Deposit amounts vary by province and territory. In most places, it is equal to the last month’s rent. Please consult with the provincial/territorial office where you will be renting to find out more.

Deposits collected have interest payments applied to them for the length of the tenancy.

When you move out, the deposit money can be used to pay for the last month’s rent. Any interest incurred will be applied to the difference in rent increase if applicable. If there hasn’t been a rent increase, only the interest will be repaid.

However, in some areas (not Ontario), the landlord may use some or all of the money to cover:

  • Unpaid rent
  • Cleaning the unit
  • Repairs to the unit

You are not legally required to pay a deposit for a rental property in Quebec.

Landlords who accept deposit cheques, should issue receipts that clearly state the:

  • Amount of the cheque
  • Address of the rental property or unit
  • Landlord’s name and phone number
  • Name of the person who accepted the cheque

Paying rent

Rent is due on the actual day listed in the lease — e.g. September 1st. Payment received even a day later, is considered late — e.g. September 2nd. 

Late payments are treated differently by province or territory. Depending on where you live, landlords can:

  • Impose a reasonable penalty
  • Offer a grace period of up to 3 days
  • Provide a notice to terminate the rental agreement due to arrears. The notice would no longer be valid as soon as you pay the rent owing.

Rent can be paid by cheque, electronic bank transfer or, in some cases, cash. Ask your landlord how they would like to receive payment. While post-dated cheques are convenient, it is illegal for the landlord to demand this form of payment in some provinces.

What happens if I can’t afford to pay?

Tips for renters…

Always pay your rent on time. Frequent late payments can prevent you from being able to renew your lease at the end of the rental agreement period.

When you can’t pay rent.

Tips for landlords…

Make sure you know who is responsible for saving the security deposit. In some provinces, the Rentalsman Office holds the deposit for you and the tenant. Please consult with the local Provincial\Territorial office for any questions you may have about who is responsible for saving your security deposit.

Under no circumstance can you keep a tenant’s deposit or charge for additional repairs to the rental premises. You must negotiate additional payment with your tenant, and if they disagree you’ll have to formally apply to the local rental authority to keep the deposit or charge the tenant for damages costing more than the deposit and interest.

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Date Published:: March 31, 2018