LegalDeeds, Canada's #1 online legal document provider since 1999, has lots of experience with rental lease agreements.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the key elements to include in an Alberta tenancy agreement, helping you write your own legal document. If writing your own tenancy agreement is too difficult, you can download a PDF residential tenancy agreement template from LegalDeeds.com.
Alberta rental lease agreements are legally binding even if made orally. Nevertheless, writing your legal document carefully helps prevent miscommunication and legal conflict with tenants.
Parties Involved in the Tenancy Agreement
The first step in creating an effective Residential Tenancy Agreement is to clearly state the names and contact information of all parties involved. This includes the landlord, tenants, and property management company (if applicable).
The landlord is legally required to share their contact information. Failing to provide contact information the tenant can contact Services Alberta to file a formal complaint. Sharing a property manager's office and email address is a common strategy to protect the property owner's privacy.
Residential tenancy agreements must include the Alberta property address. Additionally, including details on any amenities such as parking spaces, storage facilities, or laundry units and whether there are additional fees while the tenant has access to a particular amenity.
Term of Tenancy
In Alberta, you have two options for the term of tenancy: a fixed-term lease or a periodic agreement. Fixed term lease agreements end on a date chosen when the lease is signed. Periodic lease agreements automatically renew on a month-to-month basis until the tenant provides at least 14 days notice to move out. Periodic residential tenancy agreements can also be written as weekly or even yearly agreements but month-to-month is the most common term.
Rent and Other Fees
The most important step in writing your lease agreement is clearly outlining the rent amount, payment due date, and preferred method of payment. Additionally, you can include any other charges such as additional services, parking fees, or maintenance costs.
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the average rent in Alberta is $1236, but you should consider market rates in your neighbourhood when choosing the rent amount. In fact, Alberta tenancy agreements can charge any rent and Alberta allows unlimited increases to the rent once per year. More information about rent increases is available on the Government of Alberta website.
Alberta tenancy law states the security deposit cannot exceed one month's rent and the landlord must pay interest annually on the security deposit. However, since January 1, 2009, the interest required on a security deposit is 0%. Nevertheless, the rate of interest may increase in the future when interest rates are higher. You can check Service Alberta's Interest Chart for the current interest rate paid on security deposits.
Maintenance and Repairs
Both landlords and tenants have responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance in Alberta. While landlords are responsible for maintaining the property, it is equally important for tenants to promptly report any issues or maintenance requirements. Including an emergency phone line in your lease agreement can ensure quick communication in urgent situations.
Landlords in Alberta may require tenants to obtain tenant insurance, particularly in a condominium where the tenant may be liable for damage to the common property. Without tenant insurance with liability coverage, the landlord may be responsible for damage the tenant causes. Address any insurance requirements in the tenancy agreement to clearly define the tenant's obligations.
Guests, Pets, and Other Rules
Alberta's regulations do not allow the landlord to restrict the number of guests or to charge guest fees.
In contrast, Alberta allows landlords to outright prohibit the number of pets. Even if you do not want to ban pets at your property, you can limit the size or number of pets the tenant is allowed to have.
If your property is part of a condominium, Alberta tenants are required to follow the condo by-laws which can be more strict than your lease agreement.
Lastly, you may want to consider including a rule against smoking. A common lease clause against smoking would be worded to prohibit smoking everywhere unless the landlord designates, in writing, a smoker's area. These are the smoking rules LegalDeeds includes in Alberta lease agreements:
Smoking is prohibited inside the rental property, all common indoor areas in the building, and in the outdoor spaces on the surrounding property, except in such places the Landlord may designate from time to time in writing.
The Landlord is not obligated to designate an area in which smoking is permitted and, in such case, smoking is totally prohibited.
Conclude your tenancy agreement with the signatures of both the landlord and tenant(s). Witnesses are not required in Alberta. The signatures validate the agreement and demonstrate that all parties have reviewed and agreed to the terms. If your rental lease agreement is multiple pages, everyone should initial the bottom of the page to indicate the page was included when the document was first signed.
Alberta Residential Lease Agreement PDF Templates
Well-crafted Residential Tenancy Agreements are important to secure your interests as a landlord and communicate responsibilities to tenants.
LegalDeeds, an A+ BBB accredited business, can write your residential lease agreement for only five dollars! Simply answer a few questions online and download your lease agreement in PDF format.
LegalDeeds offers high-quality Residential Tenancy Agreement templates that comply with Alberta's laws, ensuring peace of mind for busy landlords.