What do I do if the Landlord Does Not Return the Deposit?

Landlord Not Returning Deposit Ontario
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Question: What do I do if the Landlord Does Not Return the Deposit?
Answer: If the landlord does not return the deposit, you can first attempt to resolve the issue amicably through communication. If unsuccessful, you may consider legal action such as filing a complaint with the relevant tenancy board or small claims court to seek resolution and potentially recover the deposit.

What do I do if the Landlord Does Not Return the Deposit? Understanding Your Rights

Navigating the complexities of rental agreements can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding your rights regarding deposits. This blog post aims to shed light on what you can do if your landlord fails to return your deposit.

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The Basics of Deposit Returns

What Is a Deposit?

A deposit is a sum of money held by the landlord as security during the rental period. It’s typically equivalent to one month’s rent. This amount is meant to cover potential damages or unpaid rent.

Time Frame for Return

After you move out, the landlord should return your deposit promptly. Usually, this should happen within a specific period after you vacate the property. It’s crucial to know this time frame to set your expectations correctly. [ 1 ]

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Related Article: What is a Damage Deposit in Ontario?

Legal Grounds for Withholding a Deposit

Damage Beyond Normal Wear and Tear

Landlords can withhold a deposit if there’s significant damage to the property. This doesn’t include normal wear and tear, like minor scuffs on walls or normal carpet wear.

Unpaid Rent or Bills

If you leave with unpaid rent or utility bills, the landlord might use the deposit to cover these costs.

Steps to Take if Your Deposit Isn’t Returned

Communication is Key

Start by reaching out to your landlord. A simple conversation can sometimes resolve misunderstandings quickly.

Formal Request

If talking doesn’t work, send a formal request in writing. This should include details of your tenancy and a request for the deposit return.

Documentation and Evidence

Keep Records

Always keep records of your rental payments, communication with your landlord, and the condition of the property when you moved in and out.

Photographic Evidence

Photos can be vital in proving the state of the property at different times. They serve as tangible evidence if there’s a dispute over damages.

Seeking External Help

Tenant Support Services

There are organizations dedicated to helping tenants. They can provide advice and support in dealing with deposit disputes.

Small Claims Court

As a last resort, you might consider taking legal action through small claims court. This is where documentation and evidence will be crucial.

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Conclusion: Protecting Your Interests

Remember, being informed and proactive is key in ensuring your rights are respected. By understanding the basics, knowing legal grounds, taking appropriate steps, keeping thorough documentation, and seeking help when needed, you can better navigate the challenges of getting your deposit back.

In conclusion, dealing with unreturned deposits can be frustrating, but by understanding your rights and following these steps, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and don’t hesitate to seek help when needed.


1. https://www.rentinottawa.com/blog/ontario-rent-deposit-law

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