Manitoba

Residential Tenancies Branch

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Section 10

Deposits

Sub-Section 10.9

Tenant Request for Deposit(s)


Legislation


s. 32, 33, 34, 52(3), The Residential Tenancies Act


Definitions

Landlord: in this section "landlord" includes a mortgagee.

Mortgagee: a person, mortgage company or financial institution that takes a mortgage interest in a property as security for a loan.

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

A tenant may ask the Branch to decide if they are entitled to all or part of their security deposit after a tenancy ends. There is no fee for filing this request if a tenant contacts the Branch within two years of the end of the tenancy. After two years, as long as the landlord hasn’t sent the deposit to the Branch, the tenant may file a claim for compensation against the landlord. A tenant has up to six years after the end of the tenancy to file a claim.

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The Act says that a landlord must notify a tenant of any claim against a security deposit within 28 days of the end of the tenancy. If a tenant doesn’t receive notice of a claim within 28 days, they can ask the Branch to decide who is entitled to the security deposit. When a tenant asks the Branch for a decision within the two-year period, the Branch asks the landlord to send their claim to the Branch by a certain date. The date the Branch sets depends on when the tenancy ended. For example: If a tenant contacts the Branch more than 28 days after the end of the tenancy, the Branch gives the landlord 19 days to submit a claim. If the landlord misses the deadline, the landlord must return the deposit to the tenant. The landlord may still file a claim for compensation against the tenant.

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A new landlord (includes mortgagee) is responsible for the security deposits of all the tenants who live in the rental unit or residential complex on or after the date the property changes hands. The new landlord is responsible even though they may not have received the security deposits from the former landlord/mortgagor. If they have a claim against the tenant, they can ask the Branch to make a decision on the claim. Otherwise, they must return the deposit to the tenant. The new landlord may try to recover the money from the previous landlord. The new landlord may file a claim for the money with the Branch.

A former landlord is responsible for the deposits of any tenants who moved out before the new landlord took over. The Branch may confirm that the new landlord didn’t receive a former tenant’s security deposit by mistake. If necessary, the Branch will use the procedures set out in Enforcing an Order to Return a Security Deposit to recover a security deposit.

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At the end of a tenancy, a landlord and tenant may agree in writing on a claim against the security deposit. The landlord and tenant may write their own agreement or, they can use the "end of tenancy" box on the standard rental unit condition report. When a tenant signs an agreement at the end of a tenancy, it’s usually binding. The tenant can’t later ask the Branch to decide if the agreement is fair, unless the tenant can show that they were forced to sign the agreement.

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Some landlords have tenants sign an agreement about the return of a security deposit before the start of a tenancy. This type of agreement is not binding. In spite of signing the agreement, a tenant may still ask the Branch for a decision on a claim against the deposit. For example: A landlord’s application form may say that the tenant agrees to give up their security deposit if they don’t move in after the landlord approves their application. If the tenant changes their mind, the landlord may have a claim for loss of rent or the cost to re-advertise the unit. But the tenant still has the right to ask the Branch to make a decision on the security deposit. Or, a tenant moves after a one-year tenancy. The landlord doesn’t have a claim against the tenant, but says the tenant gave up their security deposit before the tenancy began. Again, the tenant can ask the Branch to decide.

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If a landlord doesn’t return all or part of a security deposit and interest to a tenant, after receiving an Order to do so, the Branch will enforce the Order.



Procedure

Overview

The tenant asks the Branch for a decision on their security deposit. When a landlord holds the security deposit, the officer asks the landlord for a claim by a certain date. The officer follows set procedures, depending on whether the landlord submits a claim.


Steps ▼

If the landlord has the security deposit:

1.The officer asks the tenant to complete a form about their tenancy. The form asks for information about: the address of the rental unit, the amount of the security deposit, who paid it and when it was paid, the date that the tenant moved in and out, the kind of tenancy, i.e. one year lease, the name of the landlord.

2.The officer asks the tenant for some kind of proof that they paid a security deposit. For example: a receipt, cancelled cheque, copy of a money order or tenancy agreement.

3.The officer sends a letter to the landlord telling them that the tenant has asked for a decision on their security deposit. The letter also tells the landlord to send their claim against the deposit to the Branch by a specific date. The Branch provides a claim form for the landlord to complete.

4.If the landlord sends in a claim the officer follows the procedures for Claim by Landlord – Security Deposit or Less or Claim by Landlord – More Than Security Deposit.

5.If the officer doesn’t receive a claim, the officer issues an Order to the landlord to refund the security deposit and interest to the tenant.

If the Branch has the security deposit:

1.The officer checks Branch records to see if the landlord has sent in a claim or a copy of an agreement within the 28-day deadline.

2.If there is a claim, the officer follows the procedures Claim by Landlord - Security Deposit or Less or Claim by Landlord - More Than Security Deposit.

3.If there isn’t a claim from the landlord, the officer telephones or writes to the landlord to confirm the actual date that the tenancy ended.

4.Once this date is confirmed, the Branch pays the security deposit to the tenant.


Forms & Form Letters


X-Referencing

For information on procedures for filing claims against security deposits, see this section under:

For details on filing a claim for compensation, see Claims in Section 9.

For information on Enforcing an Order to Return a Security Deposit, see this section.

For information on interest on security deposits, see Section 12.


Policy Developed

September, 1992


Last Revision

August, 2015


Other Resources

None


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