Halifax woman loses apartment for refusing to pay illegal deposit

Before signing the lease, he was asked to provide a co-signer and pay the first and last month’s rent in addition to a security deposit.

She had to pay $2,750 which would have almost emptied her savings account.

She initially considered paying, but did some research and discovered that the rental company’s request was illegal.

I actually waited until I got to the meeting to sign the lease so I could talk to them face to face.recount Kirsten Parnell.

I was then told to illegally pay them the funds or I would be denied the apartment. »

A quote from Kirsten Parnellyoung woman looking for rent in Halifax

She left without an apartment and had to move in with family.

Frequent Illegal Requests

Mark Culligan works for Dalhousie’s legal aid department and reports that such charges are not uncommon.

Many of the companies that do this have been doing it for a long timehe said.

I think part of what we’re seeing now is that people are more desperate so they’re paying more than before because there’s so little choice.

Mark Culligan, legal worker.

Photo: CBC

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, no landlord shall demand, accept or receive from a tenant as a security deposit a sum of money exceeding half the rent per month.

It is very difficult to defend your rights as a tenant when you are faced with this type of expensesays Mark Culligan.

If you actually pay it and sign a lease, you may be able to file a claim to try and get the money backsuggests Mark Culligan.

But if you’re asked to pay that application fee and you say no, there’s not really any meaningful protection for you, because your landlord can just rent to someone else.

It’s heartbreaking ’cause I know I’m back to square one entrusts Kirsten Parnell.

There are thousands of people in Halifax looking for apartments right now and they are in the same situation as me. »

A quote from Kirsten Parnellyoung woman looking for rent in Halifax

She tells how exhausting the search for accommodation can be.

Kristen Parnell tells how finding a place to live is like a second full-time job.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Guy Leblanc

I spend hours a day online digging through different search enginesshe says.

I reach out with phone calls, emails, texts, anything I can do to contact someone who might have an available apartment.

The province is aware

The provincial department responsible for the Residential Tenancies Board is the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services.

His spokesperson, Blaise Thériault, confirms the illegality of the request made to Kristen Parnell. He is also aware of the difficulties in enforcing the law.

We are always looking for opportunities to strengthen the Fahe said. While balancing the needs of tenants and landlords.

Owner response

The owner of Wedgewood Courtwhere Kristen Parnell wanted to settle, is Halifax property management company WM Fares Group.

Wadih Faresthe company president says that asking for the first and last month as security is not the company’s standard policy, but the company uses it in certain circumstances.

If a potential tenant does not pass the credit check, our property managers may waive the credit requirement and request more securityhe said. This is done to help the applicant find accommodation.

In this case, Kristen Parnell did not feel supported and she hopes her story can help other tenants.

I want people to know that shouldn’t happenshe says. I hope something will be done about this and people can rent apartments fairly.

With information from Nicola Segin of CBC


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