With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s that time of year again for hosting guests. If you are currently renting a property and plan to have guests over, there are several things you need to know. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the law that applies to most renting situations in Alberta. However, the law does not cover all aspects of renting. The RTA does not address the issue of guests.
Considering that the RTA is silent on this issue, you should review your lease. For example, your lease may define what a “guest” is. There may also be other terms regarding whether you can have guests visit you, the length of stay for guests, the number of guests allowed and whether the landlord’s permission is required to have guests stay in the property. Some leases may even specify whether there is a fee for having guests stay in the property.
..you have an obligation under the RTA to ensure that the rights of the landlord and other tenants are not interfered with, that no illegal acts or nuisances are carried out on the property, and that the property is not damaged in any way.There are also instances where guests can be restricted, regardless of what the lease says or what you and your landlord have agreed to. For example, in a condominium rental situation, the condominium bylaws apply. Bylaws are rules that apply to everyone living in the building. If the condominium bylaws restrict guests on the property, then you are bound by those bylaws. Unless you agreed in your lease that certain people could not visit the property, your landlord cannot typically prevent you from having particular guests visit the property. However, if a guest is, in effect, living in the property or has moved in, your landlord can serve a notice requiring that person to leave. Under the RTA, the landlord has the authority to provide any “non-tenant” with a 14-day eviction notice.
Last but not least, you have an obligation under the RTA to ensure that:
- the rights of the landlord and other tenants are not interfered with;
- no illegal acts or nuisances are carried out on the property; and
- the property is not damaged in any way.
If you or your guests breach any of these obligations, your landlord can serve you with a notice to end your lease. In addition, you may be responsible for paying for any damage that is done to the property by your guests.
For more information on general landlord and tenant law matters:
Laws for Landlords and Tenants in Alberta, http://www.landlordandtenant.org/
This column was produced with the generous support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation.