Landlord's rights and responsibilities - end of tenancy issues

When the rental agreement comes to an end, the party that is ending the tenancy needs to give proper notice. The requirements for this do vary depending on the province or territory, so it is therefore important to check the rules for your particular area in the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets.

The Final Inspection

When it comes time for a tenant to move out, you will need to inspect the premises for any damages beyond everyday wear and tear. If you went through the property and inspected it with the tenant when they moved in, find the initial inspection checklist and refer to it as you make your way through each room when the tenant moves out. The tenant who is leaving as well as the landlord need to inspect the rental property together and sign the checklist as well as keep a copy (this applies to both party).

If the rental unit passes the final inspection that you do, you will need to return the deposit you gave to the tenant, if applicable, in a timely manner. If the property is in a state of disrepair or is significantly dirty, you will have to ask the tenant to pay for any cleaning or repairs that need to be done to the property. As a landlord, you should carefully review the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets, as the laws regarding deposits are different from place to place throughout the country.


Returning the Deposit, with Interest

The rules that govern deposits are different from province to province, so you will need to know what they are in your area. In Quebec, for example, landlords are not allowed to collect a deposit in any form. In Ontario, however, landlords can collect a rent deposit, but it is not classified as a security deposit, meaning it cannot be used by the landlord to pay for any damages whatsoever. In certain provinces throughout Canada, it is the Rentalsman office, not the landlord, that keeps the deposit until it is time to return it to the tenant.

When a tenancy comes to an end, the deposit that was initially collected from the tenant, is either returned or used to cover their last month’s rest. A vast majority of areas have set interest rates for these deposits and they must be paid back in full when the tenant leaves. In certain other places, such as Alberta, interest must be paid to the tenant annually unless another arrangement has been agreed to in writing.

There is usually a difference between the amount of the rental deposit when it was first given to the landlord and when the tenant moves out. If the tenant has not given the landlord any additional money to put towards the deposit, part of the interest that is owed, if applicable, is usually used to cover the difference between the initial deposit amount and the total for last month’s rent.

Rules pertaining to the use of a deposit to cover damages/repairs vary depending on the province or territory. Refer to the Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets to get more information on how you should return tenant’s deposits where you live.