An eviction is a legal process by which a landlord can remove a tenant from their rental property. There are many reasons why landlords evict tenants, ranging from non-payment of rent to damage to the property or illegal activity on the premises. The eviction procedure will vary depending on the circumstance. Learn more about how eviction works in Alberta and the different types of evictions below.
The eviction process starts when the tenant acts in a way that provides a reason for eviction. As stated above, there are many reasons why a landlord can evict a tenant, but the most common reasons are not paying rent or putting others in danger. If the landlord observes this behaviour, they can serve the tenant an eviction notice ranging from 1 - 14 days to leave the property.
In most cases, the landlord must provide a reason for eviction to which the tenant can object. If the tenant chooses to oppose, they can apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) for a hearing. The hearing results in an order which may require the tenant to leave the property by a specific date. If the tenant attempts to stay, the landlord can hire a civil enforcement agency to remove the tenant and their belongings.
For an eviction notice to qualify, it must:
COVID-19 UPDATE: RTDRS counters are closed during the pandemic, so applications are required to be submitted onine.
This is the most severe type of eviction. A tenant will receive this notice in Alberta if they have either:
The tenant is not able to object to this type of notice. However, if they stay later than the eviction date, the landlord has ten days to apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) for a court order. If the landlord waits longer than ten days, they forfeit the right to remove the dangerous tenant. When the landlord applies to the RTDRS, the tenant receives new documents from the landlord. The landlord can hire a civil enforcement agency to evict the tenant if the tenant does not vacate after receiving the new documents. A bailiff can then attend to the property to remove the tenant and their belongings. It is worth noting that only a bailiff can enforce an eviction - a landlord can’t forcefully remove a tenant.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to the severe nature of this eviction notice, landlords were still able to evict tenants for these reasons during the pandemic.
This is a rare occurrence that only happens if the evicted tenant has moved out and an unauthorized occupant is living in the rental unit. In this situation, the landlord can apply to RTDRS to receive an order to recover possession of the rental premises.
As the case above, the unauthorized occupant must leave after receiving an RTDRS notice. If they attempt to stay, the landlord can legally hire a civil enforcement agency to remove the tenant and their belongings.
This is the typical eviction notice and the one most frequently used in Alberta. A landlord can issue a 14-day eviction notice if the tenant has committed a substantial breach. A substantial breach occurs when the tenant:
If a substantial breach happens, the landlord can serve the tenant a 14-days notice to end the tenancy. However, the tenant has 14 days to dispute the eviction with the RTDRS. If a dispute happens, the RTDRS will conduct a hearing between the tenant and landlord. Both the landlord and tenant must discuss the situation with a tenancy dispute officer who will provide an order. If the respondent fails to comply with the order, the applicant can hire a civil enforcement agency. For example, if the tenant refuses to leave after receiving an eviction order, the landlord can hire a Bailiff to remove the tenant.
COVID-19 UPDATE: During the pandemic, landlords could not evict tenants for non-payment of rent or utilities. However, this law changed on May 1, 2020, and landlords were able to evict tenants for this reason again. Additionally, landlords can now charge late fees on any missed payment after June 30, 2020.
The Residential Tenancies Act governs evictions in Alberta. If you're a landlord with a problem tenant, there's an eviction notice that might work for your situation, and we've outlined them here. Whether it's an eviction because of non-payment or damage done to the unit, there are multiple options for a landlord to recover their property.