Renting in Alberta Part 1 of 2:
Governing or regulatory body
name of act/regulations
• Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
• Residential Tenancies Ministerial Regulation
• Residential Tenancies Exemption Regulation
• Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service Regulation
• Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation
• Subsidized Public Housing Regulation
• Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act (MHSTA)
• Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Ministerial Regulation
• Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation
types of housing/ livingarrangements covered by the provincial legislation Residential premises and tenancies of mobile home sites. (A mobile home site is covered under the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act, not the Residential Tenancies Act).
Exclusions: premises occupied for business purposes with living accommodation attached and rented under a single agreement; rooms in the living quarters of the landlord, if the landlord actually resides in those quarters; a hotel, motel, motor hotel, resort, lodge or tourist camp a cottage or cabin located in a campground, or a trailer park, tourist home, bed and breakfast establishment or farm vacation home, if a person resides there for less than 6 consecutive months; a tenancy agreement between an educational institution as landlord and a student of that institution as tenant if the tenant does not have exclusive possession of a self-contained dwelling unit; a nursing home as defined in the Nursing Homes Act; a senior citizens lodge that is operated by the Government of Alberta; a social care facility licensed under the Social Care Facilities Licensing Act; a correctional institution; or any other prescribed premises.
types of rental periods The lease can be a periodic lease where the rental period can relate to a calendar week, month, or year; a fixed term lease, or a hybrid lease combining a fixed term then a periodic term. is a signed lease required? No. If the tenant gives a signed agreement to a landlord, the landlord must return the agreement signed by the landlord within 21 days from the time the tenant signed it. The tenant can withhold payment of rent until they have received it. is a signed move in/ move out condition report required? Yes.
security deposits A maximum of one month's rent is allowable. The landlord must deposit all security deposits in an interest-bearing trust account in a bank, treasury branch, credit union or trust company in Alberta within two business days of collecting them. Interest must be paid to the tenant annually at the end of each tenancy year, or it may be compounded annually and paid to the tenant at the end of the tenancy if both the landlord and tenant agree in writing. The landlord cannot increase the security deposit during the tenancy. The landlord must return the security deposit within 10 days of the tenant giving up possession of the premises. The interest rate payable to the departing tenant is regulated at 3 per cent below the November 1 rate for cashable one-year guaranteed investment certificates held or offered by ATB Financial (formerly known as Alberta Treasury Branches).
key money If key money is refundable, it is considered to be part of the security deposit which cannot exceed one month's rent.
Landlords may request post-dated cheques.
renewal of a lease To renew a fixed term lease a new agreement must be signed at the end of the term. Fixed term leases are often for 1 year. The term may be changed to month-to-month after a fixed term is complete. The majority of leases are periodic monthly agreements that continue until ended by notice from either party.
terminating a tenancy (lease): notice and timing
No notice is required to end a fixed term lease. A fixed term lease ends automatically at the end of the term. Notice to end a tenancy by a landlord must be signed and include the address of the premises, the date the tenancy ends, and the reason for ending the tenancy. The amount of the notice required is:
• Weekly: 1 full week
• Monthly: 3 full tenancy months If a tenant is ending a monthly periodic tenancy, the tenant must give one month's notice before the end of the tenancy month. All notices must be in writing. For mobile home sites landlords must give the following notices:
• Monthly tenancies: 6 full months;
• For a change in land use, such as a site sold as condominium or cooperative: 365 full day is required. The tenant must give 2 full month's notice to end a monthly periodic tenancy. assignments and sublets Landlords must respond to a tenant in writing and give permission within 14 days of tenant's request to sublet or assign their premises. Landlords cannot refuse a sublet or assignment without reasonable grounds.