Tenant – Frequently Asked Questions / Landlord Responsibilities / Landlord – Frequently Asked Questions
The rules that a tenant must follow fall into two groups:
- The rules that are included in laws such as the Residential Tenancies Act or the Condominium Property Act.
- The rules agreed to in the rental agreement.
Renter’s obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Tenancies Act sets outs the rules a tenant must follow. If the tenant does not follow these rules, the landlord may have the right to end the tenancy and seek damages in court.
What rules does a tenant have to follow under the Residential Tenancies Act?
- Pay the rent as required by the tenancy agreement. A landlord can issue an eviction notice if a tenant does not pay rent.
- Look after the rental unit, keep it clean, and not damage it or the common areas of the property.
- Do not interfere with the rights of the landlord or tenants in other units.
- Cannot do anything illegal in the rental unit or common areas of the property.
- Do not endanger or threaten other people or property in the rental unit or common areas.
- Move out of the rental unit at the end of a fixed term tenancy. For periodic tenancies, give the required notice to end the tenancy, in writing, and move out by the date given to the landlord.
- Do not change the locks without permission from the landlord.
Tenants also have to follow other rules that are agreed to by the tenant and the landlord in the rental agreement. These rules cover things not included in the Residential Tenancies Act, such as:
- whether or not the tenant can smoke in the rental unit;
- whether or not the tenant can have pets, and if so, the rules around how many pets and what kind of pets are allowed; and
- specific responsibilities such as shoveling snow or cutting the lawn.
Tenant – Frequently Asked Questions
Can a tenant refuse to pay rent?
What if a tenant breaks a rule in the lease?
Does a tenant have to tell the landlord if he or she is going on vacation?
Landlords also must follow the rules outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act and the rules in the rental agreement.
Landlord’s obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Tenancies Act sets outs the rules a landlord must follow. If the landlord does not follow these rules, the landlord could be charged with an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act and face a fine. Tenants can also seek to terminate their tenancy or request financial damages if the landlord breaks the rules.
What rules does a landlord have to follow under the Residential Tenancies Act?
- Do not disturb the tenant’s possession or peaceful enjoyment of the rental unit. A landlord cannot enter a tenant’s suite without consent or without providing notice to the tenant. The Residential Tenancies Act states that a landlord must give 24 hours notice to enter a suite and can only enter for specific reasons (i.e. repairs).
- Ensure the rental unit meets the Minimum Housing and Health Standards. Landlords must ensure the structure of the building is safe, the heating and plumbing systems work, and wind, rain and snow cannot enter the building.
- If there is a written lease, give the tenant a signed copy of the lease within 21 days.
- Provide the tenant with the landlord’s contact information or have it posted in a common area such as the lobby or mail room.
- Give a valid reason with enough notice to end a periodic tenancy. The Residential Tenancies Act states how much time a landlord must give a tenant to end a periodic tenancy. A related regulation gives a specific list of reasons as to why a tenancy can be ended (i.e. major renovations, the landlord is moving into the rental unit, etc.).
- Give tenants at least three months notice, in writing, before increasing the rent. Landlords cannot increase the rent more than once a year.
- Pay interest to tenants on security deposits (the rate of interest is set by the Government of Alberta).
Landlords may have agreed to other obligations set out in the rental agreement. These rules cover things not included in the Residential Tenancies Act, such as:
- specific responsibilities like shovelling snow or cutting the lawn; or
- repairing suites within a certain period of time.
Landlord – Frequently Asked Questions
Does a landlord have to provide the tenants with contact information?
Can a landlord increase the rent at any time?
When can a landlord enter a tenant’s rental unit?
Does a landlord have to do something about loud tenants?
Can the landlord or tenant change the lease without the other’s consent?
Does a landlord have to tell tenants if the property is sold?
Does a landlord have to tell tenants if the property is being foreclosed?
What are offences under the Residential Tenancies Act?
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