Damage Deposits

It is illegal to charge more than half a month’s rent as a damage deposit, or a pet deposit. If you have been overcharged, you can deduct the difference from your next rent payment.

Your Landlord is not entitled to keep your Damage Deposit

Landlords must apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch if they want to keep all or part of your deposit. If they have not done this they have no legal justification to keep it (unless you agree in writing).

Don’t give them the satisfaction of keeping money that was never theirs to begin with.

The best way to avoid disputes about damage deposits is to insist on doing a condition inspection report (sometimes called a walk through) with your landlord when you move in and when you move out. You can document any issues you notice with photos or video too.

Remember - routine wear and tear is not considered damage that you have to pay for. If your landlord didn’t do a walk through with you, they will have no credible evidence to justify keeping your deposit.

Further Reading