In Alberta, unlike some other province, there is no limit to how much a landlord can increase your rent. This means that if a landlord decides to double your rent, there is nothing you can do about it other than move somewhere else.
A couple of years ago, the Alberta Government proposed a Bill that included capping the amount landlords can increase rents, however, it was never passed and of course, we now have a new government, so who knows if this will ever see the light of day again?
That being said, there are rules about how often rent can be increased and the notice that has to be given. This depends on your type of tenancy.
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.
For both periodic and fixed-term tenancy, the landlord cannot increase the rent until a minimum of 365 days (1 year) has elapsed since the last rent increase, or since the start of the tenancy, whichever is later.
Regardless of the type of agreement or notice period, the landlord must include the following information in any rent increase notice.
- The date of the letter
- The effective date of the increase
- The amount of the increase
- Be signed by the landlord
If the landlord does not include all this information and the tenants pays the increase, they can then make an application for a refund through the provincial Courts or the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.
Periodic Tenancy Notice:
If the tenancy is week-to-week, then 12 tenancy weeks notice is required.
If the tenancy is month-to-month, then 3 tenancy months notice is required.
All other tenancies, then 90 days notice is required.
Fixed-Term Tenancy Notice:
There is no requirement for notice on a fixed-term tenancy. However, they have to wait for the 365 days to pass from the last increase or start of the tenancy in order to increase the rent. Also, the landlord cannot increase the rent midway through an agreement. They have to wait until the fixed-term agreement is over.
If a tenant has a 1-year agreement in place and then renews the agreement for another year, the landlord can increase the rent for the second agreement as 365 days have passed. If however, the tenant has a 6-month agreement and then renews a lease for either 6 months or a year, the landlord cannot increase the rent until the end of the second agreement as one year has not passed and they cannot increase the rent midway.
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