Renters will be able to receive their security and pet deposits back in a fair and timely manner, thanks to changes made by the provincial government.

The province, as part of its Rental Housing Task Force, has introduced a quicker process to let renters get their security and pet deposits back without the hassle of applying for a dispute resolution hearing.

Under the old process, renters had to apply for a dispute resolution hearing if their landlord did not return their deposits within 15 days of the end of the rental agreement. This hearing with the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) meant that renters had to wait to have their money returned to them.

Now, renters with successful applications will receive an order for the return of the deposit they can then serve to their landlord or enforce through the small claims court.

Andrew Sakamoto, Executive Director for the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre says the changes are being put in place to make the rental market fair for both renters and landlords.

“We regularly hear from tenants whose landlords refuse to return deposits without justification, knowing that the time and hassle of the standard dispute-resolution process will lead many to simply give up. TRAC hopes this change will both enable tenants to better stand up for their rights and discourage unscrupulous landlords from illegally retaining deposits.”

This new process is the next step in the province’s Rental Housing Task Force recommendations to make B.C.’s rental housing system fairer, more affordable and more secure.