The Rental Housing Act is clear regarding rental deposits. According to the Act, the landlord (or the estate agency acting on behalf of the landlord) is required to refund the rental deposit & interest accrued to the tenant within 7 days of the expiry of the lease should there be no amounts owed for unpaid rent or costs to repair damages caused by the tenant. It’s important that tenants consider this in the months leading up to the expiry of the lease, to ensure that provision is made for the rental deposit due on their next property.
If an amount is owed for repairs or outstanding rent/utilities, the landlord is required to refund the rental deposit & interest accrued less deductions within 14 days of restoration of the property. If the tenant is liable for damages to the property, he/she is entitled to a written & dated receipt of all repair costs.
It may take several weeks for the landlord to source and select the most cost-effective repair quote, and for the contractors to complete the job. It is therefore in the tenant’s best interest to return the property to the landlord in the same condition it was received to avoid unnecessary delays. The tenant may repair minor damages (such as holes in the walls made by nails) provided the quality of workmanship is acceptable. Any electrical/specialised repair work should be left to the professionals!
Both parties must jointly complete the entry & exit inspection at the beginning & end of the lease period to reduce the risk of dispute over which party is liable for damages.