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woman with mask standing in front of hosue with arms open - Private Landlords and the Residential Tenancies Act

Private Landlords and the Residential Tenancies Act

For private landlords with only one property, you may be wondering why you would need to know anything about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

The Residential Tenancies Act or the RTA is the law that governs the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in Alberta. Regardless of whether you own one property or 100 properties, once you rent out your property to a tenant, you become a landlord. 

Each province in Canada has landlord-tenant laws and as a private landlord/property investor, it’s up to you to familiarize yourself with the laws that govern your properties.

The RTA is your landlord’s bible

Whenever you have questions about;

  • Which types of properties the RTA applies to
  • What you should include on your lease
  • What type of tenancy (periodic or fixed) to include on the lease
  • What the rules are around periodic and fixed tenancies
  • What happens when tenants break the lease
  • Move-in/move-out inspection reports
  • Security deposits
  • What you can subtract from the security deposit
  • When you are required to return the security deposit
  • How and when to raise the rent
  • The Eviction processes
  • Abandonment of goods
  • When and under what conditions you are allowed to enter the rental property

The RTA handbook is your go-to rule book for landlord/tenant legislation in Alberta. It’s your best friend.

Too often private landlords rely on answers from Facebook groups, or other landlords (who may or may not know the rules) to provide them with the correct information about legal landlord-tenant issues. Don’t make that mistake! Real estate mistakes are expensive and have legal repercussions.  For correct information – go directly to the legal source for landlords.  Don’t listen to advice from random strangers who may or may not understand the landlord-tenant legislation in your province.

By the way, professional tenants know the RTA inside out. If you don’t learn it, you and your property are in a vulnerable position and can easily be taken advantage of. Don’t’ set yourself up to become a victim. Put yourself in the driver’s seat.

In Alberta, Service Alberta, and municipal landlord-tenant associations such as ARLA and CRRA are well versed with the RTA. Service Alberta provides phone support to landlords or tenants who have questions about the act. Landlord/tenant organizations such as ARLA or CRRA with phone support and advice from previous cases.

Where to get a copy of the RTA

You can get your online copy here and your abbreviated — handbook here.

Many landlords don’t realize that the RTA exists until they start having problems, and I admit, I was one of those landlords. I bought a property and thought I’d just wing it. In retrospect, trying to figure out the legislation when in crisis was not the best idea. It’s much better practice to know the legislation first so that you can either bypass issues or if/when they happen; you’re prepared.

Do you believe you have a solid knowledge of the RTA? Email me I’d love to hear your answer [email protected]

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