Security Deposits


A supplement may be provided to assist recipients of income, hardship, and disability assistance with the cost of securing rental accommodation.

This supplement is available under the Employment and Assistance Regulation and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation.


Effective: June 4, 2008

Security deposits can only be issued in tenancy situations that are covered by the Residential Tenancy Act or for a housing unit owned by a cooperative association, and cannot exceed one-half the monthly rent, or monthly housing charge.  In the case of subsidized rental housing, the monthly rent is calculated as the actual rent payable plus the monthly subsidy. (E.g., rent amount paid by the client is $350, subsidized amount is $200; therefore, the monthly rent is $550).

The ministry may provide a security deposit to or for a family unit that is eligible for income assistance, hardship assistance, or disability assistance if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the security deposit is necessary to enable the family unit to rent residential accommodation
  • the recipient agrees in writing to repay the amount paid
  • the security deposit does not exceed 50 per cent of one month’s rent for residential rental accommodation or 50 per cent of the monthly housing charge for a housing unit owned by a cooperative association

As of April 1, 2002, all recipients are limited to two outstanding security deposits issued after that date.  Hardship recipients are limited to two outstanding security deposits issued after August 1, 1997.

The ministry does not assume liability or legal responsibility for rent or for any breach of the tenancy agreement.

Security deposit interest is not recoverable, nor is it considered income.

See Additional Resources – link to Residential Tenancy Act.

Effective: November 25, 2008

Recipients who have two or more outstanding security deposits (issued after April 1, 2002), but require an additional security deposit, may be eligible for an additional deposit if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • are fleeing domestic violence
  • are required to move within a municipality or unincorporated area, or to an adjacent municipality or unincorporated area, because the recipient’s rental premises are being sold, demolished or condemned
  • are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness

When assessing eligibility for an additional security deposit for a client who is homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness, consider whether the client is living in:

  • public spaces without legal claim (e.g., on the streets, in abandoned buildings, in tent cities);
  • a homeless shelter;
  • a public facility or service (e.g., hospital, care facility, rehab or treatment centre, correctional facility) facing immediate discharge and cannot return to a stable residence;
  • temporary accommodation where they do not have control over the length and conditions of tenure (e.g., couch surfing, name not on lease);
  • inadequate accommodation (e.g., no running water, no heat, substandard housing conditions);
  • time-limited housing designed to help them transition from being homeless to living in a permanent form of housing (e.g. transitional housing or second-stage housing); or
  • accommodation where tenancy will be terminated within three months of application (e.g., given notice by landlord).

Effective: December 1, 2003

Recipients to whom security deposits were issued between August 1, 1997 and March 31, 2002 signed a Promise to Pay (HR2527).  Security deposits issued under these circumstances become repayable when the recipient's current tenancy ends or the recipient is no longer in receipt of assistance.  Security deposits that are not repaid in a lump sum, must be recovered through monthly cheque reduction of $20 or more. Reduction starts at the end of the month following the month the tenancy ends, or if the client leaves assistance, repayment must be made until the debt is recovered.

For repayable security deposits issued after April 1, 2002, a Repayment Agreement/Acknowledgement of Debt (Repayable) (HR2663A) is signed and the security deposit becomes repayable immediately.  Security deposits not repaid in a lump sum must be recovered through monthly cheque reduction.  Reduction starts on the second cheque issue after the security deposit is issued.  The recovery amount on outstanding security deposits is $20 per month, or more with the client's consent.

Assigned security deposits issued prior to August 1, 1997 will continue to be recovered from landlords by Financial and Administrative Services Branch (FASB) upon termination of the tenancy.

[For Repayment Agreement/Acknowledgement of Debt (Repayable) (HR2663A), see Forms and Letters.]

[For more information on repayment of security deposit supplements, see Related Links – Recoveries.]


Effective: November 25, 2008

If two or more security deposits issued after April 2002 are outstanding and an attempt is made to add an additional deposit, an integration error will occur. Clear the integration error and continue to issue an additional deposit if within policy and authority.  Staff may issue an additional security deposit if the client:

  • is separating from an abusive spouse;
  • has been evicted due to their accommodation being sold, demolished or condemned; or
  • is homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness [see Policy – Exceptions]