Alberta government has announced various measures to protect renters while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect.
The measures announced are part of the part of an overall $7.7-billion package in direct supports and deferrals designed to relieve the immediate financial burden brought on by the crisis and provide stability during these unprecedented and uncertain times.
- Effective immediately, tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities before May 1.
- Effective immediately, rents will not increase while Alberta’s state of public health emergency remains in effect. This means that until the state of public health emergency has been lifted, landlords cannot raise the rent on residential properties or mobile home sites, even if notice of an increase has already been given.
- Effective April 1, late fees cannot be applied to late rent payments for the next three months. This means that until June 30, landlords cannot further penalize tenants who are late on rent by charging late fees, even if the signed rental agreement states that a late fee can be applied. Landlords will also not be able to retroactively collect late fees for this period.
- Effective April 1, landlords and tenants need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect.
Payment plans and eviction process
The protections are required by new ministerial orders under the Residential Tenancies Act and the Mobile Homes Sites Tenancies Act.
Landlords can still file applications and receive orders for possession if the reason for the eviction is unrelated to rent and/or utility payments (e.g. safety concerns, tenant engaging in criminal activity).
As per the news release, while Alberta is in a state of a public health emergency, landlords must attempt to work out a payment plan with tenants who are unable to make their full rent when payment is due. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) will not hear applications that could lead to eviction due to non-payment unless a reasonable attempt has been made to work out a payment plan.