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Home > Disputes > Just the Facts > Landlord Remedies > Apply for Possession of Property

Apply for Possession of Property

 

  A landlord can apply for possession of the property when:

  • The tenant or others living in the property have not left after being served with the landlord’s notice to terminate; or
  • The tenant has not left the property even though the tenancy has ended (for example, if a fixed term tenancy has ended and the tenant has not moved out of the property); or
  • The tenant has committed a substantial breach and the landlord applies to the court to terminate the tenancy.

A landlord can serve a tenant with notice to leave the rental property. There are different kinds of notices that a landlord can serve:

If you do not move out by the date given in the notice the landlord can apply to court for an order for possession of the property.

 

Procedure in Applying for Possession

 A landlord can apply for an order for possession of the property from the Provincial Court, Court of Queen’s Bench, or from the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.

The landlord must file an affidavit giving full details of the termination of the tenancy or occupation and the reason that the tenant has not left, if known. The affidavit and the notice of the application must be appropriately served on you as the tenant. Usually, the landlord must serve the tenant with an application at least three days before the hearing date, but the landlord can ask for special permission from the court or RTDRS to shorten this time.

You have the right to file your own affidavit, stating why you believe you should not have to leave the property. A judge or tenancy dispute officer will decide whether or not to grant the order of possession based on the evidence that has been presented by you and the landlord.

  

The Order for Possession

There are different kinds of orders of possession:

  • Unconditional order
    • This kind of order will state that the tenant must give up possession of the premises on a certain date, or within a certain amount of time after the order is served on them. If the tenant does not leave the property as ordered, then the landlord can contact a Civil Enforcement Agency to immediately evict all occupants.
  • Conditional order
    • This kind of order will state that the tenant can stay in the property, so long as the tenant is making payments to the landlord, as per the order. If the tenant fails to pay on time and in full as ordered, then the landlord must serve the tenant with a notice of default. The notice of default will state that because of the tenant’s failure to make payment as ordered, the tenant now has a specific amount of time to vacate the property. If the tenant does not leave the property by that date, then the landlord can contact a Civil Enforcement Agency to immediately evict all occupants.
  • Conditional Order with no notice of default
    • This kind of order is rare. The order will state that the tenant can stay in the property, so long as the tenant is making payments to the landlord, as ordered. If the tenant fails to pay on time and in full as ordered, then the landlord can contact a Civil Enforcement Agency to immediately evict all occupants.

A landlord can also ask the court for damages resulting from your failure to leave the premises:

  • general damages, i.e. a general sum for your failure to leave the property;
  • special damages, i.e. specifically the amount the landlord might owe to a new tenant who was going to rent the premises. For the special damages to be established, the landlord has to show that you could reasonably have known that the landlord might owe this amount because you were not leaving the property.

 

Eviction if Tenant Does Not Leave Premises

 The end result of all of the different kinds of possession orders is that if you do not leave the property, then the landlord can instruct a Civil Enforcement Agency to evict you. Civil Enforcement Agencies are regulated by the Office of the Sheriff. The Sheriff's Office appoints the bailiffs who carry out the enforcement procedures. The landlord will have to provide the agency with all relevant documents including the order for possession, the tenancy agreement, and the fee required. The eviction can only occur between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The enforcement agency might have the police present during an eviction if there is a fear of a breach of the peace. The agency may also contact social services if there is a possibility that a tenant will be homeless as a result of the eviction.

Service Alberta has developed an information booklet about the process for recovering possession that you may want to review.

October 2011