Both parties may want to terminate a tenancy agreement for any number of reasons. Perhaps, the tenant has to move because of a new job or needs a larger or smaller premise. Maybe the landlord is renovating the property or the tenant has defaulted on the rent. Whatever the reason, there are rules that need to be followed by both the landlord and the tenant.

The rights to terminate a tenancy depend on the type of tenancy agreement in place. Both the landlord and the tenant have rights relating to this issue. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) sets the rules relating to this and any deviation from them will mean that an offence has been committed under the RTA.

First of all, the type of agreement will make a difference in the rules relating to notice.

Types of Agreement

 Periodic Agreement: With this type of agreement there is no end date included. This means that the tenant can remain living in the property until either they or the landlord gives notice. A periodic tenancy can be month-to-month, week-to-week or even year-to-year. This means the rent is paid to the landlord either monthly, weekly or annually.

Fixed-Term Agreement: This is the most common type of agreement and does include an end date. The length of the lease can be any term agreed to by both parties i.e. one month, six months or most commonly, a year. Neither party has to give notice as it is assumed that the tenant will move out at the end of the lease term. If the tenant wishes to extend the lease, they will need to negotiate a new agreement for the period required.

Notice by the landlord for a periodic tenancy

The landlord can only end a periodic tenancy for the following reasons unless the tenant has committed a substantial breach of the rental agreement:

  • The landlord or a relative of the landlord intends to live on the premises.
  • The landlord has sold the premises and the new owner, or their relative wants to move in.
  • The landlord intends to demolish the building.
  • The landlord intends to use the building for non-residential use.
  • The landlord is an educational institution and the tenant is no longer a student.

The landlord’s notice to the tenant must be in writing and give the address of the premises, state the reason for the termination, give a termination date and be signed by the landlord.

If the landlord states a particular reason for the termination but then does not go through with the plan, they have committed an offence under the RTA and the tenant can pursue the landlord for compensation through Service Alberta.

Landlord notice period for weekly periodic tenancy: One week’s written notice. Notice is to be served on or before the first day of the tenancy week, with the termination to be effective on the last day of the tenancy week.

Tenant notice period for weekly periodic tenancy: One week’s written notice. Notice is to be served on or before the first day of the tenancy week, with the termination to be effective on the last day of the tenancy week.

Landlord notice period for monthly periodic tenancy: Three months’ notice. Notice is to be served on or before the first day of the three-month notice period.

Tenant notice period for monthly periodic tenancy: One months’ notice. Notice is to be served on or before the first day of the one-month notice period.

Landlord notice period for yearly periodic tenancy: 90 days’ notice. Notice to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year.

Tenant notice period for yearly periodic tenancy: 60 days’ notice. Notice to be effective on the last day of the tenancy year.

There is an exception to the above rules and that is when a landlord needs to carry out major renovations that require the premises to be empty. This does not include things such as flooring replacement, painting etc. In this case, the landlord must give the tenant 365 days’ notice to terminate.

If the landlord does not go through with the renovation, they have committed an offence under the RTA and the tenant can pursue the landlord for compensation through Service Alberta.

Notice by the landlord for a fixed-term tenancy

All fixed-term tenancies have an end date stipulated in the agreement. The tenant has to move out of the property by noon of that date. No notice is required by either party, although it is courteous for the landlord to remind the tenant of this fact before the agreement ends.

If a tenant wishes to remain in the premises after the fixed-term agreement ends, they will either need to renegotiate a new fixed-term agreement which may have new rental rates and other terms, or they can agree to switch to a periodic agreement. The periodic tenancy becomes a monthly periodic tenancy if the fixed term tenancy was for a month or more.

If the fixed term tenancy was for a fixed term of less than one month, then the periodic tenancy becomes a weekly periodic tenancy.

Notice or termination for substantial breach of the RTA

If the landlord breaches the conditions of the RTA, then different rules apply to both periodic and fixed-term agreements. Substantial breaches include:

  • The premises are not kept in the condition that meets the minimum housing standards under the public health act and regulations, and
  • An executive officer issues an order under section 62 of the Public Health Act, and
  • The landlord has not complied with the order.

In this case, the tenant should contact the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), or apply to the court to end the tenancy and serve the landlord with a notice to terminate 14 clear days before the termination date.

The tenant’s notice to the landlord must be in writing and give the address of the premises, state the reason for the termination, give a termination date and be signed by the tenant.

If the tenant breaches the conditions of the RTA the landlord can contact the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), or apply to the court to end the tenancy and serve the tenant with a notice to terminate 14 clear days before the termination date. If the reason for the termination is because of damage or assault, then only 24 hours notice needs to be given.

The landlord’s notice to the tenant must be in writing and give the address of the premises, state the reason for the termination, give a termination date and be signed by the landlord. It should also include details of any rent that is due or may become due prior to the termination date.

For both landlord and tenant notices and termination agreements in these circumstances carry penalties for non-compliance. Details are dependant upon the individual circumstance.

Other reasons for giving notice

The above scenarios are the most common reason for either the tenant or the landlord to give notice to the other. There are a few other reasons for notice to be served such as abandonment of the property, non-tenant notice, unauthorised persons notice and tenants being unable to move into a property on the agreed upon date. All these are covered by Service Alberta and full details can be found on their website.

 

 

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