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Security Deposits

A security deposit is money the landlord collects at the start of a tenancy. It can be used to cover any losses caused by the tenant, such as damages to the place or unpaid rent.

Many people call it a damage deposit. Landlords can only ask for a security deposit at the beginning of the tenancy. They cannot decide to ask for one later. Landlords will usually ask for a security deposit.

Landlords may require a security deposit of up to the amount of one month's rent.

A tenant can pay the security deposit in two payments. The landlord can ask the tenant to pay up to one-half of the security deposit when the tenant agrees to rent the place. The rest is due two months after the tenant moves in.

For individuals receiving social assistance under the Saskatchewan Assistance Plan (SAP)*, a guarantee letter from Social Services is considered a security deposit.

The guarantee may stay in place as long as the tenant continues to receive social assistance and doesn't change residences. A landlord cannot refuse to accept a security deposit guarantee. They can require the tenant to pay the difference between the amount guaranteed by Social Services and the full month’s rent. If Social Services removes the guarantee, the landlord can request a security deposit from the tenant. The landlord must give the tenant one month's written notice that a security deposit is now required. One-half must be paid one month after the notice is given and the rest is due three months after the notice was given. Tenants who are leaving Social Assistance due to employment may be able to receive some funds from Social Services to help out with a security deposit and should contact their worker.

* Individuals receiving assistance under the new Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) program (July 15, 2019) can receive money for a security deposit as part of their Shelter Allowance and are responsible for paying it to the landlord.

A landlord cannot ask for or accept more than one security deposit from a tenant.

A key deposit or pet deposit or any other form of deposit will be part of the security deposit. The total cannot exceed one month's rent.

A landlord cannot end the tenancy or refuse to renew a tenancy for the purpose of increasing a security deposit.

A landlord cannot give notice to vacate a rental unit or refuse to renew a tenancy agreement for the sole purpose of increasing the damage deposit.

The tenant cannot apply the security deposit towards rent unless the landlord agrees.

A tenant cannot apply the security deposit towards their rent without the written consent of the landlord.

The security deposit must be held in trust by the landlord during the tenancy.

It must be deposited in a trust account at a bank, credit union or other financial institution. It belongs to the tenant and must be held in trust for them. If the tenancy lasts five years or more the tenant is entitled to interest on the deposit. Interest is calculated in accordance with the Act.

Once the tenancy is over the landlord may make a claim for some or all of it.

A landlord must give the tenant notice of a claim against the security deposit within 7 days after the tenant moves out. For more information see Return of Security Deposits.

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