My family rents a house for $850 per month. We paid the landlord $2,000 damage deposit. We have paid the rent on time for three months, but now we are having difficulty finding money to pay next month's rent. Can I have the landlord apply the excess deposit ($1,150) to the rent for next month?
A landlord is only entitled to insist on a damage deposit equal to a maximum of one month's rent. Therefore, a good argument could be made that you have already paid next month's rent as well as part of the following month's rent.
We moved out of our apartment 20 days ago after giving proper notice. We haven't heard anything from the rental company about our damage deposit. We have called four times requesting a status report and they have not called back. What can we do? Where can we get help?
You can contact your local Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board if there is one in your area, or Service Alberta. You can also seek legal advice, or consider starting legal action by yourselves. You will find the forms you need to do this on the Alberta Courts website or by going to the courthouse.
Your landlord has an obligation to return to you either your security (damage) deposit or an accounting of it within 10 days of you leaving the rented premises.
I had decided to rent an apartment on a monthly basis and had given a security deposit to the landlady. I was going to move in two weeks time, but now I want to rent a different place with my friend. Even though I had not yet moved in to the apartment, the landlord won't give me back the security deposit. Can she do this?
It is possible that the landlady can keep the deposit. You may have agreed with the landlady in the tenancy agreement what would happen to the security deposit if you gave notice before you moved in. If you both agreed that it should be given back, that is what should happen. If you both agreed that the deposit would be forfeited, then that is what should happen. If the agreement made no mention of what would occur if you did not move in, it is possible that the landlady can claim the sum as rent that she has lost.
However, she should provide you with an accounting of the funds within 10 days of you notifying her that you were no longer moving in. If you don't receive an accounting, you can start a legal action to get the money back. A judge will then decide if she can keep any of the money.
In order to resolve the issue when the tenancy agreement does not deal with the return of the deposit, you can try to negotiate an agreement with your landlady. If that is not successful, there are the options of mediation, arbitration, or court action.
I left my apartment last week. I have now received some of my security deposit from my landlord and he has deducted over half for damages to the property. Although he has included an account of what the money has been used for, I do not agree with this at all. Some of these items were already damaged when I moved in. What can I do?
Your landlord can only make deductions for damage to the property if he carried out inspections when you moved in and out of the property and if the damage is more than normal wear and tear. If you did an inspection when you moved in and noted any existing damage accurately, you can refer your landlord back to this list when questioning the amount he has held back. If you do not have a full record of the damage that existed when you moved in, you can only talk to your landlord initially to see if you can work out a compromise.
If your landlord stands firm on the amount he is holding back, you could request mediation if you have that service available to you and if your landlord is willing to go through with it. You could also file a complaint with Service Alberta who will investigate the case if they feel it is warranted. The last option is for you to take your landlord to court for the amount you believe that he owes you.
My wife and I lived in a rented apartment for seven years. When we moved out the landlady deducted a lot of items from our security deposit because of damages. I felt that a lot of these items were not damaged, they were just old. Can my landlady deduct money just because things have aged?
No. When tenants have lived in property for a longer period, there would be more wear and tear than when the property has only been rented for one year. You might also expect increased wear and tear when more tenants are renting the accommodation. The landlady would only be justified in deducting money for damage if the damage is more than would be considered normal wear and tear given all the circumstances of your tenancy.
When I moved out of my apartment, the landlord gave me a statement saying that there had been $500 worth of damage. He has kept my security deposit of $300 and says that he wants another $200. Can he ask for the extra money?
Yes, he can ask for this money. If he takes legal action to recover the money, he will have to prove that you caused the damage, that it was more than normal wear and tear, and that it was going to cost another $200 to fix. Another option besides going to court might be mediation.
The tenancy agreement that I signed said that when I moved from the apartment I would have the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned. I did not do this because they really did not seem that dirty. Now my landlady has deducted the cost of the cleaning from my security deposit. Can she do this?
It will depend if the dirt on the carpets and curtains could be said to be more than normal wear and tear. If the condition of the carpet and curtains is consistent with normal wear and tear, then your landlady cannot deduct the sum for cleaning from the security deposit.
The terms of the Residential Tenancies Act cannot be contradicted by the terms of a tenancy agreement. The Act states that deductions cannot be made from a security deposit for normal wear and tear.
My landlord did not return any of my security deposit when I left, and is not responding to my requests. The inspection report said the place was fine when I left. How can I get my money back?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, your landlord has ten days from the time the tenancy ends to return the deposit to you.
If ten days have passed and you have exhausted all other efforts, you can start court proceedings against your landlord. The Act allows you to start an action in court for the return of a security deposit. A judge will consider the case, hear evidence, and decide whether the security deposit should be repaid or not.
This page was last updated in April, 2006.