Resolving tenancy disputes

How to resolve a dispute with a landlord or tenant before filing a complaint or applying for a remedy.


If you have an issue with your tenant or landlord, you should first try to resolve the issue before filing a consumer complaint with Service Alberta or applying to the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) or court for a remedy. This will:

  • be less stressful
  • save you time and money
  • avoid having to go to court

Disputes often occur because either the landlord or tenant did not fulfil their responsibilities, which are defined in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

Discuss the issue in-person

Talk to the landlord or tenant about the issue before taking any other action. Some problems are the result of a misunderstanding.

Try to discuss the issue face-to-face, rather than over the phone or through messages. Remain calm and try and see the other side’s perspective. Work toward a solution that both sides can agree on.

Document all discussions, including details such as:

  • the time and place
  • who you spoke with
  • summary of what was said

If the issue is resolved, write the solution down for your records.

Send a letter or email

If you cannot discuss the issue in-person, then write it out in a letter or email.

  • Only state facts.
  • If you know a violation of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) occurred, state the section of the act you believe was violated.
  • Write the letter with a solution-focused approach, rather than just listing out issues.
  • Do not include threats as these may be used against you if the issue is escalated.
  • Keep a copy for your records, noting when it was written and how long it took for the other party to respond.
  • Keep all responses.

Common problems

See common problems between tenants and landlords to try and resolve the issue.

File a consumer complaint

A tenant who believes their landlord has committed an RTA offence can contact the Service Alberta Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088 to inquire about an investigation.

Apply for dispute resolution

If the issue still is not resolved, you can apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS). Landlords and tenants involved in a dispute can apply to this service for certain remedies listed in the RTA. Alternatively, landlords and tenants may choose to take their matter to court.

Note that the role of Director of Residential Tenancies is delegated by the Minister under the act. This role is separate from the Administrator of the RTDRS. Legal notices intended for the Director of Residential Tenancies should be sent to:

Director of Residential Tenancies
Consumer Services Branch
Consumer, Registry, and Strategic Services
3rd Floor, Commerce Place
10155 102 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4G8


For more information on topics related to landlords and tenants, contact the Consumer Contact Centre.

For resolving a dispute, learn more about the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.