all of their deposits, plus any interest – except in a couple of situations:
- If a tenant agrees in writing to allow the landlord to keep all or part of the deposit
- An arbitrator decides that the landlord can keep the deposit
After a tenant has moved out and given the landlord a forwarding address in writing, the landlord has 15 days to:
- Return the deposit(s) with any interest to the tenant
- Ask the tenant to agree in writing to any deductions and return the difference to the tenant
- Apply for dispute resolution asking to keep all or some of a deposit
If the landlord doesn’t take action within the 15-day timeline, the tenant can apply for dispute resolution requesting their deposit be returned. The landlord may be ordered to pay the tenant double the amount of the deposit(s).
Inspect the Rental Unit
A landlord and tenant must inspect the condition of the rental unit together at the end of the tenancy (a “walk through”) and complete a Condition Inspection Report. Comparing the move-in and move-out Condition Inspection Reports allows the landlord and tenant to determine if the rental unit was damaged and who is responsible for paying for repairs.
Interest on Deposit
The landlord must calculate the interest owing on the full amount of the security or pet damage deposit, before any deductions are made. The interest is calculated based on an interest rate set at the beginning of each year and is calculated from the date the tenant paid the deposit to the date it will be returned to the tenant.