You may not realize just how many essential procedures must be completed by a landlord at the End of tenancy. The goal here is to help landlords better understand these requirements, particularly where it comes to handling deposits and move-out inspections.
The unfortunate reality of tenancy is that they don’t always end positively, meaning that they will end up in Dispute Resolution. This can be an incredibly complex topic that may require you to seek out professional guidance on how to deal with this issue.
In this article, we will cover the following aspects of end of tenancy procedures:
- What steps and procedures are required during this “end of tenancy” period, such as inspections prior to moving out.
- How to properly handle deposits at the end of tenancy.
- The basics of the Dispute Resolution process and the how/when of the process.
Inspections Prior to Moving Out – End of tenancy
Both the landlord and their tenants are responsible for completing an inspection upon move-out, which is known as the move-out condition inspection.
Scheduling the Inspection
There is a process that you need to follow when scheduling the condition, such as:
- The landlord is required to give their tenant a minimum of 2 opportunities to schedule the condition inspection.
- The landlord is also required to allow the tenant to suggest the time that works best for them.
- If there is a situation where the tenant doesn’t respond to your attempts to contact them or won’t schedule a time with you, the landlord must then serve a notice to their tenant giving them a last opportunity to schedule their move-out inspection. You will need the RTB form “Notice of Final Opportunity to Schedule a Condition Inspection”.
Executing the Condition Inspection
The move-out inspection is just as important as the move-in inspection. This inspection needs to be done thoroughly, ensuring that every detail is looked over.
You may think that it’s easier to just skip this step, but it’s essential that you take this step seriously. This means that you look over every detail in the space, including the appliances and under the cabinets.
Here are some other things to consider:
- Once you and the tenant sign off in agreement about the condition of the property and you notice an issue, you cannot make a claim against the tenant unless they are agreeable. That’s why it’s important that you do a very thorough inspection of the property.
- The tenant doesn’t have to agree with your inspection report. Inspection forms do have options as to whether or not they agree or disagree with the report.
- If you decide that you are going to withhold the pet deposit or the security deposit, you need to get the tenant’s signature to show that they agree to any deductions or withheld money. If they don’t, it will be necessary to file the Landlord’s Application for Dispute Resolution to get a hearing to resolve this matter.
The next topic to look at is security deposits.
Security Deposit/Pet Deposit Statements
Once the tenancy is over and the inspection has been completed, the tenant and landlord can choose to fill out a deposit statement. You can find this statement at the end of the form “Conditions Inspection”, which will explain what (if anything) is going to be deducted from their deposit. You will not need to have this form completed when the inspection takes place but if there’s any intention of withholding this money and there is an agreement with the tenant, this needs to be completed within 15 days of the end of the tenancy.
Returning or Applying Security Deposit/Pet Deposit
At the end of tenancy or from the date the tenant provides a forwarding address, the landlord is required to do any of the following within 15 days:
- Return the deposit in the entirety.
- Sign the deposit statement or there must be a letter that explains why there were deductions from the deposit. This will also need to be signed by the tenant.
- Using dispute resolution at RTB to retain all or a portion of the deposit.
What can you use the security deposit for? It can be used to cover a variety of different things at the end of tenancy, including:
- Any damage to the rental unit.
- Any rent or utilities left unpaid.
- Changes for cleaning.
- Other liquidated damages.
If there is a pet damage deposit, this can only be used to cover pet damages unless the tenant agrees to it. If the tenant doesn’t agree, the landlord must return it.
If you are going to retain the security deposit, it’s essential that you fill out the Landlord’s Application for Dispute Resolution and select the option for “security deposit”.
In this section, you will get a brief look at what you need to know about Dispute Resolution.
Forms that are Necessary When Dispute Resolution
RTB has a form called the “Landlord’s Application for Dispute Resolution”, the standard form that a landlord will use to request a hearing for dispute resolution. Should the landlord have the intention of seeking a money order or an order of possession that’s related to the 10-day notice to end the tenancy, they can use Direct Request to see this standard form. If the process is accepted, there’s no need for a hearing and the matter will likely be resolved within a couple of weeks.
Dispute Resolution Timelines
Timelines that are associated with dispute resolution must be followed by the landlord when they are considering a dispute resolution application.
If the hearing involves the pet deposit or security deposit, the dispute resolution application needs to be made within 15 days of the end of tenancy or of when the landlord received the forwarding address from the tenant. The tenant and landlord only have 2 years from the tenancy’s end to file their application for dispute resolution.
Any evidence needs to be offered as soon as possible, but it cannot be offered after 14 days prior to the hearing if the landlord files or 7 days if the tenant files. When submitting evidence, consider the method of service and whether or not there will be a delay to ensure that you meet these timelines.