When you are a tenant, there are two deposits that may be required before taking possession of your new home. Perhaps you’ve sold your home and haven’t rented in some time, or are a first-time renter. Are you prepared for renting a property? Knowing in advance how the security deposit and pet deposit works, will help you understand why they are required and how they are used.
The first is the security deposit (incorrectly referred to as the Damage Deposit at times). In B.C. this deposit cannot exceed one half months’ rent and is held by the Landlord or Property Manager until the tenancy ends. It can be used to offset any damages caused by the tenant (or their guests) either through negligence or deliberately or any cleaning needed at the end of the tenancy that the tenant is responsible for, which is not done. The security deposit cannot be used as payment of rent due during the tenancy.
- The Landlord has 15 days after they receive your forwarding address in writing, to return your deposit (or the portion not being used for cleaning and damages) after you vacate the rental property.
- The Landlord can withhold money for any repairs required as a result of the damages you are responsible for or lack of cleaning and must send you a statement showing the amounts being withheld, along with the remainder, if any, of your deposit.
- You must agree in writing when you do the move-out inspection as to what deductions can be made from your deposit.
A pet deposit, equal to one half months’ rent, can also be charged by the Landlord if the tenancy includes a pet, or any agreed number of pets. This deposit is held with the Security Deposit until the end of the tenancy and can only be used to repair damages caused by the pet(s). This is unless the tenant agrees in writing that it can be used for other damages or repairs which they are responsible for.
Security deposit interest
Did you know that interest is payable on your security and pet deposit at a rate set by the Residential Tenancy Branch each year? In recent years with interest prime rate being so low, the interest payable on security deposit or pet deposit has been set at zero.
For more information on deposits and deposit interest, please check the Residential Tenancy Office website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca or speak with your Landlord or Property Manager.