Before you apply

Preparation is the key to a successful application. A well-prepared application is only the beginning of the process. You will need to file the application, serve the respondent, attend the hearing and enforce the order.  This takes time and effort.

Before filing an application with the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), consider the following:

  • Have you tried to resolve the matter directly with the other party?
  • Can you locate the respondent to serve them with documents?
  • Have you gathered all of the information and evidence to prove your claims against the other party? See our Evidence tipsheet for details
  • Does the respondent have income or assets that can be garnished or seized to satisfy a judgment?
  • Have you contacted witnesses for statements and asked if they will attend the hearing?

Names and spelling

When filing an application against your landlord or tenant, you must make sure that the name and spelling of the landlord or tenant is correct.

Individual landlord

When filing a claim against an individual landlord:

  • use the full first and last name of each person you are filing the application against
  • do not use initials, because initials do not sufficiently identify the person being claimed against
  • if you are not sure who the owner of the property is or how to properly spell their name you can do a land title search on the rental premises address to find out who the owner of the property is; this can be done at any Alberta registry agent

Business

If you are filing an application against a business it is important to know whether the business is incorporated or unincorporated. An incorporated business usually has Limited, Ltd., Incorporated or Inc. after its name.

An incorporated business can only be claimed against in the name of the business. Put the full name of the business on the application form. To find out the exact name of an incorporated business, a Corporation Search should be done at any Alberta Registry Office.

Firms (partnerships of 2 or more people) and sole proprietorships are called unincorporated businesses. An unincorporated business must be claimed against in the name of the owner. Put the owner's full name and the name of the business on the application form. To find out the owner(s) of an unincorporated business and the address of the owner, do a Trade Name Search at any Alberta Registry Office.

Cost

There is a $75 filing fee at the time of your application.

This can be paid by Debit, MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Cheque or Money Order. Cheques should be made payable to the “Government of Alberta”.

The RTDRS does not accept cash.

If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may be able to apply for financial assistance.

How to apply

Apply online using the RTDRS eFiling Service.

If not applying online:

Step 1. Complete the application form (if submitting application in person, by fax or by mail)

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Landlord Applications

Tenant Application

An instruction sheet is attached to each application to help you fill out the form.

If you are including supporting evidence, read Step 2 below for details on how to properly prepare evidence.

Submit your application in person at either the Edmonton or Calgary RTDRS office.

You can now submit your application online via the RTDRS eFiling Service.

Step 2. Gather supporting documented evidence

Witnesses

You do not need to provide witnesses, but in some cases, they may help your case. Fill out the witness section of the application form if you will have witnesses provide testimony at the hearing.

Witnesses must be available in person or by telephone at the time of the hearing. The RTDRS must be notified at least 24 hours in advance if a witness will attend by telephone.

If you intend to call a witness such as a police officer or health inspector, you should apply for a Notice to Attend. A Notice to Attend is similar to a subpoena. The party requesting that a Notice to Attend be issued must complete an Affidavit in Support of a Notice to Attend (PDF, 133 KB). This form will be reviewed by a Tenancy Dispute Officer who will decide whether or not to grant the request.

If the request is granted the party requesting the Notice to Attend is responsible for personally serving it to the witness and paying a witness fee ($10 per day or $20 per day for an expert witness). An expert witness is a person who is a specialist in a field who may present his/her expert opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence relating to the claim.

Evidence

Evidence is the legal word for things that are used to prove what happened during the tenancy. Evidence can be:

  • documents, such as leases, agreements, termination notices, receipts, invoices and photographs
  • audio and video recordings
  • what you and your witness say in the hearing
  • land titles searches, corporate registry searches

The RTDRS does not accept physical evidence such as insects, mould samples or weapons. Instead you must submit photos with a written description. RTDRS also does not accept any evidence on an electronic device because the evidence cannot form a part of the record that may be reviewed on appeal.

The Tenancy Dispute Officers adhere to the processes and procedures outlined in the RTDRS Rules of Practice and Procedure. More information on evidence is available in the Evidence tipsheet.

Organizing and marking your evidence

Make sure your evidence is in the order that corresponds to the sections in the application form. For example, your lease agreement would be the first document and your documents related to costs would be the last document. Mark the pages of evidence as “Item A, Item B, etc.” and write the same item letter in the corresponding spaces in the application form.

If you are submitting your evidence online, type in the item letters in the spaces provided.

If you are including numerous documents and photographs you should number the pages and each photograph individually. You must tape the photographs on letter- size paper so that the RTDRS Information Officers can easily scan the photographs into their system.

Marking your evidence properly helps the Tenancy Dispute Officer easily locate your evidence during the hearing.

Making copies – application forms

You do not need to make copies of your application form. RTDRS will do that for you.

Making copies – evidence (if submitting application in person)

You must have the correct number of evidence copies when you arrive at the RTDRS office. The number of copies that you must make depends on the number of respondents in your application form:

  • 1 respondent: original evidence plus 1 copy (2 sets of evidence in total)
  • 2 respondents: original evidence plus 2 copies (3 sets of evidence in total)
  • 3 respondents: original evidence plus 3 copies (4 sets of evidence in total)

If submitting your application online, each document uploaded will be restricted to 10 MB.  The total upload for the application will be restricted to 100 MB.  The file types that are supported are: .pdf, .txt, .rtf, .doc, .docx, .xps, .jpg, .jpeg, .jpe, .jfif, .gif, .png, .bmp, .tif, .tiff, .dib, .xls, .xlsx

Step 3. Submit the application form and evidence

You can submit your application either in person or online.

You will also need to pay a $75 filing fee.

In-person filing

Take your completed application form and the correct number of evidence copies to the RTDRS office.

Hours: 8:15 am to 11:30 am, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Edmonton office:
Edmonton City Centre Mall (beside the 102A Avenue Entrance)
Unit 112, 10025 102A Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2Y8

Calgary Office:
Main Floor, Rocky Mountain Plaza
180, 615 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta  T2G 4T8

Online filing

  1. Create a user account for the RTDRS eFiling Service.
  2. When you log into the RTDRS eFiling Service, you will be taken to a dashboard that will give you options on what you can do.
    • The Home tab on the dashboard has the following icons:
      • History: View a history of submitted forms.
      • My Cases: Access information about existing cases.
      • Pending Forms: View saved forms.
      • Apply: File new applications.
  3. To make an application online:
    1. Select Apply on the dashboard home page
    2. Select the application type that you wish to file.
    3. Complete the application form.
    4. Upload all documented evidence listed in the application form.
    5. Once you are ready to submit your completed application form, you will be redirected to the MyAlberta eServices site to pay the application fee.
    6. Once payment has been successfully made, close MyAlberta eServices to return to the RTDRS eFiling Service.
    7. The application form will be added to your Case History. You will receive a phone call from an RTDRS Information Officer to process your application.

Apply now

Step 4. Receive the Application Packages

In person

After you apply, an Information Officer will give you the appropriate number of copies of the filed Application Package.

The Application Package includes:

  • the application form
  • the documented evidence
  • a Notice of Hearing form, which includes the date and time of the hearing

Online

You will receive 2 emails from the RTDRS once your application has been processed. The first email will include your filed application package (application form, documented evidence and the Notice of Hearing). Make a copy of the entire filed Application Package for each respondent named in the Notice of Hearing form and serve each one with a copy.

The second email that you will receive will include the Affidavit of Service. This form must be completed by the person who serves the application package to the respondent. You may submit this form online via the RTDRS eFiling Service.

Step 5. Serve the Application Package

Serve a copy of the Application Package to each respondent listed on the application form. Get more information.

Financial assistance for filing fees

If the filing fee is a financial difficulty, you may apply to waive the fee.

You must provide 3 months’ proof of income, either as pay stubs or as a printout of your bank account.

Contact the following organizations to apply:

Applicants may also contact the RTDRS by completing the RTDRS Fee Waiver Form (PDF, 109 KB) then contacting us.

If the request is approved by one of the law services listed above, you will be given a letter that you must submit with your application form.

Contact

Connect with RTDRS:

Phone: 780-644-3000
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-644-2266
Email: rtdrs@gov.ab.ca

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