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Paying an illegal damage deposit

HigherPrimate

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by the way, a landlord WOULD be responsive to a tenant if he thinks that tenant would pay a damage deposit at the last month of tenancy.

the tenant has every right to NOT PAY that illegal deposit, even if he had promised to do so.
so if you're a landlord. go ahead ask for that illegal damage deposit upfront if you're scared of "getting hurt" and don't like to trust people. but know you are taking a risk when you do that. you're basically asking for the tenant to trust you with their money, and showing them an act of mistrust at the same time.

a smart landlord wouldn't do it.
 

interested

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Ontario's landlord tenant act very much favours tenants.

That said, as I pointed out, I do not ask for damage deposits. I personally feel that one does not approach things striving to achieve the lowest common denominator. We all agree the landlord should not ask for a damage deposit. The solution of lying to the landlord just sets up for future confrontation and is in no one's interest.

My comment about the deposit being refundable at the end was contingent on there being no damage. Perhaps I should have clarified this more.

Anyhow, going back to the original poster. I think if you wish to, try the solution I proposed before; approaching the landlord suggesting that you would be a good tenant and that the request for a damage deposit is not allowed. But be prepared that you might lose it. Or, follow Higher Primate's advice. Of course, you realize that you may have a rather rough tenancy going forward because the landlord may be doing something illegal asking it, but you have just shown that you have vacated the moral high ground and descended to his level by resorting to willfully lying and being deceiptful. I just never believed 2 wrongs make a right.
 

HigherPrimate

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i agree that two wrongs dont make a right.

your approach of being upfront is the right thing to do no question. i never disagreed with this.

-lying to the landlord is wrong
-letting the landlords get away with an illegal act by paying him an illegal fee is also wrong.

both are morally wrong but one of these involves breaking the law consciously. its not illegal for a tenant to lie although it is wrong.

-another thing thats morally wrong is preying on ignorant tenants by asking for an illegal deposit.
- it is your duty as a citizen to be vigilant about any misconduct and the responsible thing to do is not break the law and report any incident.

- sure two wrongs dont make a right, i didnt disageee with this.

but were not talking about right or wrong here. what we are talking about are options you have and what the consequences are. thats why i had that suggestion. its an option. not without consequences for sure.
landlords and tenants should both know the consequences of their actions.

everyone has the option to break the law and the option to be a liar and ther option to let people victimize you by being ignorant. but remember that there are consequences.
 

HigherPrimate

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The solution of lying to the landlord just sets up for future confrontation and is in no one's interest.
What it really is is The solution asking for a damage deposit just sets up for future lying to the landlord which sets up for future confrontation and is in no one's interest.

so dont ask for illegal damage deposits in the first place.
 

HigherPrimate

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Damage deposits (or any other deposit besides one months rent) are illegal.
See #105 & #106 of the Ontario RTA 2006
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_06r17_e.htm#BK123

Ultimately it is a question of whether you want a landlord who will observe the law, and whether they want a tenant who will observe the law. That sword cuts both ways.

Exactly. And if you are willing to deal with a landlord who doesn't observe the law, then you absolutely have to go to his level.

If you're not willing to go to his level, you shouldn't be dealing with him in the first place. Look for someone who is on your level instead. You always have a choice.
 

neuhaus

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Does this include pet deposits?

I am more than happy to offer a damage deposit as I may be living with a dog, just as an assurance and courtesy to the landlord. This is purely a non-solicited, voluntary offer on my part (the future tenant).
Is this still illegal? Could I draw up a document that's worded so it's not illegal in regards to the damage deposit issue?
 

rbt

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Does this include pet deposits?

I am more than happy to offer a damage deposit as I may be living with a dog, just as an assurance and courtesy to the landlord. This is purely a non-solicited, voluntary offer on my part (the future tenant).
Is this still illegal? Could I draw up a document that's worded so it's not illegal in regards to the damage deposit issue?
The illegal bit is to ask for more funds up front than the total of first and last months rent. You can call it whatever you want but the total held in may not be higher than last months rent. Annual interest earned also applies here. If last months rent remains the same and interest was earned (it is always earned -- government sets the rate), you must pay their accrued interest out.
 

HigherPrimate

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I think neuhaus is asking if the money is a voluntary offer, how does it work.

It's illegal for him to ask for the deposit but If you're offering money to him, I don't see why it would be illegal for him to take it. Not sure on this, does anyone here know?
 

rbt

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I think neuhaus is asking if the money is a voluntary offer, how does it work.

It's illegal for him to ask for the deposit but If you're offering money to him, I don't see why it would be illegal for him to take it. Not sure on this, does anyone here know?
In my own dealings I assume the rule still applies, because I think it does. Of course, if the tenant doesn't care and no other potential tenants care (discrimination), then it doesn't really matter. The law is typically only enforced when somebody makes a complaint.
 
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littlemonkey

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As discussed it is illegal to ask for a security deposit in Ontario. The landlord can request last month's rent and a refundable key deposit for the cost of the keys which must be refunded once all the keys are returned. On the leases I do for tenants and landlords, if a tenant wishes to pay more than just the last month's rent, I insert a clause that says “the tenant voluntarily will pay....." Again even though a voluntary payment the tenant could at anytime ask for that back and the landlord would have to oblige. Also post dated cheques are also at the tenant's choosing. It is not a requirement to give post dated cheques but some tenants choose to do so, to make it easier. Good luck.
 

goffeebeans

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both are morally wrong but one of these involves breaking the law consciously. its not illegal for a tenant to lie although it is wrong.
Bit off topic, but I just had to make a comment.

Just because something is illegal does not make it immoral. Just as there are things that are legal, that can be considered immoral.

i.e. Driving over the speed limit is illegal, but it does not mean its morally wrong.
 

richardl

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I agree with what #13 has mostly said. I think beginning a relationship with a landlord should be as honest as possible, but any extra charges that are not legal should never be charged.
You think the $25 000 max fine for breaking the Act would deter any landlord from ripping there tenants off for under $1000 or having to repair minor ware and tear items would be cheaper than paying the fine.
BUT one thing that is not mention here anywhere is that if a Tenant pays a illegal "damage deposit" that Tenant only has 12 months to request that money back either by just asking the landlord for the deposit back or by filling out an application for $45. If the Tenant FAILs to do this with in the 12 month period the Tenant gives up their right to legally collect the deposit back for the landlord regardless of the amont.
I like this statement "State that while you understand the "damage deposit request", but was he/she aware that what he/she is a is doing is "not allowed" and you do not wish to be a participant to an illegal act.''
Be smart if you are renting or renting out an appartment. all the information can be found on the Landlord and Tenant Boards website check it out.
 

Chesney

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Hi,
I have seen renters mistreat rental buildings. Brand new buildings only a year old, after having the renter live in it looks like it's 5 years old or more. They break the balcony screen doors, ruin the stove, ruin cupboards and storage, dirty the carpets, scratch hardwood floors, poke holes in walls when moving furniture.
 

deranged

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sorry to revive a dead thread, but I am currently renting my townhouse and 4 months into a 3 year lease, the renters want to break the lease.
They're leaving on new year's day and it'll be very difficult for us to find someone to rent the place to by then (we are making efforts).

They are claiming that because I took a damage deposit, the lease is void. Is this true?

I am looking to rent the place and have a clean break, but if I can't find a renter, then I'm here paying the mortgage on an empty house. They only gave a 30 day notice...

additionally, they were ones that insisted a 3 year lease. They wanted to sign on for a long time and asked for a discount. I gave them 1k off their first month's rent because i thought what the heck, they're here for 3 years, lets start off on a good note... Can i get them pay back the 1k?
they've been nothing but trouble, not paying rent on time, outstanding hydro bill, etc.
 
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Tuscani01

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sorry to revive a dead thread, but I am currently renting my townhouse and 4 months into a 3 year lease, the renters want to break the lease.
They're leaving on new year's day and it'll be very difficult for us to find someone to rent the place to by then (we are making efforts).

They are claiming that because I took a damage deposit, the lease is void. Is this true?

I am looking to rent the place and have a clean break, but if I can't find a renter, then I'm here paying the mortgage on an empty house. They only gave a 30 day notice...

additionally, they were ones that insisted a 3 year lease. They wanted to sign on for a long time and asked for a discount. I gave them 1k off their first month's rent because i thought what the heck, they're here for 3 years, lets start off on a good note... Can i get them pay back the 1k?
they've been nothing but trouble, not paying rent on time, outstanding hydro bill, etc.
Only the damage deposit portion of the lease itself is void. The rest of the lease is still valid. That would be like saying 'sorry, the lease is void because you said no pets allowed'.

That's not how things work. Time for you to talk to a lawyer. Let the tenant know you will be going to a lawyer, that may be enough to get them to give up. Just a note, you cannot keep the damage deposit, even if the tenant causes damage.
 

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