New Tenants Rights

Last night "approximately 125 people were forced out of a building in Kensington ... after it was determined it was at risk of collapsing... Residents at Kensington Manor had only 15 minutes to gather their belongings before leaving" (Global News Calgary). As the tenants and landlord of this building grapple with this potentially devastating situation, we are all reminded that renting is not always picture-perfect. 

Many people pursue investment properties that they can rent as a form of supplementary income. Real estate is a wonderful place to invest your money and (potentially) see a massive return. However, renting a property is not as simple as finding a tenant and signing a lease. 

Others turn to rental properties as a place to live before they purchase a property of their own. Rental properties ease people into the world of home care and are a great learning experience. However, finding a place to rent and a good landlord can be difficult. 

Alberta recently passed a number of new laws protecting rental rights that both renters and landlords need to be aware of. A thorough understanding of the all provincial and city rental guidelines and laws is essential in protecting your rights, no matter which side of the lease you are on. Here are some additions to these rules to note:

  • Some rental units market themselves as being child free, 18+ or seniors living. However, "as of January 1, 2018, age is a protected ground of discrimination relating to goods, services, accommodation or facilities and tenancy" (Slaw). This means that you cannot turn a renter away or kick them out should they reach a certain age or have a child. Registered 18+ and seniors living rentals have 15 years to phase out these restrictions. 
  • If you are suffering from domestic abuse, you can now leave your residence without financial duress. CBC News reports, "the Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act allows renters to break a lease early, without a financial penalty, by showing their landlord a certificate verifying that they're at risk." If you are a landlord and expect that your tenant may be suffering domestic abuse, you are encouraged to immediately report it.
  • Legally, the security deposit a renter gives to a landlord must be "deposited in an interest-bearing trust account... Interest on the security deposit must be paid to the tenant annually unless the landlord and tenant agree in writing that it will be paid when the tenancy ends" (Service Alberta). This helps give renters some equity and coves the cost of any repairs that need to be made after tenancy so that a tenant can get some return. 

These are just thee of the more unknown but important rights surrounding renting. For more information, visit the Laws for Landlords and Tenants in Alberta website. 

 

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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