Changes Made So Renters Receive Back Damage Deposits In Timely Manner

Victoria – Renters will be able to receive their security and pet deposits back in a fair and timely manner, thanks to changes made by the Government of B.C.

“Renters should not have to go through a time-consuming process to have their deposits returned to them,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are taking action to make the residential tenancy system work better for landlords and tenants, and this is another step in making sure everyone is treated fairly.”

Under the old process, renters had to apply for a dispute resolution hearing if their landlord did not return their uncontested deposits within 15 days of the end of the rental agreement. This formal hearing with the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) meant that renters had to wait to have their money returned to them.

To solve this, the Province is creating an expedited process. Renters with successful applications will receive an order for the return of the deposit that they can then serve to their landlord or enforce through the small claims court. The RTB has a similar process in place to help landlords recover unpaid rent or utilities. These changes give renters the ability to use the same simplified process to get their deposit back.

Renters can apply for this expedited process in person at the RTB office in Burnaby, at any Service BC location or online (effective February 18, 2020).

“The Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC) supports the decision to make the RTB’s direct request process available to tenants seeking the recovery of their security and pet damage deposits. We regularly hear from tenants whose landlords refuse to return deposits without justification, knowing that the time and hassle of the standard dispute-resolution process will lead many to simply give up,” said Andrew Sakamoto, executive director, TRAC.

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