What Rights Do You Have As A Tenant In Alberta?
Residents in Alberta are protected by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). This Act lists the rights and responsibilities of tenants as well as their landlords in Canada. The RTA applies to anyone who lives in a house, apartment, duplex or mobile home. It also applies to rooming or boarding houses. Occupants of motels and hotels living for a period greater than 6 months are also protected by this Act. Here are the rights safeguarded by the RTA.
Residential Tenancy Agreement
This is an agreement signed between the landlord and the tenant regarding the fixed term, cost and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. Under no circumstances does this agreement take away the rights provided by the RTA. The tenant can withhold payment of rent till she receives her copy of the tenancy agreement.
The landlord may ask the tenant for a security deposit to cover damages. The RTA restricts the amount of this deposit from exceeding the tenancy fee for one month. The security deposit cannot increase as the rent increases. Interest gained on the security deposit must be payable to the tenant based on rates set by Service Alberta.
Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)
A tenant who has concerns related to a termination without notice, lack of utilities, security deposit, maintenance or other disagreements may call on to the RTDRS for an alternative solution. Claims up to $50,000 can be made.
A landlord cannot increase the rent of the tenant until the period of tenancy is expired as agreed in the residential tenancy agreement for a period of one year. Rent cannot be increased for renovations that are made after the tenancy agreement is signed.
Under no circumstances can the tenant be locked out of the apartment within the period of residency as agreed upon in the tenancy agreement. If the landlord changes the locks the new key must be provided to the tenant.
Entry into premises
The landlord cannot enter the apartment of the tenant unless:
- He asks her permission first.
- He has cause to believe there is an emergency (such as a fire).
- He believes the tenant has abandoned the apartment.
- He furnishes a legal notice 24 hours before entering the apartment.
A complaint can be filed by the tenant on the landlord if he enters her apartment without the above reasons to the RTDRS.
Eviction and notice
A landlord can only evict a tenant under the auspices of the conditions set forth by theResidential Tenancies Ministerial Regulation. The eviction notice may be 24 hour or 14 day long as per the grievances put forth by the landlord. The tenant may challenge this decision in the RTDRS.
The province of Alberta has made sure to safeguard its citizens from exploitation during their tenancy period. If you find your tenancy rights violated in some such way, please avail of legal help.