Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has announced supports for the province’s renters during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
At a press conference on Friday, Kenney stated that tenants cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent and/or utilities any time before May 1 — even for civil enforcement of evictions currently underway for tenants who have not paid rent in the previous months.
As of April 1, late fees will not be applied to late rent payments over the next three months, and landlords and tenants will “need to work together to develop payment plans while the state of public health emergency is in effect,” a release from the Province of Alberta states.
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“We want to be clear: As of today, no one will be facing immediate eviction from their home for non-payment of rent or utilities owed to the landlord. Additionally, tenants will not face increasing financial pressure from rent increases or fees for late rent payments,” said Kenney.
“We are expecting landlords and tenants to work together to figure out payment plans that help everyone meet financial obligations as we manage COVID-19, and we are doing further policy work on support for renters during these tough times.”
It was also noted that landlords cannot raise their rent on residential properties or mobile home sites even if they have already given notice of an increase.
Landlords will still be allowed to file applications and receive orders for possession if they are evicting someone for reasons unrelated to rent or utility payments.
“While Alberta is in a state of public health emergency, landlords must attempt to work out a payment plan with tenants who are unable to make their full rent when payment is due. The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) will not hear applications that could lead to eviction due to non-payment unless a reasonable attempt has been made to work out a payment plan,” the release states.