Returning Deposits

The interest payable on security and pet damage deposits for 2023 is 1.95%.

When a tenancy ends, the landlord may owe the tenant interest on their security or pet damage deposit(s): 

Learn more about interest on deposits and how interest is calculated

B.C.’s tenancy laws set out a process for how deposits are managed after a tenancy ends. When a tenancy ends, the tenant must give the landlord their forwarding address in writing within one year of when the tenancy ended. Once the landlord has received the tenant’s forwarding address, they have 15 days to:

If the landlord doesn’t do one of these things within the 15-day timeline, the tenant can apply for dispute resolution requesting their deposit be returned. The landlord may be ordered to pay the tenant double the amount of the deposit(s).

A landlord may return the deposit to the tenant by electronic means, in person, by mail or by leaving it in the mailbox or mail slot at the tenant's residence. If the landlord returns the deposit by electronic means, the landlord can't charge the tenant a fee for doing so.

Inspect the Rental Unit

A landlord and tenant must inspect the condition of the rental unit together at the end of the tenancy (a “walk through”) and complete a Condition Inspection Report. Comparing the move-in and move-out Condition Inspection Reports allows the landlord and tenant to determine if the rental unit was damaged and who is responsible for paying for repairs.

If landlords and tenants do not properly complete a move-out inspection, they may forfeit their right to the deposit. To maintain their right to make a claim on a deposit, the landlord must:

  • Offer the tenant at least two opportunities to inspect the unit,
  • Complete the Condition Inspection Report in accordance with the regulations, and
  • Sign the Condition Inspection Report and give a copy of the Report to the tenant.

The landlord can complete and sign the Condition Inspection Report without the tenant if they gave the tenant two opportunities for inspection and the tenant does not participate on either occasion, or the tenant has abandoned the rental unit.

To maintain their right for the return of a deposit, the tenant must participate in an inspection and complete and sign the Condition Inspection Report.

What are the rules for getting a deposit back after the tenancy ends? 

What does a tenant need to do to get their deposit?

To start the deposit return process, tenants must give the landlord proper written notice to end tenancy and provide a forwarding address to the landlord, in writing, within one year of the end of the tenancy. After doing so, unless the landlord requests compensation for damage, or files a dispute resolution application requesting to keep some of the deposits, tenants should receive their deposits within 15 days of providing a forwarding address to the landlord.

There are steps tenants can take to ensure they receive the full amount of their deposit and do not forfeit their right to the return of their deposit, including:

  1. Thoroughly clean the unit and fix any damage done (besides wear and tear).
  2. Remove all belongings.
  3. Participate in the move-out condition inspection (or have a representative participate on your behalf).
  4. Sign and date the completed move-out condition inspection report.

When can a landlord keep all or part of a deposit?

  1. If there is damage beyond normal wear and tear and the tenant agrees to an amount of compensation in writing.
  2. If the landlord applies for dispute resolution to keep all or part of the deposits and is awarded an amount by an arbitrator.
  3. If the tenant moves out and does not provide a forwarding address in writing, within one year of moving out. 


Video: Security & Pet Damage Deposits


Issues with Deposits

If there’s a disagreement about deposit deductions, try to reach a solution by calmly discussing it with the other party.

A tenant can apply for dispute resolution if the landlord kept all or part of the deposit without the tenant’s written permission. The tenant's application can be made within two years of the end of the tenancy – as long as the tenant gave the landlord their forwarding address in writing (within one year of the end of the tenancy) and the landlord did not return the deposit or apply for dispute resolution before the 15-day deadline.

Interest Payable on Deposit

When a tenancy ends, there may be interest payable on the tenant's security or pet damage deposit(s). Before returning the deposit(s), asking the tenant to agree in writing to any deductions, or applying for dispute resolution to keep all or some of the deposit, the landlord must calculate the interest owing on the full amount of the security or pet damage deposit. Then, the landlord must factor in any interest owed when returning some or all of the deposit. 

Common situations in which landlords may need to pay interest when returning deposit(s).
The landlord would like to... The landlord must.. 
Return the full amount of the deposit(s) Return the full amount of the deposit(s) plus any interest
Deduct an amount from the deposit(s) and the tenant as agreed to the deductions in writing.  Return the remaining amount of the deposit(s) after the agreed deductions have been made, plus any interest owed on the full amount of the deposit(s).

How Interest is Calculated

Interest is calculated based on the rate set at the beginning of each year. Interest is compounded on the anniversary of the date the deposit was received by the landlord.

The interest on deposits is determined by section 4 of the Residential Tenancy Regulation:

The rate of interest under section 38 (1) (c) of the Act [return of deposits] that is payable to a tenant on a security deposit or pet damage deposit is 4.5% below the prime lending rate of the principal banker to the Province on the first day of each calendar year, compounded annually.

Since the prime lending rate on January 1, 2023, was 6.45%, the interest payable on deposits in 2023 is 1.95%.

The Residential Tenancy Branch has published a Deposit Interest Calculator to help landlords and tenants calculate the amount of interest owed on deposit(s). 

Use the Deposit Interest Calculator

Here’s an overview of interest rates used for the past few decades:


Interest Rate



2009 - 2022








2002 - 2005




























Feb. 1987 - Dec. 1988


Apr. 1983 - Jan. 1987


Jun. 1980 - Mar. 1983


Dec. 1974 - May 1980



Note:  Landlords are not required to pay interest on deposits received prior to December 1, 1974.


Manufactured Home Park Tenancies

Manufactured home (mobile home) park tenancies that began after December 31, 2003, do not require a tenant to pay a security or pet damage deposit. For deposits paid before December 31, 2003, the landlord has 15 days to do one of the following after a tenant has moved out and given the landlord a forwarding address in writing:

  • Return the deposit with any interest to the tenant
  • Get the tenant’s written consent for any deductions and return the difference to the tenant
  • Apply for dispute resolution asking to keep all or some of a deposit

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page:  January 5, 2022.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch