I recently signed a contract with a new landlord. Both parties agreed to the terms (specifically having 1 month free rent with a year lease) and signed the lease. They also took my damage deposit. I received an email today from the landlord saying that he cannot uphold the 1 month free and would like for me to sign and resend an updated lease. I refused as that was a major part of why I picked that location and asked for the damage deposit back and he claimed that the damage deposit was non refundable.

Is this actually a fair claim from the landlord? No where in the lease does it say this and I see no reason why he wouldn't simply return the damage deposit.

Also I live in Alberta, Canada if that helps.

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    I don't know the law in Canada, but it seems to me very likely the landlord is SOL. If what you describe is correct, and there are no "out clauses" in the agreement, he is bound by a 1 year contract with 1 month free and you don't have to agree to a new lease on terms which do not suit you better - Whatever you do, don't sign a new lease unless you are happy with it to replace the current one and/or have gotten legal advice. (I know this does not answer your question about a damage deposit - In New Zealand we have, I suspect, a different system)
    – davidgo
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 4:24
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    Thank you for the reply. I told the landlord that I was seeking legal counsel on the matter and he immediately replied that the cheque was in the mail.
    – G3TH
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


As Davidgo says, the landlord is out of luck, though he isn't obligated to offer a month free rent on a renewal of the lease. As for the security deposit, the Residential Tenancy Act says that the deposit must be kept in an interest-bearing trust account. Section 46(2) p. 37 states that the landlord shall (meaning, must) return the deposit within 10 days of giving up possession of the premise. Also not per 47(1) that

A person who acquires the interest of a landlord in residential premises has the rights and is subject to the obligations of the previous landlord with respect to a security deposit paid to the previous landlord in respect of the residential premises.

You can go to court, or there is a dispute-resolution service

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