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Updated on Friday, February 13

#20541

OMG:
Atlas Property Group in Waterloo is the worst property management company in town. Avoid renting from them at all costs. They take advantage of students and charge illegal key deposits. DO NOT RENT FROM THEM!! Anyone else is better than Rich from Atlas. Biggest liar ever!! Doesn't fix any issues.

9 comments

  1. All the property managements groups are kinda shit. Pick your poison.

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  2. What's that illegal key deposits about?

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  3. I've been fucked over by these assholes too. They claimed there was damage to the coffee table and took money off my key deposit, and I know there was never any damage done to it...total bullshit.

    That being said, this city is filled with scum property management groups who have fucked the student housing market completely.

    Fuck Schembri, fuck Atlas, fuck Domus, fuck KW4Rent, fuck Hoffaco, fuck 'em all.

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  4. Guys, pay your key deposit and then deduct it out of next months rent. Here is my correspondence with Atlas over the issue. Feel free to use it for your reference.

    To whom it may concern,

    I am a tenant of yours at 'address'. It has recently come to my attention that the key deposit collected upon moving in at the beginning of January is prohibited in the Residential Tenancies Act. While section 134(1) of the Act specifically prohibits key deposits, O. Reg. 516/06 s.17(3) exempts refundable deposits for keys where the deposit is “not greater than the expected direct replacement costs”.

    The key deposit I was required to provide was $250.00. Previous rulings by the Landlord and Tenant Board indicate that deposit amounts that were even one-tenth of the deposit I paid were considered to be excessive for a standard key. The Board considers only the cost of the key and the key cutting to be direct replacement costs. Therefore, the $250.00 key deposit grossly exceeds the amount permitted by law. Based on the statute, regulations, and case law, it is my position that the expected direct replacement costs of the key would not exceed $5.00.

    As such, I will be applying $245.00 of the $250.00 previously paid for the key deposit to my March rent. My March rent is $605.00. The payment I will make for my March rent will be $360.00.

    Thank you,

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    Replies
    1. Hi 'name',

      The reason we require a $250.00 key deposit isn't to cover the cost of a single key. If a tenant were to move out of the unit and not return the keys we would need to re-key the entire unit as a security measure which can become quite expensive depending on the building. I assure you that every company in the city requires a similar amount for key deposit for this reason.

      Furthermore, you agreed to paying the key deposit in the contract that you signed. 

      Each tenant agrees to make an additional $250.00 refundable key deposit upon taking possession of the key(s) for the Rented Premise as insurance for the return of the Rented Premises key.

      You will need to submit payment in full for your March rent. Your key deposit will be returned to you at the end of your tenancy as soon as we receive your keys.

      If you have any further questions about this please let us know.

      Thank you,

      Atlas Property Group Inc.

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    2. Hello,

      Thank you for your prompt reply.

      I am aware of the clause in the tenancy agreement regarding the key deposit. Tenancy agreements are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, which sets out the requirements for deposits. If there is a conflict between a contract and the statute (read: law) that governs that contract, clearly the statute supersedes. Every rental company in the city is held to the same standard; no company can contract their way out of requirements set by law. That other companies may be violating the Residential Tenancies Act has no bearing on this matter.

      The Act and its regulations clearly state that key deposits may only be for the direct replacement cost of the key itself. I draw your attention to ruling TST-55256-14-IN* by the Landlord and Tenant Board, which stated that only the cost of the replacement keys themselves is permitted for a key deposit. In that case, a key deposit of $25.00 was ruled to be excessive and in violation of the Act. Other incidental costs can not be included. 

      Furthermore, it is concerning that you would not be re-keying the unit upon vacancy, regardless of whether or not all the keys were returned. The keys can be easily copied. This means that former tenants may continue to have access to their former unit, representing a failure to practice basic security precautions.

      I still intend a payment of $360.00 for my March rent. Should you wish to make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board at that time, that is your choice.

      Regards,

      'Name'

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    3. Hello 'name',

      We are aware of the RTA and what is stated regarding the key deposits.

      However, a $5 key deposit would not cover the cost to hire a locksmith to remove the lock, re-key the lock, install the lock and provide new keys. Which is our process when a tenant doesn't return their keys. 

      We will update our system stating that your key deposit was returned in the month of March. 

      Please ensure you return your keys to the office by 2 p.m. of your move-out date. 

      Lastly, please be mindful that these key deposits are always returned to our tenants and are used only as a precautionary tool. 

      Thank you,

      Atlas Property Group Inc.

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    4. Hope this helps anyone else in the same boat.

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  5. So basically Atlas Property Group is saying 'we are aware of the laws governing the costs that can be legally charged for keys, and we still choose to ignore these and make up our own fucking rules". Renters, if you don't rent from Atlas you'll be saving yourself problems down the road...

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