The tenant may have to pay a security deposit at the commencement of a tenancy.
The maximum security deposit that a landlord can ask for is the equivalent of four weeks rent.
When a security deposit is paid by cash, cheque or credit card, the landlord must immediately give the tenant a receipt. The landlord holds the security deposit in trust for the tenant and must pay it back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy (provided there are no claims against the security deposit).
A tenant can request details of the account where the security deposit is held, such requests must be made in writing to the landlord. At the end of the tenancy agreement the landlord may claim the following from the security deposit:
- unpaid rent;
- damage to the premises or ancillary property;
- cleaning of premises left unreasonably dirty;
- replacing lost ancillary property; or
- other amounts owed to the landlord under the agreement such as electricity, gas and water.
These are the main items that can be claimed. Please refer to pg. 28 of this booklet for a complete list.