Residential Tenancies Key Fees and Other Fees

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A landlord can require a tenant to put down a deposit for keys, remote entry devices or cards, as long as the deposit is refundable and the amount of the deposit does not exceed their expected replacement cost if they are not returned to the landlord. The landlord must return the deposit when the tenant returns their keys, remote entry devices or cards at the end of their tenancy.

If a tenant requests additional keys, remote entry devices or cards, a landlord can charge the tenant for no more than their actual cost to the landlord. If a landlord replaces a lock, the tenant does not have to pay for the new keys; however, the landlord may ask for a refundable key deposit for the new keys.

Parking or Lockers

If parking or a locker are not included in the rent, a landlord can charge a tenant a monthly fee for these services. However, they cannot charge a tenant a registration fee or deposit for them.

NSF (Non-Sufficient Funds) Cheques

If a tenant’s rent cheque has bounced due to insufficient funds in their account, a landlord can ask the tenant to pay for the charges the landlord has to pay to the bank, plus an additional administrative fee of up to $20.

Transfers Between Units

A landlord can charge a tenant an amount not exceeding $250 if a tenant requests a transfer between rental units in the same residential complex.

Last Month’s Rent Deposit

A landlord can collect a rent deposit if it is requested on or before the day that the landlord and tenant enter into a tenancy agreement, but it cannot be more than one month’s rent or the rent for one rental period, whichever is less. The deposit must be used for the rent for the last month before the tenancy ends. It cannot be used for anything else, such as to pay for damages.

If the rent increases after a tenant has paid a rent deposit, the landlord can ask the tenant to pay an additional amount towards the rent deposit so that it is the same as the new rent. If a tenant gives notice that they want to move and the landlord has not previously asked the tenant to top up the rent deposit, the landlord still has the right to ask the tenant to pay an additional amount towards the rent for the last month, so that it is the same as the current rent.

A landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every 12 months. The amount a landlord must pay is the same as the rent increase guideline that is in effect when the interest payment is due, which is set each year by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

A landlord may deduct the amount needed to update the rent deposit (so that it equals the current rent) from the interest that is owed to the tenant. However, if the landlord does not pay the interest owed to the tenant when it is due, the tenant can deduct the interest from a future rent payment or file an application for a rebate with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Damage Deposits

A landlord cannot demand or collect a “damage deposit” from a tenant to cover any possible future damages to a rental unit. A landlord also cannot use the last month’s rent deposit to cover damages in the unit.

If a landlord finds that a tenant has damaged the unit or caused damage to the building, the landlord can give the tenant a notice and/or ask them to pay for the damages. If they do not, the landlord can apply to have the Landlord and Tenant Board determine if there are damages and what should be done about them.

Other Illegal Fees or Deposits

A landlord cannot demand that tenants buy furniture, carpeting or draperies in a rental unit, or demand that tenants pay painting fees, finder’s fees, or application or registration fees to rent a unit.

It is a violation of the Residential Tenancies Act for a landlord to not pay interest on a last month’s rent deposit or to charge illegal fees. Violations are punishable by fines of up to $25,000 for each individual, and up to $100,000 for corporations.