In Alberta, there is no limit on how much a landlord can increase the rent but a landlord can only increase the rent after a year has passed from either the start of the tenancy or when the last rent increase was made.
Rent Increases for Periodic Tenancies
If a tenant has a periodic tenancy (which has no end date), the landlord must give the tenant a signed written notice of a rent increase. The notice is only legally required to state the date of the increase and it must be signed and dated by the landlord or landlord’s agent.
For monthly periodic tenancies (where the tenancy goes month-to-month), the landlord must give the tenant at least 3 tenancy months notice of the rent increase. For example, if the landlord wants to increase the rent on November 1, the notice must be served on or before July 31 for the rent increase to be enforceable.
For weekly periodic tenancies (where the tenancy goes week-to-week), the landlord must give the tenant at least 12 tenancy weeks notices of the rent increase. For example, if the rental week runs from Monday to Sunday and the landlord wants to increase the rent on Monday, November 1, the landlord must serve the notice before Monday, August 9, for the rent increase to be enforceable.
For any other length of periodic tenancy, the landlord must give at least 90 days notice.
Rent Increases for Fixed Term Tenancies
If a tenant has a fixed term tenancy (which has an end date), there is no requirement under the Residential Tenancies Act for the landlord to give written notice of a rent increase. However, it is a very good idea for the landlord to let the tenant know of the increase ahead of time.
While notice is not required, there are rules that a landlord must follow to increase the rent during a fixed term tenancy:
- A landlord can only increase the rent if one year (365 days) has passed since the tenant moved in or since the last rent increase.
- The landlord cannot increase the rent midway through a fixed term lease agreement; the landlord has to wait until the fixed-term agreement is over. For example, if a tenant signs a six month lease and then signs a one year lease, the landlord must wait until the one year lease is over before increasing rent, even though the 365th day falls halfway through the one year lease. The landlord must wait until that lease is over the raise the rent.
Further examples of when a landlord can increase rent in a fixed term tenancy:
- If there is a one year fixed term lease agreement in place (called “Lease 1”), the landlord must wait until 365 days have passed since the tenant moved in to increase the rent. This means that if the tenant and landlord enter into another fixed term tenancy (“Lease 2”), after Lease 1 is up, then the landlord can increase the rent that is payable under Lease 2, because 365 days have passed since the tenant moved in.
- If there is a 6 month lease in place (“Lease A”), and the landlord and tenant agree to enter into another 6 month lease (“Lease B”), the landlord cannot increase the rent payable under Lease B, because 365 days have not passed since the tenant moved in (only 6 months have passed since the tenant moved in).
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