Section 10

Deposits

Sub-Section10.3

Claim by Landlord - More Than Deposits


Legislation


s. 32, 34, The Residential Tenancies Act


Definitions

Hearing: a meeting where a claim is decided. Claimants and respondents may present information about their case to an officer to have their claim decided.

Mediation: a confidential process the Branch uses to encourage and help claimants and respondents discuss problems, think of possible solutions and reach their own agreements. Mediation can take place in meetings conference calls or separate telephone conversations.

Mediated agreement: a written document a mediation officer prepares to outline an agreement between a claimant and respondent. Mediated agreements are confidential. They are not a matter of public record. If either the landlord or tenant doesn’t live up to a mediated agreement, the Branch may issue an Order.

Order: instructs the landlord or tenant, in writing, to either pay money, move or do something. For example: make repairs.

Security deposit: is money a tenant pays to a landlord before the start of a tenancy. A security deposit can’t be more than half of the first month’s rent. The landlord holds the money until the tenant moves out. When a tenancy ends, a landlord may claim the security deposit for unpaid rent, damage, extraordinary cleaning costs or other obligation of the tenant. Many people refer to this money as a damage deposit.

Pet damage deposit: is money a tenant pays to a landlord before bringing a pet into a rental unit.  A pet damage deposit collected between June 30, 2010 and July 31, 2014 can’t be more than half of a month’s rent.  A pet damage deposit collected on or after August 1, 2014 can be up to one month’s rent.  Existing tenants who have already paid a pet damage deposit cannot be asked to pay the increased amount. The landlord holds the money until the tenant moves out.  When a tenancy ends, a landlord may claim the pet damage deposit for damage or cleaning costs the landlord suffers because of the tenant’s pet. Landlords cannot charge a pet damage deposit for tenants who rely on a service animal.

Tenant services security deposit: is money a tenant pays to a landlord before entering into a tenancy agreement in a building that provides tenant services. A tenant services security deposit can only be half of one month’s tenant services charge. The landlord holds the money until the tenant moves out. When a tenancy ends, a landlord may claim a tenant services security deposit for unpaid tenant services charges or other money owed that is related to a tenant service.


Policy

When a landlord has a claim against a tenant’s deposit(s), they must send a copy of the claim to the tenant. The landlord has 28 days, from the end of the tenancy, to send the claim.

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If a landlord has a claim for more than a deposit(s), they can file a claim with the Branch (see Claims in Section 9). The Branch holds a hearing to receive information from landlords, tenants and witnesses on this type of claim. When filing a claim, a landlord must use a "Claim and Notice of Hearing" form the Branch provides. The Branch does not accept claims on any other forms.

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When a landlord files a claim for more than the deposit, the Branch reserves the right to schedule the hearing on a date which allows the claim to be heard within a reasonable amount of time. For example: A landlord can’t ask that the Branch schedule a hearing eight months from the date the landlord files the claim. A landlord can’t delay the date of the hearing without good reason. If a landlord plans to be away for an extended period, they can participate in the hearing by conference call, send someone to the hearing to represent them, or submit their claim and evidence in writing.

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A landlord must pay a non-refundable filing fee when they ask the Branch to award more than the security deposit.

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When a tenant can’t be found, the Branch can make a decision on the deposit(s) only. If a landlord later finds the tenant, they can file for the rest of their claim. A landlord has up to six years from the end of the tenancy to file a claim.



Procedure

Overview

The landlord files a claim for more than the deposit(s). The Branch schedules a hearing. Either the landlord or tenant can ask a mediation officer for help in reaching an agreement on the claim before the hearing. If they can’t agree, there is a hearing. A hearing officer makes a decision on the claim.


Steps ▼

1.A landlord files a claim for more than the deposit(s) and pays the filing fee.

2.The Branch schedules a hearing and gives the landlord a copy of the claim form for their records and one original claim form for each tenant and anyone else named in the claim. For example: co-signer. The form includes information on the date and time of the hearing. The landlord must give the claim to the tenant and/or the co-signer at least five days before the hearing date.

3.If the landlord can’t give the notice of hearing to the tenant or co-signer, they may apply to the Branch in writing for substitutional service and/or a new hearing date.

4.Before the hearing, the landlord or tenant may contact a mediation officer to see if they can reach an agreement on the claim.

5.If mediation is successful, the agreement is put in writing, and both the landlord and tenant get a copy. The hearing is cancelled.

6.If mediation isn’t successful, the hearing goes ahead as scheduled.
(See Hearings/Hearing Orders – General Information in Section 11)


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing

For information on mediation, see Section 1.
For more information on hearings and serving notice of a hearing, see Section 11.


Policy Developed

September, 1992


Last Revision

August, 2015


Other Resources

None


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