I applied to rent a suite by filling in an application form and paying a fee. The property company just called me to say my application was not successful. I was amazed to learn that I do not get my application fee returned to me! Is this right?
It depends on what the agreement was when you put in your application. If the form clearly stated that the fee was non-refundable or the company personnel made this clear verbally and you still submitted your form, then you agreed to the terms of the application. One of the terms was that the fee was non-refundable.
If it was not made clear to you that the fee was non-refundable, you might have a basis for an argument that the fee should be returned as that was your understanding. For example, you might have thought it was to be applied against the first month of rent, so that if you did not get the place, the fee would not be retained. Equally, the property company could argue that it was to cover their administration costs and that you should have known that when you applied.
I have received details of renting an apartment and I see that the landlord wants to charge a pet fee that is non-refundable, as well as a security deposit in case of damage to the apartment. If I add the two amounts, they equal more than one month's rent. Can the landlord do this?
Yes, as long as the refundable security deposit is not more than one month's rent.
The pet fee is not a security deposit as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act. It is a one time non-refundable fee. The landlord is asking that it be a term of the tenancy agreement. It is up to you to negotiate with the landlord about the pet fee if you do not want to pay it.
This page was last updated in January, 2007.