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What is the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service?
Anthony Maricic
May 16, 2023

What is the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service?

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, or RTDRS, is a possible solution for landlords and tenants who need resolution to a dispute under Alberta jurisdiction. This is a semi-judicial process which provides tenants and landlords with the opportunity to resolve conflict outside of court. Although applications must be made within two years from the date that a potential claim is discovered, they can file a claim of up to $50,000 if they meet eligibility requirements.

Landlords, tenants or their representatives may file a claim online for a resolution to issues such as unpaid rent and utilities, financial damages from a tenant's breach of contract, security deposit discrepancies, breaches of rental agreements, compensation for failure to complete obligations, and other similar matters.

The RTDRS was developed to assist with disputes under the Residential Tenancies Act as well as the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Act when there is an issue between a landlord and a tenant. Applications and submissions can be filed online and all hearings are conducted by phone. 

If you are a landlord or tenant who has a problem that they need legal assistance with, the RTDRS was designed with you in mind. The process involves a formal application and hearing, however, rather than a judge overseeing the situation, a Tenancy Dispute Officer conducts the hearing and makes binding decisions regarding the dispute that are then enforced through the courts. This officer has a specified code of conduct to follow and certain rules and practices must be demonstrated throughout the process. 

Keep in mind that the main idea of the RTDRS is to prevent disputes from escalating to the Provincial Court or Court of Queens Bench. As long as the claim you are filing for is under $50,000 and relatively minor - that is, not especially heinous or criminal - it's likely that you will be able to resolve your dispute.

What Can You File a Claim for?

If You Are a Tenant

If you are a tenant of a rental property or mobile home site, according to the Government of Alberta website you can file for instances such as:

  • Failure to return a security deposit
  • An ending of tenancy due to a landlords breach of the rental agreement
  • Financial damages due to a landlords breach of a rental agreement
  • Reduction of rent for loss of benefit of a rental agreement
  • Compensation for performing the landlord's duties or obligations as outlined in the rental agreement

If You Are a Landlord

If you are a landlord of a rental property or mobile home site, according to the Government of Alberta website you can file for instances such as:

  • Unpaid rent or utilities
  • Ending the tenancy and repossessing the premise
  • Financial damages from a tenants break of a rental agreement
  • Compensation for losses due to a tenant failing to vacate the premise at the end of a tenancy
  • Orders for individuals not listed under the tenancy agreement to vacate the premises

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