Overview

In Alberta, the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act (MHSTA) applies to people who rent the parcel of land that a mobile home is placed on, setting minimum standards of conduct for both landlords and tenants.

The MHSTA does not apply to people who rent mobile homes or any other type of residential property, such as an apartment or house. Most of these tenancies fall under the Residential Tenancies Act. For more information, visit the Residential tenancies webpage.

Tenants

Tenants rent the parcel of land where they live. The MHSTA applies to tenants who own a mobile home and rent the site where the mobile home is placed.

Landlords

The landlord of a mobile home site may be an individual, a group of people or a corporation.

A landlord may be:

  • the current owner of the mobile home site(s)
  • the property or site manager who acts as an agent for the owner
  • the person who sublets or assigns the mobile home site(s) to another tenant

Tenancy Agreements

  • Site rental agreement

    Before a tenant can move their mobile home onto a rented site, the tenant and landlord need to agree to the terms of the tenancy in a contract called a mobile home site tenancy agreement or lease.

    Before entering into a tenancy agreement, the mobile home site landlord must disclose, in writing:

    • all fees, charges and assessments payable, in addition to the rent
    • the existing community and site rules

    Tenancy agreements may be written or verbal, but written is always better as it provides evidence should there be a dispute between the landlord and tenant. Both the landlord and tenant should sign the tenancy agreement. The landlord must give a copy of the agreement to the tenant within 21 calendar days from the time the tenant signs.
     
    In Alberta, mobile home site tenancy agreements may be either periodic or fixed-term.

  • Fixed-term tenancy agreement

    A fixed-term tenancy begins and ends on specific dates.

    For example: a tenant and landlord may agree that the tenancy will be for a fixed-term of two years from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024. On December 31, 2024, the tenancy will automatically end.

    Unless otherwise agreed to, neither the landlord nor the tenant needs to provide notice to end the tenancy, and the tenant is expected to vacate the site on the last day of the tenancy.

    • The tenancy can be continued under a new fixed-term or periodic tenancy agreement if both parties agree. To avoid misunderstandings, this should be discussed in advance and put in writing.
  • Periodic tenancy agreement

    A periodic tenancy has a start date but no end date. Either the landlord or tenant may end a periodic tenancy by giving notice.  Landlords can only terminate periodic tenancies for specific reasons.

    Most periodic tenancies are month-to-month, but they could also be year-to-year.

  • Tenancy month

    A tenancy month is the period of time on which a tenancy is based, and is usually a calendar month such as June 1 to June 30, where the tenancy month commences on the first day of the month and ends on the last day of the month. The first day of the tenancy month begins on the day that the rent is payable, unless otherwise agreed to by the landlord and tenant. A tenancy month could also be from the 15th of the month until the 14th of the following month, however, these types of tenancy months are uncommon.

Rent and fee increases

  • Rent increases

    Landlords cannot increase the rent payable by a tenant under a fixed-term or periodic tenancy agreement until a minimum of one year (365 days) has passed since the last rent increase, or since the start of the tenancy, whichever is later.

    • There is no limit on the dollar amount by which the landlord may raise the rent.

    Landlords cannot raise the rent during the term of a fixed-term tenancy.

    If the landlord wants to increase the rent in a periodic tenancy, notice to the tenant must be given in writing at least 180 calendar days before the rent increase. The notice should include the following:

    • the date
    • the effective date of the increase
    • the amount of the increase
    • the landlord's signature
  • Fee increases

    Landlords of mobile home communities must provide tenants with 180 calendar days’ notice before increasing any fees, charges or assessments that were agreed to at the beginning of a tenancy.

    Landlords who rent out mobile home sites that are not in a mobile home community (sites on land with fewer than 3 sites, such as a farm or acreage) must provide tenants with 90 calendar days’ notice of fee increases.

Security deposits

Landlords usually ask tenants for a refundable security deposit, sometimes called a damage deposit.

See Starting a tenancy – Security (damage) deposits for more information.

During a tenancy

  • Landlord responsibilities

    Before a tenancy agreement begins

    Landlords must:

    • give the tenant a written copy of any site rules, fees and assessments that are above the rent amount
    • make sure the mobile home site is ready and available for occupancy on the first day of the tenancy agreement

    During a tenancy

    After a tenancy agreement begins, landlords must:

    • give the tenant a written Notice of Landlord, which includes the name and contact information for the landlord, within seven days of moving in, or post the notice in a visible place in the common area
    • give the tenant a copy of any written agreement within 21 days of signing
    • maintain the mobile home site as sound and fit
    • maintain the common areas, and ensure they are habitable and in good repair
    • maintain all electric, plumbing, sanitary, heating, fuel and other facilities supplied by the landlord
    • provide for the removal of garbage at reasonable intervals
    • maintain proper access to the mobile home site
  • Tenant responsibilities

    Tenants must:

    • pay the rent on time
    • be considerate of other tenants
    • not endanger other tenants
    • not perform illegal acts or conduct illegal business on the site
    • keep the site reasonably clean
    • prevent damage to the site
    • leave the site when the tenancy agreement ends
  • Entering the site

    A landlord may enter the mobile home site at any time with the tenant’s consent. Consent can be verbal or written. If the landlord has the tenant’s consent, no notice is required.

    Entry without permission but with proper notice

    The landlord may enter the mobile home site without permission, but only if the landlord has given the tenant a written notice at least 24 hours before the time of entry. The landlord can give notice to enter to:

    • make repairs to the site
    • inspect the state of repair of the site
    • show the site to prospective buyers or mortgagees, or
    • show the site to prospective tenants after the landlord or tenant has given notice to end a periodic tenancy or in the final month of a fixed-term tenancy

    Notice to enter must:

    • be in writing
    • state the date and time of entry and the reason for entry
    • be signed by the landlord or the landlord’s agent

    Entry can only take place between 8 am and 8 pm on a day that is not a holiday or the tenant’s day of religious worship.

    Entry without permission and without notice

    The landlord may enter the mobile home site without permission and without giving proper notice to the tenant if:

    • the landlord has reason to believe there is an emergency, or
    • the landlord has reason to believe that the tenant has abandoned the site
  • Sublease or assignment

    A tenant cannot sublease or assign the mobile home site to someone else without the landlord’s written consent. A landlord may not refuse permission without reasonable grounds and must give the tenant their reasons in writing within 15 days after receiving the request.

    If the landlord does not answer the request within 15 days, the tenant may assume that the landlord agrees to the sublease or assignment.

    Tenants should also check the mobile home community rules to see if any other approvals are required before subleasing or assigning their site.

    Landlords cannot charge fees for giving consent to sublease.

Ending a tenancy

Tenants and landlords may terminate a mobile home site rental agreement for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • the agreement was breached
  • the tenant found another place to live
  • the landlord wants to end the tenancy for one of the prescribed reasons outlined below
  • Ending a rental agreement

    Ending a fixed-term tenancy

    A fixed term tenancy ends on the day specified in the rental agreement, unless both parties agree to an early termination. For example, if the fixed term is from January 1 to December 31, the tenancy automatically ends on December 31. Unless the tenant and landlord make other arrangements, the tenant must move out by noon on December 31.

    The fixed term tenancy ends without notice on the date stated in the rental agreement. The landlord and tenant can agree to continue the tenancy under a new fixed-term agreement or a periodic tenancy. 

    Ending a periodic tenancy

    A landlord may end a periodic tenancy if:

    • the landlord or a relative of the landlord wants to move in
    • the site has been sold, all conditions of the sales agreement have been satisfied or waived and the buyer or a relative of the buyer wants to move in
    • the site needs to be vacant to complete necessary utility repairs
    • the site is to be eliminated or the boundaries altered because the community, part of the community, or a road is being reconfigured
    • there is a change to the land use

    Landlords must give tenants a full 365 days’ notice of termination if the land is to be used for one of the following purposes:

    • for a purpose other than a mobile home community
    • the site is to be sold as a condominium unit
    • the site is to be sold or leased under the Cooperatives Act
  • Notice to end periodic tenancies

    To end a periodic tenancy agreement, landlords and tenants must give written notice to the other party.

    The written notice must include all of the following information:

    • the address of the mobile home site 
    • the date the tenancy will end
    • the signature of the person giving notice

    Landlords must also include their reasons for ending the tenancy.

    The required notice depends on whether the site is in a mobile home community, who is giving the notice, the length of the tenancy period, and whether the mobile home is provided by an employer.

    Landlord notice periods

    If the site has been rented in a mobile home community for more than six consecutive months, the landlord must provide six tenancy months’ notice.

    If the site has been rented in a mobile home community for less than six consecutive months, the landlord must provide a minimum of six tenancy months’ notice. The earliest date of termination is the last day of the 12th tenancy month.

    If the site is not in a mobile home community, the landlord must provide three tenancy months’ notice.

    Tenant notice periods

    If the tenant has rented a site in a mobile home community for more than two consecutive months, the tenant must provide two tenancy months’ notice.

    If the tenant has rented a site in a mobile home community for less than two consecutive tenancy months, the tenant must provide two tenancy months’ notice. The earliest date of termination is the last day of the fourth tenancy month.

    If the tenant has rented a site that is not in a mobile home community, the tenant must provide one tenancy month’s notice.

    Sites provided by employers

    Sometimes employers provide rental accommodation for their employees. When the employment ends, the landlord or tenant must give proper notice to the other about moving out. The notice period will be:

    • a period of time equal to the amount of notice that is required by law to end the tenant’s employment (see Employment Standards),
    • a period of time equal to the amount of notice the landlord (employer) and tenant (employee) have agreed is required to end the tenant’s employment, or
    • 30 days, whichever is longest.

    Methods of delivery

    A notice to end a tenancy must be delivered in person or by registered mail. Tenants should use the mailing address provided in the notice of landlord, and landlords should use the mailing address of the rented site.

    If a landlord cannot serve notice by these methods because the tenant is rarely home, they can give the notice to another adult living with the tenant, or post the notice in plain sight on the mobile home site.

  • Evictions

    Reasons for eviction

    The most common reason for an eviction is when a tenant fails to pay rent. Tenants cannot withhold rent to force the landlord to do something, such as making repairs. The landlord is legally entitled to have the rent paid in full when it’s due.
    If the tenant cannot pay the rent and lets the landlord know beforehand, the landlord can let the tenant stay and pay rent later or over time. However, the landlord is under no obligation to do this.

    Other reasons for eviction include:

    • breaking rental agreement terms
    • damaging the mobile home site
    • disturbing or endangering others in the mobile home community
    • tenant has committed a substantial breach:
      • A substantial breach occurs when a tenant does not carry out any of their obligations under the MHSTA or when a tenant commits a series of breaches of the residential tenancy agreement and the cumulative effect is substantial.
    • tenant has physically assaulted a landlord or other tenant

    Types of notices

    There are 2 types of notices, and each one is used in a specific situation:

    1. At least 48-hour notice
      • used in the event of significant damage to the mobile home site or physical assault of the landlord or another tenant
    2. At least 14-days’ notice
      • used in the event of a substantial breach

    All notices must:

    • be in writing
    • be signed by the landlord or the landlord’s agent
    • state the reasons for the eviction
    • identify the mobile home site
    • state the date the tenancy ends

    If the notice is for unpaid rent and the tenant pays all the rent owing before the termination date, the notice becomes void. 

    Response to notice 

    If a tenant objects to the reasons stated for the eviction in a 14-day notice, they must:

    • give the landlord a written explanation of why they disagree
    • give the written objection to the landlord before the 14 days are over

    If the tenant objects or doesn’t leave at the end of the 14 days, the landlord can apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) or Court for an order to terminate the tenancy and get possession of the site.

    Until the RTDRS or Court issues the order, the tenant may remain.

    A 48-hour notice or a notice for failure to pay rent cannot be negated solely by a tenant objecting to it.

    Substantial breach – tenant

    A substantial breach by a tenant may result in an eviction, and includes if the tenant

    • has not paid rent in full when due
    • interferes with the landlord or landlord’s employees
    • disturbs other tenants (for example, by playing loud music late at night or being noisy)
    • endangers others in the mobile home community
    • causes significant damage to the mobile home site
    • does not maintain or keep clean the mobile home site and all property included in the mobile home site tenancy agreement
    • does not vacate the site when the tenancy ends
    • commits a series of breaches of a tenancy agreement and the cumulative effect is substantial

    If a tenant commits a substantial breach, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy, or give the tenant at least 14-days’ notice to end the tenancy.

    A tenant must be given the notice at least 14 clear days before the tenancy is to end. This means the day the notice is given and the day the tenancy ends don’t count as part of the 14 days.

    Substantial breach – landlord 

    Whether the tenancy is fixed term or periodic, if the landlord commits a breach of the legislation or a series of substantial breaches, a tenant can apply to RTDRS or court.

    Assaults and damage

    If a tenant physically assaults the landlord or another tenant, or does significant damage to the mobile home site, the landlord can:

    • apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy, or
    • give the tenant at least 48-hours notice to end the tenancy

    The landlord may pursue the tenant through the RTDRS or Court for any damages not covered by the security deposit.

Inspection reports

It is mandatory for landlords and tenants to complete both a move-in and a move-out inspection report. This report describes the condition of the mobile home site when a tenant takes or gives up possession.

Tenants can use the inspection report to prove they are not responsible for damage that occurred before they took possession or after they vacated the property.

Landlords cannot make any deduction for damages or cleaning costs from the security deposit when the tenant moves out if the inspection report requirements have not been met.

Disputes

If there is an issue during the tenancy, the first step is to talk it through with the landlord or tenant. Let the other party know what the issue is, discuss it thoroughly, be respectful of the other party, and keep a record of the conversations, including who you talked to, the date and time of the conversation, and what was said.

If discussing the issue does not resolve it, put your concerns in writing to the other party.

Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS)

If issues persist after conversations and written notices, landlords and tenants can apply for a hearing with the RTDRS or Court.

Contact

The Consumer Contact Centre can provide information on many topics related to landlords and tenants:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed holidays)
Phone: 780-427-4088
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088 
Email: [email protected]

Related publications

Renting a mobile home site

Living in a mobile home community in Alberta