Landlord and tenant disputes

How to apply

Follow these steps to apply for a hearing at the RTDRS.

Before you apply

Preparation is the key to a successful application. A well-prepared application is only the beginning of the process. You will need to file the application, serve the respondent, attend the hearing and enforce the judgment.  This takes time and effort.

Before filing an application with the RTDRS, consider the following:

  • Have you tried to resolve the matter directly with the other party?
  • Can you locate the respondent to serve them with documents?
  • Have you gathered all of the information and evidence to prove your claims against the other party? See our Evidence tipsheet for details
  • Does the respondent have income or assets that can be garnished or seized to satisfy a judgment?
  • Have you contacted witnesses for statements and asked if they will attend the hearing?

When filing an application against your landlord, you must make sure that the name and spelling of the landlord is correct:

  •  Individual landlord- When filing a claim against an individual landlord, use the full first and last name of each person you are filing the application against. Do not use initials, because initials do not sufficiently identify the person being claimed against. If you are not sure who the owner of the property is or how to properly spell their name you can do a land titles search on the rental premises address to find out who the owner of the property is. This can be done at any Alberta Registry.
  •  Business- If you are filing an application against a business it is important to know whether the business is incorporated or unincorporated. The difference between the two are very important.  An incorporated business usually has Limited, Ltd., Incorporated or Inc. after its name.
    • An incorporated business can only be claimed against in the name of the business. Put the full name of the business on the application form. To find out the exact name of an incorporated business, a company’s search should be done at any Alberta Registry.  Firms (partnerships of two or more people) and sole proprietorships are called unincorporated businesses.
    • An unincorporated business must be claimed against in the name of the owner. Put the owner's full name and the name of the business on the application form. To find out the owner(s) of an unincorporated business and the address of the owner, do a trade name search at any Alberta Registry.

1. Confirm the filing method and hearing location

The location of your rental premises will determine the filing method and hearing location. Search the location here:

In or around Edmonton

  • the application must be filed in-person at the Edmonton office
  • the hearing will take place in-person at the Edmonton office

In or around Calgary

  • the application must be filed in-person at the Calgary office
  • the application will take place in-person at the Calgary office

If RTDRS deems that in-person filings would be too difficult, other options may be available. Contact the RTDRS for more information.

In other Alberta locations

2. Complete the application form

1. Fill out the application form

Landlord Applications

Landlord's Application for Termination of Tenancy and Unpaid Rent (PDF, 5 pages)
Landlord's Application for Damages (PDF, 6 pages)

Tenant Application

Tenant’s Application (PDF, 5 pages)

An instruction sheet is attached to each application to help you fill out the form.

Witnesses

You do not need to provide witnesses, but they can help with your case. Fill out the witness section of the application.

Witnesses must be available in person or by telephone at the time of the hearing. The RTDRS must be notified at least 24 hours in advance if a witness will attend by telephone.

If you intend to call a witness such as a police officer or health inspector, you should apply for a Notice to Attend (PDF, 2 pages).

 

2. Make copies of your evidence and mark them as items

Evidence

Evidence is the legal word for things that are used to prove what happened during the tenancy. Evidence can be:

  • documents, such as leases, agreements, termination notices, receipts, invoices and photographs
  • what you and your witness say in the hearing
  • land titles searches, corporate registry searches

The RTDRS doesn’t accept physical evidence such as insects, mold samples or weapons. Instead you must submit photos with a written description.

RTDRS doesn’t follow the Alberta Rules of Court regarding evidence. Instead the Tenancy Dispute Officers follow the RTDRS Rules of Practice and Procedure. More information on evidence is available in the Evidence tipsheet.

Organizing and marking your evidence

  • gather all of your evidence and place it in a stack
  • order the pages in the stack so that they correspond to the sections of the application
    • for example, your tenancy agreement would be the first document and your documents related to costs would be the last document.
  • mark the page(s) of evidence as "Item A," Item "B," etc. and write the same item letter in the corresponding spaces in the application
    • marking your pages as items helps the Tenancy Dispute Officer to easily locate your evidence during the hearing
  • once you have organized your stack of evidence and marked it with item letters, you can now copy it

Making copies

You don’t need to make copies of your application. RTDRS will do that for you.

You must have the correct number of evidence copies when you arrive at the RTDRS office. The number of copies that you must make depends on the number of respondents in your application form:

  • 1 respondent: original evidence plus 2 copies (3 sets of evidence in total)
  • 2 respondents: original evidence plus 3 copies (4 sets of evidence in total)
  • 3 respondents: original evidence plus 4 copies (5 sets of evidence in total)

3. File the application form and evidence

In-person filing

  1. Visit the RTDRS office

    Take your completed application form and the correct number of evidence copies.

    Edmonton Office
    Edmonton City Centre Mall (beside the 102A Ave Entrance)
    Unit 112, 10025 102A Ave
    Edmonton, AB
    T5J 2Y8

    Calgary Office
    Main Floor, Rocky Mountain Plaza
    180, 615 Macleod Trail SE
    Calgary, AB
    T2G 4T8

    Office Hours
    Monday- Friday
    8:15 am-12:00 pm and
    1:00 pm-4:30 pm

    Applications are accepted:
    8:15 am-11:45 am and
    1:00 pm- 4:00 pm

     

  2. Pay the Filing Fee

    • the $75 filing fee is payable at the time of filing. You may pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Debit Card, cheque or money order.
    • if you pay by cheque or money order, make it payable to the "Government of Alberta."
    • the RTDRS does not accept cash for filing fees

     

  3. Receive the Application Packages

    • an Information officer will give you several copies of the filed "Application Package".
    • the Application Package includes:
      • the application form
      • the evidence
      • a "Notice of Hearing" form, which includes the date and time of the hearing

 

Fax filing

Fax filing of applications is only allowed for certain areas of Alberta. You will find this information in the location search.

There is a different process for submitting an application by fax:

  1. Fax the application and evidence

    • fax the application form and one copy of your evidence to the RTDRS at 780-644-2266
    • an Information Officer will contact you to discuss your application and filing fee payment, and to set a hearing date
    • because the quality of faxed photos is poor, you should submit photos by printing them or burning them to a CD, DVD or USB drive and sending it to the Edmonton  or Calgary office address (depending on which office is filing your application).
    • if faxing is not possible, you can submit your application and evidence by mail or courier to the RTDRS Edmonton Office.

     

  2. Pay the Filing Fee

    • the $75 filing fee is payable at the time of filing. You may pay by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
    • The RTDRS has a secure telephone interactive payment system (TIPS).
    • If you mail the RTDRS a cheque or money order, make it payable to the "Government of Alberta."

     

  3. Receive the Application Package

    An Information officer will fax the filed Application Package to you at the fax number provided on the application form.

    the Application Package includes:

    • the application form
    • the evidence
    • tip sheets
    • a Notice of Hearing form, which includes the date and time of the hearing

     

  4. Make copies of the Application Package

    Make a copy of the entire filed Application Package for each respondent named in the Notice of Hearing

 

What if I can’t afford the filing fee?

If the filing fee is a financial difficulty, you can apply to reduce or waive the fee.

You must provide 3 months’ proof of income, either as pay stubs or as a printout of your bank account.

Contact the following organizations to apply:

  • Edmonton Community Legal Centre
    780-702-1725
  • Student Legal Service (Edmonton)
    780-492-8244
  • Calgary Legal Guidance
    403-234-9266
  • Lethbridge Legal Guidance
    403-380-6338
  • Central Alberta Community Legal Clinic (Red Deer)
    403-314-9129
  • Grande Prairie Legal Guidance
    780-882-0036

Applicants outside of these areas can contact the RTDRS.

If the request is approved by one of the law services listed above, you will be given a letter that you must submit with your application form.