Distress for Non-Payment of Rent
'Distress’ or ‘distrain’ is a remedy that a landlord can pursue without having to go to court.
Distress can only be used to recover money owed for rent.
The right to distress arises as soon as rent is late.
The process of distress allows a landlord to hire a civil enforcement agency to seize your property from the rented premises in order to recover the money owed as rent.
A landlord does not have to give a tenant any warning or notice before distraining.
Considerations for a landlord in using this process are:
A landlord cannot distrain for rent and terminate the tenancy. It is not possible to do both. If a landlord distrains for rent after she has terminated the lease, she may be liable for unlawful seizure.
- the amount you owe, and
- the cost of the process and whether any proceeds of sale of your property will make it worthwhile.
Using distress, a landlord may only seize property located on the leased premises. However, there is also a remedy described in the Distress For Rent Act 1737 which applies in Alberta and allows a landlord to seize property that has been removed from the rented property and taken to another place.
You can file a Notice of Objection to distress taking place.
Things to know about distress (see sidebar for links):
- Notice of Objection
- Property belonging to others
- What property can be seized
- Sale of property by civil enforcement agency
- Seizing property away from the rented premises (Distress for Rent Act 1737 )
- Process to initiate distress