The Residential Tenancies Act allows a council to set up a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board. A council is defined as a council of a city, a town, a village, a municipal district or a Métis settlement.
The functions of a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board are:
- to advise landlords and tenants in matters relating to a tenancy;
- to receive complaints and to attempt to mediate disputes between landlords and tenants (mediation occurs when the Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board brings you and the tenant together to talk about the issues with the assistance of a mediator. You then try to reach an agreement yourselves);
- to make information available for the purpose of educating and advising landlords and tenants about rental practices, their rights, and available remedies; and
- to receive complaints concerning conduct that is in breach of the laws governing tenancies and to investigate those complaints.
In Alberta, there is a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board in Edmonton (780-496-5959).
The extent of services that a Board offers will depend upon its resources. Advice can generally be obtained in person or by phone. Information packages (including forms) are often available for purchase.
It is important to note that a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board does not:
- enforce the law;
- inspect rental units;
- act as a collection agency for landlords or tenants; or
- force landlords or tenants to do anything.
A Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board will only serve residents of the particular municipality or area that set it up. If there is not a Board available in an area, residents can contact Service Alberta.