Tenants can end a residential tenancy agreement without financial penalty if they get a Certificate Confirming Grounds to Terminate Tenancy, and use it to give notice to their landlord.
To get a certificate, tenants can either submit an existing court order, or a signed statement from an authorized person declaring the tenant is a victim of domestic violence.
This statement must be one of the following:
- signed Certified Professional Statement form, or
- signed written statement
Persons authorized to provide a statement under the Residential Tenancies Act (0.4 MB) include regulated members of the:
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
- College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta,
- Alberta College of Social Workers,
- College of Alberta Psychologists, or
- College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta
The Act also authorizes the following persons:
- a police officer or a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- an individual employed and authorized by an agency or organization that provides:
- accommodation in an emergency
- transitional shelter because of homelessness or abuse
- support initiatives for victims of crime
Certified Professional Statement
If you’re authorized under the Act to provide a statement, a tenant may ask you to sign a form which they will provide to you.
Instead of signing a Certified Professional Statement form, you may choose to write your own statement for a victim of domestic violence.
Your statement must include the following declarations:
- As an authorized professional under the Act, I can provide a written statement.
- I have assessed the information provided by the client and have determined he/she is a victim of domestic violence as outlined under the definitions in the Guidelines for Professionals: Understanding Domestic Violence.
- I affirm that the client has reported a risk to the safety of their self, the client’s dependent child or a protected adult who lives with the client if the tenancy continues.
The statement should also include your printed name, your signature and the date.
What does domestic violence look like?
Domestic violence may include all of the following behaviours: physical abuse, psychological abuse, criminal harassment/stalking, forced confinement, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, or any injury or property damage that intimidates or causes harm to a person.
- pushed, shoved or kicked
- slapped or bitten
- hit or punched
- locked out or deny access to the home
- denied help when ill, injured or pregnant
- weapon or objects used against the individual
- by physical force, not being allowed to leave
- abandoned in a dangerous situation
Emotional and Psychological Abuse
- threatened to harm the individual, their family or pets
- beliefs, race, heritage, class, religion, or sexual orientation ridiculed
- manipulated with lies and contradictions
- being convinced they are to blame for the abuse
- forced to have sex or watch sexual acts
- forced to perform sexual acts or have sexual acts performed on them
- forced to have sex after a physical assault, when they are ill or as a condition of the relationship
- denied access to bank accounts, credit cards or vehicle
- partner controls all of the finances
- prevented from getting or keeping a job or from going to school
- limits access to health, prescription or dental insurance
Domestic violence is committed by:
- a spouse or partner
- a current or past interdependent adult partner
- a person they are or have dated
- a person that has care and custody over them pursuant to an order of a court
- the biological or adoptive parent of one or more children with that person, regardless of their marital status
- a person related by blood, marriage or adoption