Security Deposits


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

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


Effective: January 1, 2020

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

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: January 1, 2020

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 a monthly deduction from the family unit’s assistance of $20. Deduction 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. Security deposits not repaid in a lump sum must be recovered through a monthly deduction from the family unit’s assistance.  Deduction starts on the second cheque issue after the security deposit is issued.  The recovery amount on all outstanding deposit debts is $20 per month.

Recipients may voluntarily repay their deposit debt at a higher amount. 

[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: January 1, 2020

Determine if the situation meets the requirement for a security deposit, as set out in policy. Process the request as per the approved business process. If ineligible, ensure the recipient understands the reasons for the denial and explain clearly the options available, including information on the reconsideration process.