Feeling confused about what goes when signing a lease agreement in Alberta? This is common if you’re not informed.
Alberta lease agreement is a rental contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the property owner and the tenant.
However, every Alberta rental property is unique, and that’s why it’s important to know the ins and outs of your lease agreement before you sign.
This guide covers what lease agreement means, typical landlord responsibilities, your rights as a renter, and other things related to the Alberta lease agreement.
What is A Lease / Rental Agreement?
A lease agreement is a legal document that states the tenant and landlord’s rights and responsibilities. It specifies the condition in which the renter must leave if they decide to end their tenancy prematurely.
Also, a lease agreement protects landlords, ensuring that they are compensated for any property damage by the tenant.
A agreement will lay out precisely what you can and cannot do in a property and what the landlord can and cannot do in terms of charging additional fees.
Additionally, a lease agreement shows the length of time the premises are rented for and the amount of rent paid.
Finally, a lease agreement must be signed by both parties before or at the start of a tenancy. The tenant should understand all of its terms before signing it, as there are fees involved if they break their lease early.
What are the 2 Types of Lease Agreements?
1. Fixed-Term Lease
A fixed-term lease is a type of lease agreement that covers a specific period. It spells out the length of time that a person will rent a property and under what conditions.
This type of lease may cover a few weeks, a year, or any length of time beyond that.
A fixed-term lease is ideal for someone who will be away on assignment for a predetermined length of time.
The advantage of this type of tenancy is that it provides a secure tenancy that clearly defines what you can and cannot do with your rental unit.
It also makes the landlord’s position clearer as they know when they can expect you to move out and what rent to anticipate receiving.
Additionally, a tenant or a landlord cannot terminate a fixed-term lease without the other party’s consent.
2. Periodic Tenancy
A periodic tenancy is a type of rental agreement created between a landlord and tenant where there is no end date included in the residential tenancy agreement.
This means that you won’t know exactly how long you’ll be staying. This is usually arranged as a casual tenancy and will require you to pay rent each week or month.
This type of tenancy can occur in all kinds of rental agreements and ends when the terms of the agreement end. Once this type of tenancy ends, and if the landlord and tenant decide to continue renting, a new agreement must be created with a new end date.
Although not agreed in advance in most cases, a periodic tenancy automatically continues until it is terminated, following the agreement of both parties or by the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Alberta Lease Agreement: Alberta Provincial Guidelines
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) guides residents of Alberta on their rights and responsibilities as tenants and landlords.
There is a lot of information in these guides, but we will start from the beginning to keep things simple.
Alberta’s government lays out which tenants are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act and which are not.
The Residential Tenancies Act applies to:
- A boarding or rooming house
- A motel or hotel room if leased for more than six months
- A duplex, an apartment, or a house
The Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to:
- If a person stays in a hotel, motel, tourist home, trailer park, or other vacation lodgings for less than six months
- Rental premises are leased to a student by an educational institution, except the student has sole control of self-contained rental premises.
- First Nations Reserve Lands and military bases
- Mobile home sites laid out in the Mobile rental premises are used for commercial purposes by individuals who share a landlord’s living quarters.
- Senior residences run by the government, and correctional institutions
Information an Alberta Lease Agreement Should Include
According to the Alberta’s Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), a lease should include the following:
- The landlord’s name and contact details
- The address of the leased property
- Names of everyone who lives in the rental apartment, house, or basement suite
- The amount of rent, when it is due, how it should be paid, and to whom it should be paid
- The commencement date of the tenancy and the type of lease
- Whether or not utilities are included
- The security deposit amount
- Any extra charges
- Maintenance and repair duties
- Lease sublet and assignment rules
- Who is responsible for maintaining the yard, if there is one
- Requirements in terms of any insurance
Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants
There are particular duties laid forth in the Residential Tenancies Act for both landlords and tenants. These obligations must be met by tenants and landlords regardless of whether they are mentioned in the lease agreement.
The following is required of landlords:
- Maintain habitability of the rental property both when tenants move in and throughout their lease
- Make the rental property accessible on the start date of the residential tenancy agreement
- Not disrupt the tenant’s peaceful enjoyment of the rental premises by giving the tenant a written “notice of landlord” within seven days of the tenant moving in or posting the notice in a prominent location in the building’s common area.
- The rental property must meet the Minimum Housing and Health Standards under the Public Health Act for the Housing Regulations to be considered habitable.
Tenants must comply with the following requirements:
- Observe the landlord’s and other tenants’ rights.
- Be prompt with rent payments.
- Whenever the rental agreement expires, tenants must vacate the premises.
- Ensure that other tenants are not in danger
- Not to engage in unlawful activity on the rented property
- Maintain a reasonable level of cleanliness at the rental property
- Avoid causing harm to the rented property
- Be sure to adhere to the rules of the residential tenancy agreement that are not in conflict with the RTA.
Sublease or Assignment
When specific criteria are fulfilled, tenants can sublease or assign their rented property to someone else.
With the landlord’s written permission, a tenant may sublease or assign their leased property to someone else. The subletter and the tenant will have a rental agreement.
A landlord cannot deny permission without good cause. They must provide written reasons to the tenant within 14 days of receiving the formal request.
The tenant may presume the landlord’s consent to the sublease or assignment if the landlord does not respond within 14 days. A landlord cannot charge fees for granting sublease permission.
A tenant who sublets or assigns the rental property may be held liable for the rest of the term and seek legal counsel.
Ending a Rental Agreement in Alberta
Know your legal rights and responsibilities before you decide to end a tenancy. Tenants and landlords can terminate a tenancy agreement under certain conditions.
Both tenants and landlords have the right to cancel a rental agreement for several reasons, including the following:
- The renter found a new apartment
- For a particular cause, the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy.
- There was a violation of the agreement.
Ending a Periodic Term
Periodic tenancies can be terminated by the landlord if:
- The landlord decides to sell the rental property, all sales agreement requirements have been met or waived, and the purchaser or family wishes to move in.
- The landlord has plans to demolish the rented property.
- The landlord or a family member of the landlord wishes to live there.
- The landlord plans to utilize or rent the leased premises for purposes other than residential.
- This is a rental property owned by an educational institution, and the tenant was a student at the beginning of the tenancy but isn’t anymore.
- If a landlord plans to undertake significant renovations that necessitate the rental premises to remain unoccupied or change the premises to a condominium unit, the landlord must provide the tenant with one-year notification to terminate the periodic tenancy.
Ending a Fixed Term
The end of a fixed-term tenancy is specified in the rental agreement unless the parties agree to end earlier.
After the fixed term tenancy ends, no notice is required to terminate the lease if both parties have signed their rental agreement.
However, if the landlord or tenant sends a reminder before the end of the lease agreement, it shows kindness.
Fixed Term Tenancy
A fixed-term tenancy expires on the date specified in the rental agreement without notice. But the landlord and tenant may agree to extend the lease after the set period expires.
Landlords and renters must provide the other party with written notice to terminate a periodic tenancy agreement.
The Written notification must include the following:
- The rental property’s address
- the termination date of the tenancy
- Signature of the person who gave notice
- Landlords must also state why they are terminating the lease.
The Residential Tenancies Act is an Alberta law that applies to most rented places in Alberta.
It states who is responsible for common areas of apartment buildings, describes landlord and tenant rights, and describes how to end tenancy agreements.
However, each agreement is based on the outcome of negotiations between landlord and tenant, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with specifics before signing a lease agreement.
Once the lease is signed, the terms and conditions cannot be altered. Also, either party can be held liable if the statutory rules and regulations set out in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) are not followed.
I hope that the above guide has helped you better understand what an Alberta lease agreement entails.
Check out: Best Private Mortgage Lenders in Alberta
Can you break a lease in Alberta?
A landlord cannot terminate a tenant’s lease and force them to vacate the premises before the lease expires.
Any agreement reached between the tenant and the landlord should be written and signed by both parties.
What happens when a lease expires in Alberta?
It is expected that the tenant will vacate the premises after the agreed-upon period.
What makes a lease invalid?
In most cases, a lease is void if it was fraudulently signed or under pressure.
In addition, if a rental unit is considered illegal in a state, a lease may be null and void.
Does breaking a lease hurt your credit?
Breaking a lease won’t affect your credit score if you pay all outstanding obligations before relocating, along with any back rent and fees. On the other hand, breaking a lease may harm your credit if it leads to unpaid debts.
Can you end a lease early?
You have the option to terminate your lease early if you signed a fixed-term tenancy agreement before the date, which is not on the standard form.
What is the penalty for breaking a rental agreement?
If you violate your lease, you’re breaking a contract, and the landlord may keep you liable for the rent until the lease period is up.
How can you legally break a lease?
When you obtain your landlord’s written permission, you may lawfully break your lease.
Do leases automatically go month to month?
You immediately become a month-to-month renter if you don’t sign a new lease and don’t provide notice to move out.
Is forging a lease illegal?
Yes. You will be committing fraud when you decide to forge a lease.
What is the difference between a lease and a rental agreement?
The primary distinction between a lease and a rent agreement is the duration of the agreement. A rental agreement is generally short, while a lease agreement is for a more extended period.
Can I take my name off a lease?
You cannot legally compel the landlord to remove your name from the lease until it expires. A lease is a legally enforceable contract, and you are liable if you break it, even if you have a valid cause.
Can you go to jail for falsifying documents?
Forgery and uttering forged documents are severe crimes with life-altering repercussions if convicted.
Can I sue if someone forged my signature?
Yes. You can contact the local police department or sheriff’s office and make a complaint. After that, the report will be sent to the District Attorney for assessment and potential action.
Is it better to have a lease or rent month to month?
Landlords can offer you either, and each has advantages and disadvantages. As a result, the answer is contingent on your selections.
Do you have to pay rent in the last month of your lease?
There will be no rent payable after the lease period if the lease agreement stipulates that last month’s rent is due at the lease signing and the tenant pays it.
Is a 12-month lease good?
A 12-month lease is ideal for those who want to remain in one location for at least a year.
What happens if you move out before the lease is up?
A landlord may decide to hold a tenant liable for the rest of the period if the tenant decides to move out before the end of the lease, but a tenant can avoid this penalty by getting written permission from the landlord.