Owning properties and renting them to potential tenants is a good source of income for landlords and homeowners and also helps people in need of a place to stay during their education or job away from home. Having short-term tenants has its own benefits but getting a good tenant that stays for a longer duration and builds goodwill with the landlord is good for income. It also removes the worries in a landlord’s mind regarding his property and behavior of the tenant. A bad tenant is the one who has the capacity to give you sleepless nights. No landlord wants to find ways to argue with the tenant or to force them to move out of the property. But sometimes, the tenants prove to be a bad decision on the landlord’s part and unleash a load of problems and daily hassles on the landlord. Your property is a regular source of income for you and your family depends on the earnings you make from it. Damage to the property or threatening conditions with bad tenants worry you. There are legal rights and duties for every landlord with properties or rental condos in Edmonton and the rest of Alberta. These rights are commissioned by the federal landlord and tenants’ laws and the state laws that vary according to the province.
Who is a landlord and what are his responsibilities?
An individual who owns a property legally and has authority over the premises in the eyes of the court is a landlord and can use his property for residential renting or business renting. A landlord can also be an organization or a group that has a number of properties registered in their name or the name of the organization or business firm. Sometimes, landlords can also have property brokers or agents under their service that act as caretakers for the property and show the property to potential tenants. The landlords have a responsibility towards the tenants to make their identity and residence/ contact information known to the tenants. For this purpose, the landlord must send a legal “notice of the landlord” to the tenant on the very first day that the tenant moves in. The notice has to consist of the name of the landlord, contact details, residential address or location and postal address so that the tenant can send notices through the postal services. There is a set of responsibilities that are considered by the Rental Tenancies Act (RTA) that the landlord has to follow in order to prevent cancellation of the tenancy. A landlord should make the rental property available to the tenant on the day on which the tenancy begins. The landlord should make sure that the property is maintained and is habitable before the tenancy starts, i.e. the property should not be untidy and crawling with pests and the utilities should be working. The property should meet the minimum requirements of the Housing and Health standards according to the Alberta Health and Housing Act. The landlord must not disturb the peace of the tenant or hassle him in any way except to ask the tenant of what is necessary to do business. In the case of rental condos, the landlord must inform the condominium corporation about his reasons to rent the condo, the date of beginning of the tenancy, address of self, the amount of rent being charged, and identity of the tenant within the first 20 days of tenancy, a notice to the condominium corporation informing them of the end of tenancy period within twenty days after the tenancy has ended and always inform the tenant about the laws set by the condominium corporation.
What are the legal rights of a landlord?
The landlord is the first and foremost owner of the property that is being leased to a tenant. A landowner can use his legal rights, set by the RTA and Rental Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), to his benefit if he experiences any troubles with the tenant or if he feels that the tenant is not suitable to live in his premises due to reasons of dispute or illegal drug use on the property. The RTDRS rules have enabled landlords to settle disputes in a legal and easy manner by appointing rules for both the tenant and the landlord.
Right to end the tenancy
A landlord has the right to end the tenancy before the time stated in the agreement if there are any reasons that are valid according to the RTDRS. Any kind of substantial breach by the tenant gives the landlord a reason to terminate the tenancy period and ask the tenant to move out. The landlord can send a notice of termination of the tenancy 14 days prior to the date the tenant has to leave the property. This notice will be held valid only if the tenant has in anyway troubled the neighbours, has caused significant damage to the property, has not paid rent for a significant amount of time or is refusing to pay the rent. The landlord also holds the rights to end the tenancy if the landlord or a relative of the landlord wants to move into the property or if the landlord wants to turn his property or rental condo into a business rental building.
The case of non-payment of rent
In case the tenant doesn’t pay rent for a sequential period of time, the landlord holds the right to contact civil enforcement and apply for distress of rent. Possessions of the tenant can be used to pay the total rent due.
Eviction from property
If a tenant abuses, assaults or threatens to assault the landlord in any way, causes major damage to the property or uses the property for illegal purposes, the landlord has the right to immediately evict the tenant with a 24-hour notice. If the tenant refuses to follow the 24-hour notice, the landlord can use the help of civil enforcement to force the tenant out of the property.
A landlord’s entry on the property
A landlord holds the right to enter the premises of his property with the consent of the tenant in a written or verbal form. In case the landlord has the reasons to believe there is an emergency, they can enter the premises without a notice or consent of the tenant. The landlord can also enter the property if he has reasons believe that the tenant has abandoned the property.
If you’re a landlord and you need more help with any of the laws and management responsibilities, we can help. Handling a property is not an easy task and following the norms of the law to keep the rental income hassle-free can sometimes affect your personal life. Contact our landlord advisory and property management services at Rental Advisors and we’ll get you the means to get your rental income smoothly in and around Edmonton.