Being a landlord is a larger commitment than many realize. Property is an investment for a landlord, and there are additional costs to the property owner beyond just the purchase price. These include, but are not limited to, mortgage payments, taxes, regular and/or emergency maintenance, insurance fees, and utilities costs. Landlords often own multiple properties, meaning these costs multiply. Beyond their operating expenses, the Province of Alberta enforces rules which the landlord must follow to remain compliant.
Once a tenant has successfully moved into the property, meaning all contracts have been agreed to and both parties have done their due diligence, a landlord can sit back and wait for the monthly rent to come in, right? In the best-case scenario, that is the case. But what happens when this isn’t the case, and tenants do not pay rent or cause issues for landlords?
As a landlord, it is important to be versed in the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act (ARTC). The responsibilities of a landlord are contained in this document along with tips for dealing with tenants. Non-payment of the agreed-upon rent is a common reason for landlords to take measures against tenants. Tenants may feel they can dispute with the landlord, but they ultimately can’t withhold their rental payment.
One of the initial acts a landlord can take in this instance is to issue a “14 Day Notice”. According to the ARTC:
The 14-day notice must:
- be in writing
- be signed by the landlord or agent
- state the reasons for the eviction; and
- state the time and date the tenancy ends.
- Non-payment of rent
If the tenant’s substantial breach is non-payment of rent, the landlord’s 14-day notice must include the following additional information:
- the amount of rent due as of the date of the notice and any additional rent that may become due during the notice period; and
- a statement that the tenancy will not be terminated if, on or before the termination date in the notice, the tenant pays the rent and any additional rent due as of the date of payment.
- A tenant cannot object to a 14-day notice for nonpayment of rent
If the tenant objects to the reasons stated by the landlord, they must respond in writing within the notice time as to the reasons for disagreement.
Should the landlord and tenant not come to an agreement, the next step for the landlord is to contact the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Services (RTDRS). Both landlords and tenants can use this service. RTDRS is a non-court service which is designed to be faster and less expensive than going to court. The goal of this service is always to find a resolution between all parties.
More information for landlords can be found on the website “Laws for Landlords and Tenants in Alberta“.
Non-payment of rent is not the only reason a landlord may take action against a tenant – it is just the most common. As a landlord, you have the right to take action against a tenant if:
- the Tenant has subleased or allowed others not listed in the contract on to the property without the written consent of the landlord.
- Damages occur to the rental property
- Tenants are disturbing or endangering others in the rental premises
- illegal activity occurs on the property
Not only must a tenant know their rights and responsibilities, but the property owner and landlord also need to ensure that they are operating within the rules. Check out the RentFaster website for more information for landlords, and check out our blogs for information relevant to tenants and landlords alike.