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Security Deposit: One Of The Keys To Renting Accommodation

Security Deposit: One Of The Keys To Renting Accommodation

Julian Sanchez / January 25, 2019

The security deposit, often mistakenly called “surety,” is a central point in the tenant-owner relationship. How is it fixed? For what reasons can the lessor refuse to return it? Explanations.

What Is The Security Deposit?

When the lease of an apartment or house is signed, the security deposit is paid by the tenant to the landlord who owns the property. The lessor may deduct from the security deposit the sums due as a result of:

  • – of resulting degradation repairs ;
  • – of rents or unpaid charges before departure of the housing;
  • – of interviews of equipment to the tenant and unrealized.

Even if requested, the deposit is not  required. The rental agreement must provide it.

A Sum Capped

To Set The Amount Of The Deposit, It Is Necessary To Distinguish The Types Of Housing:

  • – if the property, apartment or house, is rented furnished, the deposit may represent up to two months rent excluding charges ;
  • – if the property is rented unfurnished, it can reach a maximum of one month’s rent excluding charges.

This two-month limit also applies to non-contracted HLM dwellings whose rent is payable at the end of the month as well as to non-social housing units (APL).

On the other hand, the security deposit cannot be requested when the rent is payable in advance and for a duration exceeding two months.

Help For Tenants

Paying the security deposit is a significant expense that usually accumulates with other costs: agency fees for searching the property, a month’s rent in advance often requested, moving expenses (truck rental or movers) and usually some purchases to arrange your new home.

Restitution Or Not Of The Deposit

The departure of the dwelling is the other hinge period. It is time to take stock of any payment arrears and the condition of the accommodation.

For the full refund of the deposit, the owner has one month after the handing over of the keys if the inventory of places of exit conforms with the list of homes of entry.

On the other hand, if the inventory of places of exit does not conform to the list of homes of entry, the maximum time is increased to two months. Similarly, in the case of a co-ownership, the owner can take 20% of the deposit and wait until the annual regularization of charges by the trustee is made.

Rules To Respect

Any deductions that the owner may make on the security deposit must be justified. They can correspond to the expenses incurred to rehabilitate the housing, with as proof the specifications, the invoices of renovation companies or the report of the bailiff.

Only repairs caused by obsolescence “resulting from the time or normal use of materials and equipment” cannot be retained.

If the deposit is returned partially or totally, this can be done by hand or by registered letter (to the new address of the tenant).

In case of delay during the return, interest may be applied. And if there is litigation and no conciliation is successful, the case may be brought before the local judge or the court of the instance for amounts higher than 4 000$.

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