Most landlords will require a security deposit before you move in to your rented home or apartment. This deposit can only be up to one half of the first month’s rent, e.g., if the monthly rent is $800, the security deposit cannot exceed $400. Your landlord must give you a receipt to show you have paid your security deposit. The receipt should show the amount of the deposit; the date you paid the deposit and the address of your rental unit. At the end of the tenancy, the security deposit can be used to cover any unpaid rent, damage, or extraordinary cleaning caused by tenants. If there are no problems at the end of a tenancy, landlords must return all of the deposit(s) plus interest, to tenants within 14 days of the end of a tenancy.
There are scams that have occurred online involving people trying to sublet or rent out “fake” rental units or units that they have no authority to rent out. There are other scams where individuals will pose as students and send a cheque for a deposit – but cancel the reservation before the cheque clears and ask for their money back.
To avoid online rental scams on this or any other website, make sure you:
- Ask to see the unit before you agree to rent it. If this is not possible because you are moving in from out of town, try to get a friend or someone you trust to view the unit or contact our office if you are unsure.
- Contact the actual landlord or property manager directly to arrange to sign a tenancy agreement (lease) and give a deposit.
- Pay the deposit and rent only to the landlord or property manager. Do not send it to the individual tenant. Only the landlord or property manager has the authority to accept you as a tenant and to accept rent from you.
- Landlords – do not refund any deposits unless you are sure that the cheque has cleared and you have received the payment – so that you don’t end up out of pocket.
It is also recommended that you ask your landlord to do a move-in condition report with you right before you move in. Be sure you both sign the condition report listing all damages you found. The report may be used as evidence if a damage claim is made after you move out. Ask for a copy of the condition report. Once you have moved in to your home or apartment, you are not permitted to redecorate or make modifications to the dwelling unless given explicit and written consent from the landlord.
The information contained in this section of the website is for reference only and is provided as general guidelines for U of M students searching for off-campus housing and for prospective landlords. Provincial Acts governing the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants are under the jurisdiction of the Residential Tenancies Branch of Manitoba. Complete information on rights and responsibilities can be found on their website or by contacting their office at:
Residential Tenancies Branch
302 – 254 Edmonton Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 3Y4
Toll Free in Manitoba: 1-800-782-8403