The British Columbia Residential Tenancy Office announced that the 2012 interest rate on security and pet damage deposits is 0.0%. The rate has remained unchanged since 2009.
In residential tenancies, a B.C. landlord can require a tenant to pay a security deposit (also called a damage deposit) or a pet damage deposit, or both.
A landlord can charge only one security deposit per rental unit, no matter how many people will live there.
The security deposit cannot be more than half of the first month’s rent. The landlord cannot ask for more deposit money if the rent increases.
A landlord cannot request a security deposit after the tenancy has started.
The landlord can give a 1 Month Notice to End Tenancy if a tenant does not pay the security deposit within 30 days.
Where pets are permitted, the landlord can charge a one-time pet damage deposit. The pet damage deposit cannot be more than half of one month’s rent, no matter how many pets are being allowed. Generally, pet damage deposits can only be used to cover costs of repairing damage caused by a pet.
A landlord who lets an existing tenant get a pet during the tenancy can require the tenant to pay a pet damage deposit, except that pet damage deposits cannot be charged for guide animals or pets that were at the rental unit as of January 1, 2004.
The landlord must calculate the interest owing on the full amount of the deposit, before any deductions are made. The interest is calculated from the date the tenant paid the deposit to the date it will be returned to the tenant.
Generally, a landlord calculates the interest owing and provides the information to the tenant. The Deposit Interest Calculator on the RTB website is designed to make this calculation.
A tenant has up to two years from the end of the tenancy to apply for dispute resolution and ask for an order requiring the landlord to return the deposits.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.