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Home > Moving In > Just the Facts > The Tenant > Taking Possession

Taking Possession of Rented Premises

It can be important to know when a tenant has actually taken possession or given up possession of rented premises.

For example, your landlord may let you store belongings in the premises before you really move in yourself. For some purposes such as paying rent or carrying out an inspection of the property, it will be important to know when the tenancy officially began.

Likewise, you may physically move out of the premises before the end of the term, but leave belongings there a little longer. For the purposes of carrying out an inspection or for the return of the security deposit, it will be important to know when the tenancy officially ended. However, the Act gives you some increased protection in this circumstance so that you cannot be presumed to have left without good reason.

You can agree with your landlord when you both want the tenancy to begin and end officially. This agreement should be recorded as a term of the tenancy agreement. If you do not have an agreement to this effect, the Residential Tenancies Act sets out when you will be deemed to have taken and given up possession of the premises.

You will be deemed to have taken possession of the property when you have:

  • paid the security deposit amount, any required fees and required rent, and
  • the landlord has given you the keys for the purposes of you moving in and living there under the tenancy agreement.

May 2005