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My landlord is supposed to pay me?

Community Legal Services | University of Western Ontario | News | September 12th, 2005



To my surprise, I opened my mailbox to find a cheque from my landlord. Was this some sort of administrative error? Was it possible that for once funds could flow in the opposite direction, or should I expect a call from my landlord asking me for his money back? Fortunately it was no administrative error. It was money that I, like most of you, am entitled to. According to the Tenant Protection Act—the body of law which covers most landlord tenant agreements—if your landlord made you pay a security deposit at the beginning of your lease then they are required to pay you interest of six per cent on your deposit every year. If your landlord does not pay this six per cent, then, according to the Tenant Protection Act, you are entitled to deduct this interest from your rent cheque. It is a good idea to tell your landlord in writing why you are withholding part of your rent.

There are other important rules surrounding this security deposit that you should know. If you are paying rent monthly, then your security deposit cannot exceed one full month's rent. If you're paying rent weekly, then the deposit cannot exceed one full week's rent. Also, this deposit cannot be used by your landlord for any matter other than your final rental payment. That means that your landlord is not entitled to use your deposit money to pay for any damages or cleaning to your apartment.

It is important to request the six per cent interest on your rental deposit each year—perhaps the commercial banks should learn by example and pay the same on savings accounts!

This column provides legal information only. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer, community legal clinic or the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-900-565-4577.

If you have questions about the Tenant Protection Act, many answers can be found at the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal website at www.orht.gov.on.ca or you can call Community Legal Services, Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario at 1-519-661- 3352.
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