Updated August 21, 2023
In Alberta, there are several reasons for which a landlord might wish to serve a tenant with an eviction notice. Most eviction notices will be “for cause,” meaning a situation in which the tenant has done something wrong, like not paying rent. Alberta doesn’t have any special provisions for a landlord ending a tenancy early to use the rental unit themselves.
For basic information on evictions in Canada and some common terms, visit our tenant’s rights and evictions article. Keep reading for information specific to Alberta evictions.
The process for evicting a tenant in Alberta is essentially the same no matter the reason, though the length of notice given does vary.
On this page, we’ll describe the different eviction notices in Alberta, how the process works, and the tenant’s rights when they’re served with an eviction notice.
In Alberta, a landlord may evict a tenant after issuing one of three possible notices: 24 hours, 48 hours, or 14 days.
For the eviction to be valid, any notice must:
This type of eviction is used only in two serious circumstances. First, when the landlord believes the tenant has caused significant damage to the rental unit. Second, when the tenant has assaulted (or threatened to assault) the landlord or another tenant.
In cases of assault or verbal threats, the landlord can also choose to skip the 24-hour notice and apply directly to the RTDRS to end the tenancy.
The 48-hour notice is for just one circumstance: when a tenant has vacated the rental unit and another, unauthorized person is living there. In such cases, the landlord can give the unauthorized person 48 hours to vacate before applying for a court order to remove that person and end the tenancy.
If there are unauthorized tenants living in the unit with the authorized tenants also still there, the landlord would instead give a 14-day notice to the unauthorized tenants.
All other evictions in Alberta will come with a 14-day notice to vacate. The 14-day notice is used to evict tenants “in the event of a substantial breach.”
A substantial breach occurs when the tenant:
The 14-day notice means that the tenant has 14 full days to vacate—neither the day the notice is given nor the final day count as part of the 14.
If the tenant objects to the reasons given in the 14-day notice, they must give an objection, in writing, to the landlord before the 14 days are over. Then, the landlord can either rescind the notice, or apply to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) or the Alberta Courts for an order to have the tenant removed.
Until a decision is made by either the RTDRS or the Courts, the tenant can continue living in the rental unit.
If the eviction notice is for unpaid rent, the tenant has the right to cancel the notice by paying any outstanding rent—in full—before the termination date on the notice.
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In Alberta, there is no provision for landlords to evict their tenants without cause.
If a landlord wishes to have their tenant move out for typical landlord’s use reasons, the process depends on the type of tenancy agreement. (Visit our main evictions page for the various reasons in this category).
Fixed-term tenancies end only on the day specified in the agreement. It can only end sooner if both the landlord and tenant agree to do so (or if the tenant commits a substantial breach, as described above).
The landlord can end periodic tenancies, on the other hand, in order to move in, have a family member move in, to renovate, or other similar reasons. In order to do so, they have to give proper notice:
The notice to end the tenancy must be written, and it must include:
If a tenant wishes to dispute their landlord’s notice, they can apply for a hearing with the RTDRS. Regardless of the termination date on the eviction notice, the tenant can stay in their rental unit while the hearing is pending (as long as they’ve applied for it).
Home insurance normally won’t come into play during the eviction process, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
First of all, tenants commonly ask if they can be evicted for not having tenant insurance. Tenant insurance in Alberta is not required by law, but landlords are permitted to require it in rental agreements. Since tenants can be evicted for not adhering to their rental agreement, they could theoretically be evicted for refusing to buy tenant insurance if their landlord explicitly required it.
Additionally, tenants who have purchased a product like legal protection insurance from Square One could contact the legal helpline for guidance on the process of disputing an eviction notice.
If a tenant doesn’t leave after the date they’ve been ordered to do so by an RTDRS order, the landlord can use that order to hire a civil enforcement agency to remove the tenant. Landlords aren’t allowed to forcibly remove tenants themselves (for example, by changing the locks on the unit) even if they have an order—only a bailiff can do so.
Yes. There is no seasonal restriction for evicting tenants in Alberta. As long as the landlord follows all the correct procedures, they can evict a tenant at any time of year.
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