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Damage / Security Deposits

The security deposit is also known as damage deposit because the Landlord can apply to keep all or part of it cover any damage the tenant does to the rental unit beyond normal wear and tear, or any costs related to the tenancy.

The Rules

As per the Residential Tenancy Act, here are the rules about security deposits:

  • The security deposit cannot be more than half the first month’s rent.

  • The security and pet damage deposit combined cannot be more than one month’s rent.

  • The only time a landlord can request a security deposit is at the beginning of the tenancy. The landlord can charge only one security deposit per rental unit, no matter how many tenants live in the unit.

  • If the tenant fails to pay the security deposit within 30 days of the start date of the tenancy agreement, the landlord may give a one month notice to end the tenancy.

  • Once the security deposit is paid, the tenancy is considered to be started regardless of whether a tenancy agreement is signed.


  • Unless the Landlord has the tenant's written consent to keep all or part of a deposit or has an outstanding dispute resolution officer's order that can be applied against the deposit, the Landlord must return the deposit plus interest within 15 days after the tenancy ends, or apply for dispute resolution with the Residential Tenancy Branch to make a claim against the deposit. The 15 day period commences when the tenancy ends or the Tenant provides a forwarding address in writing, whichever is later.

  • If a tenant does not provide the landlord a forwarding address, in writing, within one year after the end of the tenancy, the landlord may keep the security deposit and/or the pet deposit.

Calculate the interest on my deposit:

>> Deposit Interest Calculator



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