Do I have to pay a deposit when I rent a new place?

Figure out if your landlord is asking for an illegal payment

A landlord can only ask for a last month's or last week's rent , or a deposit for keys. A landlord is not allowed to ask for:

  • pet deposits
  • damage deposits
  • first month's rent (or first week's rent in a week-to-week rental) before you move in
  • post-dated cheques or other kind of pre-authorized payment

Sometimes, a landlord might not know that what they are asking for is unlawful. You might be able to solve the problem by explaining this to them.

If the landlord still refuses to rent to you unless you give them the unlawful deposit, you might decide to pay it. Then you can try to get it back after you have moved in.

It is very common for landlords to ask you to pay “first and last month's rent” when you sign the agreement. But the law says they can't charge you the first month's rent before it is due – which is normally on the first day of your tenancy.

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