As a tenant in Alberta, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to renting a home.
Knowing your rights as a tenant can help protect you against unfair treatment from landlords, while understanding your responsibilities can help you avoid potential conflicts and maintain a positive relationship with your landlord. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of tenant’s rights and responsibilities in Alberta, as well as information on lease agreements and dispute resolution options available in the province.
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Tenant’s Rights in Alberta
First, let’s explore the rights of tenants in Alberta. Renters in the province are protected by the Residential Tenancies Act, which outlines various rights and protections for tenants. For instance, tenants have the right to a safe and habitable living space, free from hazards such as mold, pests, or faulty electrical or plumbing systems. Additionally, tenants are entitled to privacy, meaning that landlords must provide 24 hours notice before entering the rental unit (with some exceptions in emergencies). Finally, the Act also offers protection against unreasonable rent increases, as landlords can only raise rent once per year by an amount that is determined by a government formula.
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Tenant’s Responsibilities in Alberta
- Tenants in Alberta have a number of important responsibilities that they must uphold throughout the duration of their tenancy agreement above just paying the rent. These responsibilities are designed to help maintain a safe, healthy, and respectful environment for all parties involved.
- The most important responsibility of tenants is to pay the month’s rent on time and in full. In most cases, rent will be due on the first day of the month, although this may vary depending on the terms of the lease agreement.
- Tenants must also take steps to keep their rental unit clean and well-maintained, following any rules or regulations set out by the landlord. This might involve regular cleaning, fixing minor repairs or damages, or having pets registered with the landlord.
- Additionally, tenants should not disturb their neighbours with excessive noise or disruptive behaviour, and must follow all fire safety regulations.
- Finally, tenants should always communicate with their landlord when an issue arises, such as a maintenance problem or conflict with neighbours, using clear and open communication to resolve the matter quickly and calmly.
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Lease Agreements in Alberta
Before signing a lease agreement, tenants should be aware of the terms and conditions laid out in the document. Tenants should carefully read through the entire lease agreement, as well as any addendums or amendments, and ask their landlord for clarification on any clauses that are unclear. It’s important to understand the duration of the lease, the amount of rent, the date rent is due, and any penalties for late rent payments. Additionally, tenants should be aware of any other fees or charges such as security deposits, pet fees or move-in fees. Understanding the terms of the lease agreement can help prevent misunderstandings or disputes down the line.
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Dispute Resolution in Alberta
If a dispute does arise between a tenant and their landlord, there are several options available for resolution. Initially, it is important to attempt to resolve the issue by speaking with the landlord directly. If this does not lead to a satisfactory resolution, the tenant might choose to pursue mediation services, which can help both parties reach an agreement. If mediation does not work or is not appropriate, tenants might choose to file a complaint with the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), which is designed to help resolve disputes or conflicts between landlords and tenants. In some instances, it may be necessary for tenants to take legal action by going to Provincial Court.
Related Read: What Does (And Doesn’t) Renter’s Insurance Cover?
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