Manitoba

Residential Tenancies Branch

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Section 10

Deposits

Sub-Section10.5

Enforcing an Order to Return a Deposit(s)


Legislation


s.36(1), 154(2)3, The Residential Tenancies Act
s. 25(2), Residential Tenancies Regulation


Definitions

Order to redirect rent: When the Branch orders a tenant or tenants to pay their rent to the Branch instead of to the landlord; when the tenant receives an Order and pays the Branch, rent is considered paid.

Security Deposit Compensation Fund: an account set up to hold unclaimed security deposits, rent refunds and proceeds from the sale of abandoned property. The Branch can use the money in the fund to return a security deposit to a 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

To enforce an Order to return a deposit(s), the Branch may collect or attempt to collect rent from a tenant currently living in any of the landlord’s rental properties.

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If the Branch re-directs a rent, it will charge the landlord the administration fee set out in the regulations.

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If it seems unlikely that the tenant will get their security deposit within a reasonable period of time, the Branch may withdraw money from the Deposit(s) Compensation Fund. The Branch uses the fund as a "last resort" when other efforts don’t work.

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A tenant may choose to enforce the Order to Return a Deposit(s) on their own in the Court of Queen’s Bench.



Procedure

Overview

A tenant contacts the Branch and says the landlord did not comply with an Order to return a deposit(s) to them. An officer contacts the landlord to try to resolve the problem. If the landlord refuses to comply with the Order, the officer tries to re-direct rent to cover the deposit. If the officer is not able to re-direct rent, they request payment from the Deposit(s) Compensation Fund.


Steps ▼

1.The officer contacts the landlord to find out why they haven’t complied with the Order. If the officer can’t reach the landlord by phone, they send a letter.

2.If the landlord still doesn’t comply with the Order, the officer does a title search to confirm that the landlord owns the property.

3.The officer may check the Branch’s registry to see if the landlord owns any other rental property.

4.The officer may go to the properties to get the names of tenants. The officer may also contact Employment and Income Assistance of Manitoba Family Services And Labour to see if they have any clients living in the properties.

5.If the officer gets a tenant’s name, the officer issues an Order to Re-direct Rent. If the officer receives the rent, they disburse the deposit(s) to the tenant. After deducting the administration fee, the officer returns the balance of the re-directed rent to the landlord.

6.If the officer doesn’t receive rent or is not able to locate a tenant, the officer has the tenant complete a request to receive money from the Deposit(s) Compensation Fund.

7.The officer forwards the request to the Manager, Investigation Services, for approval.

8.When the Branch receives the deposit(s) from the fund, the officer forwards the cheque to the tenant.

9.The officer still attempts to recover the deposit(s) from the landlord. If necessary, the Branch may register the Order in the Court of Queen’s Bench and garnish wages or bank accounts or file a lien against property the landlord owns.


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing

For information on how bankruptcy affects an Order to return a deposit(s), see Bankruptcy in Section 1.


Policy Developed

September, 1992


Last Revision

August, 2015


Other Resources

None


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