Tenant Article Display

4

February

2016

All about rents and bonds

Most lessors/property managers will require a tenant to pay a bond at the beginning of the tenancy. As per the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act, the bond can be no more than four times the weekly rent if the rent is $700 or less per week. However, if the weekly rent is more than $700, there is no limit on the bond that can be charged. The lessor/property manager must forward the bond monies to the RTA within 10 days of receiving the monies. The tenant will receive a receipt from the RTA acknowledging receipt of the monies from the lessor/property manager. The bond will be refunded at the end of the tenancy if all obligations of the tenant have been met.

Should the tenant dispute a claim made against the bond by the lessor/property manager, the matter can be mediated through the RTA's dispute resolution service.

PAYING RENT IN ADVANCE

Most lessors/property managers require tenants to pay their rent in advance. However, the lessor/property manager cannot request the tenant to pay more than one month’s rent in advance for a fixed term agreement, or more than two weeks in advance for a periodic agreement. The tenant can pay more rent in advance if they wish to, however tenants cannot be asked to pay more rent until the rent paid in advance has been used up.

ADDITIONAL EXPENSES

A tenant will also be required to pay for expenses related to services connected to the property (eg. gas, electricity and telephone). The way water is to be charged must be stated on the special terms of the tenancy agreement. If the premises are individually metered for water, the property is deemed water efficient and there is a special term in the agreement, a lessor can pass on the total water consumption charges to a tenant. Refer to the RTA website for more information.

In some cases, a tenant living in a unit or flat may find there is only one bill for electricity, meaning that the service is not individually metered. In this instance, the tenancy agreement must state how the tenant's share of the costs will be worked out.

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