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Important flood information for tenants and landlords

Understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant or landlord dealing with flood recovery, and find resources to help you answer your questions.

Rental agreements

Can I break my rental agreement if the apartment I rent was damaged in the flood?

It depends on the condition of the unit. If you cannot return to the unit because it is destroyed or damaged beyond repair, a rental agreement could be "frustrated." That means it is not possible to continue living in the unit.

Inform your landlord in writing that you are treating the rental agreement as frustrated. If you and your landlord agree the tenancy is frustrated, you may not have to continue paying rent and the landlord must return the security deposit unless you still owe rent from before the flood.

Make sure you provide your landlord with a forwarding address.

Document the condition of the rental property with photos and video in case your landlord disagrees that the tenancy is frustrated.

What if my landlord disagrees and refuses to end the rental agreement?

If the landlord disagrees that the rental agreement is frustrated, the landlord can make an application for damages to provincial court or the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, and/or keep some or all of the security deposit.

You may make a counter-application if you believe you are owed money or make your own application if you believe the landlord should not keep the security deposit.

Both the tenant and landlord should be prepared to provide proof of the condition of the unit.

The tenant or the landlord can also contact Alberta Health Services to have a public health officer inspect the unit and determine whether it is in livable condition.

Can my landlord demand all or a portion of the disaster recovery assistance I've received from the Alberta government and threaten to withhold my security deposit if I don't provide it?

No, the assistance is intended for those who receive it. Nor can your landlord threaten to withhold your deposit to pay for flood damage. Security deposits are intended to cover things within the tenant's responsibility, such as cleaning costs, unpaid rent or fixing damage beyond normal wear and tear.

You can apply to the provincial court if you believe the landlord should not keep the security deposit, or depending on where you live, the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service may be available to you.

Depending on the circumstances, the landlord may be committing an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act. Call Service Alberta's Consumer Contact Centre if you have concerns at 1-877-427-4088 (toll-free).

Landlords should contact their insurer to determine whether damage to the property is covered under their policy. Albertans affected by the flood may be eligible for some financial support from the Government of Alberta.

Can landlords use the security deposit to pay for repairs to flood damage?

No. Security deposits cover things within the tenant's responsibility, such as cleaning costs, unpaid rent or fixing damage beyond normal wear and tear.

Do I still pay rent for the time I was evacuated and the landlord had to repair the suite?

Talk to your landlord first. If you are not able to come to an agreement about the rent, you can apply to the provincial court or the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service for a temporary reduction in your rent.

Property

My landlord changed the locks during the evacuation. Is that legal?

The landlord might have changed the locks to protect the property from looting and was not able to contact you at the time. The landlord must give you the new key or they can be charged under the Residential Tenancies Act.

My car flooded in my apartment parking stall. What happens with my car?

Vehicles submerged up to or above the bottom of the dashboard are unsafe and cannot be repaired. The vehicle cannot be registered or operated anywhere in Canada. Contact your vehicle insurance company to see if there is coverage for the damage.

Contact

I can't get in touch with my landlord. What should I do?

Tenants in Calgary can call the Calgary Residential Rental Association at 403-265-6055. If the landlord is a member of the association, it may be able to help make contact.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords must provide tenants with their mailing and street address after the tenant moves in or post it in a common area of the building where it can be seen easily. If you do not have this address, you should communicate in writing to the address on the lease.

Landlord rights and duties

As a landlord, do I need to consult with a public health officer before I let tenants return?

You are not required to consult with a public health officer. However, an inspection is recommended if there is a health or safety concern.

The tenants ended their rental agreement and left many of their belongings behind. What do I do with everything?

Abandoned goods valued at $2,000 or more must be placed in storage for at least 30 days, unless it would be unsafe or unsanitary to store the items. If the goods are valued at less than $2,000, you can dispose of them as you see fit.

As a landlord, you are required to keep a record for 3 years. For goods valued at more than $2,000, check the Residential Tenancies Act for more complete information.

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