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

See the Guidelines for professionals: Understanding domestic violence below.

Authorized persons

Persons authorized to provide a statement under the Residential Tenancies Act 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.

Download a Certified Professional Statement form (PDF, 113 KB)

Written statement

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.

Guidelines for professionals: Understanding domestic violence

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.

Physical Abuse

  • pushed, shoved or kicked
  • slapped or bitten
  • strangled
  • 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
  • stalked

Sexual 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

Economic Abuse

  • 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

For more information

See FAQ Professional Authorized Statement (PDF, 299 KB)

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