Overview

The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) provides a framework for landlord and tenant relations in Alberta, setting minimum standards of conduct for both landlords and tenants. It governs the rights and responsibilities both parties have towards each other.

Legislation and regulations

Rental rights and responsibilities

The RTA sets out specific responsibilities for landlords and for tenants. Even if these responsibilities are not included in the residential tenancy agreement, landlords and tenants must meet the requirements of the legislation.

  • Tenant responsibilities

    Tenants must:

    • pay rent on time
    • be considerate of the landlord and other tenants
    • not endanger other tenants
    • not perform illegal acts
    • not conduct illegal business on the rental premises
    • keep the rental premises reasonably clean
    • prevent damage to the rental premises
    • move out when the rental agreement ends
    • follow the rules in the residential tenancy agreement that do not conflict with the RTA
  • Landlord responsibilities

    Landlords must:

    • make the rental premises available on the date the residential tenancy agreement takes effect
    • give the tenant a written "notice of landlord" within 7 days of the tenant moving in or post the notice in a visible place in the building's common area
    • not disturb the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the rental premises (for example, not to bother the tenant beyond what is necessary to do the landlord’s business)
    • ensure the rental premises are habitable at the beginning and throughout the tenancy (for example, there are no bed bugs and the heat is working)

Renting a condo

There are different rules for landlords and tenants when condominium owners rent their units. If there is a conflict between the Condominium Property Act and RTA, the Condominium Property Act will apply.

  • Tenant responsibilities

    Over and above the tenant’s obligations under the RTA, tenants renting condominium units also must:

    • follow the corporation's bylaws
      • corporations can enforce bylaws on tenants, regardless of whether tenants have agreed to follow the bylaws or not
    • pay the rent to the corporation instead of the landlord if directed to do so by the corporation
      • if this happens, the rent is deemed to have been paid to the landlord
  • Unit owners’ responsibilities

    A condominium owner who rents their unit to a tenant must provide written notice to the condominium corporation of:

    • their intent to rent their unit
    • the address where they can be served
    • the amount of rent they are charging
    • the name of the tenant within 20 days of the tenancy starting
    • the unit no longer being rented within 20 days of the tenancy ending
    • the condominium owner must also pay a deposit if the corporation requests it (the landlord cannot ask the tenant to pay this deposit)
    • agree that the tenant will not damage the corporation’s property (damage does not include normal wear and tear)
    • inform tenants of the corporation’s bylaws and make them a condition of the tenancy (the bylaws override the tenancy agreement and the RTA)
  • Corporation’s responsibilities

    When an owner rents their unit, the corporation may ask the owner for a deposit (no more than $1,000 or one month’s rent, whichever is greater). The owner’s deposit can be used to repair or replace condominium property, common property or exclusive use property damaged, destroyed, lost or removed by the tenant.

    A condo owner must give the corporation a written notice within 20 days after a tenancy ends. Within 20 days after receiving the notice, the corporation must return the deposit to the owner, less any deductions. If any deductions are made, the corporation must provide an itemized list.

    The Condominium Property Act currently does not require interest to be paid on the deposit. However, a corporation may chose to pay interest.

  • Renting a mobile home

    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 tenancies where someone rents a mobile home or residential property (such as an apartment or house), as those tenancies would fall under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) instead.

    For more information, see Renting a mobile home site.

Communicating with your landlord or tenant

  • Rental agreement terms

    When landlords and tenants agree to rent a residential premises, they enter into a binding contract called a residential tenancy agreement. This agreement can be written, oral or implied, however the agreement should be written so both parties have a record of it.

  • Resolving disputes

    If you are having a dispute with a tenant or landlord, see Resolving disputes.

  • Methods for delivering notice

    Required notices must be delivered in person or by registered mail. Tenants should use the mailing address provided in the “notice of landlord.” Landlords should use the mailing address of the residential rental premises if they do not have an updated mailing address for the tenant.

    If the tenant is absent from the rental premises and/or evading personal service, the landlord may:

    • send the notice by registered mail
    • give the notice to an adult who appears to live with the tenant, or
    • post the notice in plain sight on the residential rental premises

    If a landlord or tenant cannot serve a notice to vacate as indicated above, the notice may be sent through electronic means, as long as it results in a printed copy of the notice.

Contact

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.

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