Table of contents

Overview

Security deposit amount

The security deposit cannot amount to more than one month’s rent at the time the tenancy starts. It cannot be increased as rent increases.

Holding the money

Landlords must put all security deposits in an interest-bearing trust account in a bank, treasury branch, credit union or trust company in Alberta within 2 banking days of the time they collect them from the tenant.

Records

The landlord is required to keep security deposit records for at least 3 years after the tenancy ends.

Interest chart

Landlords must pay interest on their tenants’ security deposits at the end of each tenancy year.

The interest must be paid every year unless the landlord and tenant agree in writing that the interest will be compounded yearly and paid to the tenant at the end of the tenancy.

Security deposit interest formula

The minimum annual interest rate that landlords must pay on security deposits is determined by a formula set out in the Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation.

Current and past interest rates payable on security deposits

Time period Minimum Annual Interest Rate
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2021 0%
January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008 0.5%
January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007 0.3%
January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2006 0%
January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2001 1.75%
January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2000 1.15%
January 1, 1999 to December 31, 1999 0.75%
January 1, 1997 to December 31, 1998 0%
January 1, 1996 to December 31, 1996 2.5%
January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1995 2.75%
July 1, 1994 to December 31, 1994 1.5%
February 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994 3.0%
March 1, 1987 to January 31, 1993 6.0%
January 1, 1984 to February 28, 1987 8.0%

Calculate your security deposit interest

Security deposit interest calculator

Returning a deposit

Tenants have the right to get their security deposits back, if they meet certain conditions.

Security or damage deposit return conditions

When they move out, tenants have the right to get their deposits back, with any interest owing, as long as:

  • there is no damage beyond normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is deterioration that occurs over time with use even with reasonable care and maintenance
  • the rental premises have been properly cleaned
  • no rent or other costs are owing

Sample cleaning list for tenants (PDF, 100 KB)

Tenants should provide a forwarding address to the landlord in writing and keep copies of all their documents for 3 years.

If return conditions are not met

If the tenant does not meet the conditions, the landlord has the right to keep part or all of the security deposit to cover costs. If the costs exceed the security deposit, the landlord can take legal action to claim for the money owing. A tenant who disagrees with deductions from the security deposit may also apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service or court.

Landlords cannot make deductions for damages or cleaning costs if the inspection report requirements have not been met. They can, however, take legal action to recover these costs.

If there are no deductions for rent, cleaning, repairs, or other costs, such as utilities, late fees or legal fees, the landlord must pay the tenant the full deposit plus interest within 10 days of the day the tenant gave up possession of the rental premises.

However, if there are deductions, the landlord must do one of the following within 10 days:

  • return the balance of the deposit, if any, to the tenant with a statement of account that lists all the damages, repair costs, details of the cleaning charges and any fees, or
  • give the tenant an estimate of the deductions that will be made and return any money that will not be used. The tenant must receive a final statement and any money owing within 30 days after the tenancy ends.

For more detailed information, read the Information for Landlords tip sheet.

Contact

The Consumer Contact Centre can provide information on many topics related to landlords and tenants:

Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088