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Paying an illegal damage deposit

duke8628

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I have an issue that I would appreciate some advice on.

We knowingly paid an illegal damage deposit as tenants as we were desperate at the time and really wanted the house. We are now moving out and the landlord wishes to keep the full deposit due to a hole in the wall that we admittedly created (the deposit was $500). The landlord will not show us the estimate to repair the hole nor have we been given the option to prepare our own quote or repair the hole ourselves.

As you can see there are many layers to this, and I was hoping someone could give me some advice on how to proceed?

Thank you,
 

Gravity

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I have an issue that I would appreciate some advice on.

We knowingly paid an illegal damage deposit as tenants as we were desperate at the time and really wanted the house. We are now moving out and the landlord wishes to keep the full deposit due to a hole in the wall that we admittedly created (the deposit was $500). The landlord will not show us the estimate to repair the hole nor have we been given the option to prepare our own quote or repair the hole ourselves.

As you can see there are many layers to this, and I was hoping someone could give me some advice on how to proceed?

Thank you,
I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV... but do call the http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/ people - who will make suggestions. I called them and they told me, should we have paid the deposit (as you did), we could request it back. If it is not returned, they would contact the landlord and let him/her know they have to return it.

I have been a long time renter, and always taken good care of my places. Never stole appliances! Paid for any problems. Treated the places well.

Recently we started looking to relocate - and I was asked in an email - for a deposit in addition to 1st and last. After consideration, we wrote to the landlord and told him that such requests were illegal. I was polite, but suggested that: we had excellent references, excellent credit, work references etc, but that we would not pay an illegal deposit. I got a shocked, "I didn't know!" response. True or not, we were then all on the same page and able to proceed.
 

freshcutgrass

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I have an issue that I would appreciate some advice on.

We knowingly paid an illegal damage deposit as tenants as we were desperate at the time and really wanted the house. We are now moving out and the landlord wishes to keep the full deposit due to a hole in the wall that we admittedly created (the deposit was $500). The landlord will not show us the estimate to repair the hole nor have we been given the option to prepare our own quote or repair the hole ourselves.

As you can see there are many layers to this, and I was hoping someone could give me some advice on how to proceed?

Thank you,

If a landlord is unaware of such a basic rule governing the business they have chosen to engage in, or have knowingly chosen to act illegally, then this is not a very professional landlord. And I wouldn't want to deal with an non-professional landlord for the same reason I wouldn't want my teeth fixed by a non-professional dentist....the odds are you are going to regret it.

The landlord-tenant relationship can be very messy, and entering into this business relationship should be taken seriously by both parties. Having knowledge of the Residential Tenancy Act and complying with it would be the bare minimum.

Landlords also need to be careful, as this is not a business to engage in lightly without knowing the perils of this type of business in Ontario. Legislation has taken this private business transaction and made landlords into quasi social workers. You will know this if you have ever been to the Landlord Tenant Board.
 

Filip

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If a landlord is unaware of such a basic rule governing the business they have chosen to engage in, or have knowingly chosen to act illegally, then this is not a very professional landlord. And I wouldn't want to deal with an non-professional landlord for the same reason I wouldn't want my teeth fixed by a non-professional dentist....the odds are you are going to regret it.

The landlord-tenant relationship can be very messy, and entering into this business relationship should be taken seriously by both parties. Having knowledge of the Residential Tenancy Act and complying with it would be the bare minimum.

Landlords also need to be careful, as this is not a business to engage in lightly without knowing the perils of this type of business in Ontario. Legislation has taken this private business transaction and made landlords into quasi social workers. You will know this if you have ever been to the Landlord Tenant Board.[/QUOTE]
I really wonder what caused this to head into that direction. I fully understand protecting basic tenant rights such as caps on rent increases, not being able to throw out tenants to get higher paying ones (without valid reasons such as moving back in, etc); but a landlord is not a charity. If you don't pay up, you forfeit your right to live there. Simple.

This seems to have been lost in the social justice circles of Ontario.
 

Tuscani01

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I really wonder what caused this to head into that direction. I fully understand protecting basic tenant rights such as caps on rent increases, not being able to throw out tenants to get higher paying ones (without valid reasons such as moving back in, etc); but a landlord is not a charity. If you don't pay up, you forfeit your right to live there. Simple.

This seems to have been lost in the social justice circles of Ontario.
A landlord is effectively running a business. Damage to your property is just one of the costs of doing business. For larger costs, the landlord can still go through courts to get compensation.

The rules are in place to prevent people like Gravity from being taken advantage of. There is no way it would cost $500 to repair the hole, and he can likely do the repair himself.
 

Filip

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A landlord is effectively running a business. Damage to your property is just one of the costs of doing business. For larger costs, the landlord can still go through courts to get compensation.

The rules are in place to prevent people like Gravity from being taken advantage of. There is no way it would cost $500 to repair the hole, and he can likely do the repair himself.
I think we're discussing two separate things here. I'm just talking about the tenant rights overall. Most landlords are regular people with an extra property. They shouldn't be put through undue hardship because the single mom lost her job and can't pay rent. Who's gonna cover the landlords costs? Their mortgage?
 

freshcutgrass

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A landlord is effectively running a business. Damage to your property is just one of the costs of doing business. For larger costs, the landlord can still go through courts to get compensation.
This is not the case at all...tenants are responsible for all damages. The RTA states this. A nominal damage deposit is a reasonable requirement, and is the norm in other jurisdictions. Ontario is an exception...not the rule.

What I was referring to earlier about the prov govt treating private landlords like quasi social workers, was the fact that the legislation is in place to accommodate tenants who really should be in social housing, but do to the governments inability to accommodate them, would like the private sector to do their jobs for them. How many people are on the waiting list for social housing in Ontario? In the meantime, where are they? Exactly.

So while the Board (a provincial body) is supposed to uphold the RTA in a fair manor, they don't. They will do whatever it takes to not evict them, because they don't have room for them where they should be...in social housing. They will do whatever it takes to keep you stuck with them. Anybody who is an acceptable candidate for private rental housing can afford to provide a nominal damage deposit, as well as last month's rent. People who should be in social housing can't, and that's what dictates this.

But this is a double edged sword, as the less attractive they make the private rental business in Ontario, the less people are interested in doing it, causing a shortage of rental housing. The condo boom has provided a lot of housing, but that tends to be at the higher end, and is not long term /stable housing, as well as generally involving non professional landlords.

Sure you can choose to mitigate your losses in court, but how do you garnishee wages from someone on ODSP? You can't. Which is why I would never rent to anyone without a stable job, which obviously excludes anyone on any kind of social assistance.
 

doug

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A landlord is effectively running a business. Damage to your property is just one of the costs of doing business.
Just like when you break an item in a store, you shouldn't have to pay for it. It's just the cost of doing business.
 

rbt

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Just like when you break an item in a store, you shouldn't have to pay for it. It's just the cost of doing business.
You only need to pay for it if you get caught. Ditto for theft. Stock loss from retail shelves is a carefully tracked, and often insured, value.
 

freshcutgrass

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Just like when you break an item in a store, you shouldn't have to pay for it. It's just the cost of doing business.
No...not like that at all. Your liability for paying for something you break in a store depends on negligence law and circumstances. Paying for damage to rental property depends on contract law and what is spelled out in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Try renting a car and bring it back with damages and tell them "it's just the cost of doing business". ha ha Your liability is already spelled out in the contract you signed when you rented it...just like a rental contract (the lease). That's why you both sign a pre inspection report before you take the car...just as all landlords should have pre move-in and move out condition reports.
 

Wantboost

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I haven't made the deal yet . I saw the place and they said some security deposit would be needed since it's short term.
 

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