Landlord and tenant disputes

After the Hearing

After the hearing, the Tenancy Dispute Officer will give verbal reasons for their decision to both parties plus a written order. If the matter is more complicated the Tenancy Dispute Officer may decide to reserve their decision. This means that they will contact the parties (in-person, by telephone or mail) within 30 days to give them their decision (verbal or written) and a written order.

Types of orders

The Tenancy Dispute Officer may issue different orders to suit the situation:

Order for Possession and/or Judgment

This order may be issued when a landlord applies to:

  • Terminate (end) the tenancy.
  • Obtain possession of the rental premises.
  • Obtain a judgment for unpaid rent and/or utilities.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer has the option to make the order conditional or unconditional. A conditional order means that there are payment terms in the order that the tenant must comply with in order to continue to reside in the premises. Please see the After the Order Chart for more information.

Order for Judgment

This order may be issued when the landlord or tenant applies for:

  • return of security deposit
  • unpaid rent and/or utilities
  • financial damages due to a breach of the Residential Tenancies Act or the rental agreement.
  • physical damages to the rental premises
  • compensation for an over-holding tenant
  • compensation for performing the duties of the landlord
  • abatement or reduction of rent 

Consent Order

This order may be issued when the applicant and the respondent both agree to settle their dispute, either before or during the hearing. If the Tenancy Dispute Officer has no issue with the agreement, they may write that agreement in an order and provide next steps if the agreement is not kept.

Withdrawal Order

This order may be issued if the applicant withdraws their application during the hearing.

Referral to Court Order

This order may be issued if the Tenancy Dispute Officer believes that they do not have jurisdiction to hear the application or that the matter is of such a degree of complexity that the courts are the best place for the matter to be heard. This means that the matter will be transferred to the courts as the application involves a dispute that is not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act or that it involves issues of constitutional law, human rights or other issues that a Tenancy Dispute Officer is not authorized to decide.

Dismissed Order

This order may be issued when the Tenancy Dispute Officer decides that the applicant has not proven their claims against the respondent. This order may also be issued when the applicant does not attend the hearing or abandons their application.

After I receive the order what happens next?

After the order is issued, the RTDRS will give, fax or mail copies of the order to you. The order is filed at the Court of Queen’s Bench and then served on the respondent.

If your order is for a judgment amount only and the respondent fails to pay you, you can take steps to enforce the judgment amount at the Court of Queen's Bench.  See Getting and Enforcing your Judgment in Alberta at www.albertacourts.ab.ca

If the order granted indicates dates and amounts of payment, it is a conditional order. if the respondent fails to comply with the terms of the order, the applicant must serve the respondent with a Notice of Default. If the respondent fails to vacate or pay the amounts indicated in the order the applicant may enforce the order at the Court of Queen's Bench. The applicant should also contact a Civil Enforcement Agency to enforce possession.  A list of Civil Enforcement Agencies can be found in the yellow pages under “Civil Enforcement” or search the internet for civil enforcement agencies in your area. 

This must be done before the applicant can enforce the order. For more information on next steps after the order has been issued, review the After the Order Tip Sheet.

IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH YOUR ORDER

No RTDRS staff member or government official can change or cancel the decision of a Tenancy Dispute Officer. This makes sure that Tenancy Dispute Officers are unbiased and independent decision-makers. However, there are a few actions you can take:

You believe that a clerical error needs to be corrected

A clerical error is a typographic, grammatical, arithmetic, or mistaken omission in the order. If your order contains a clerical error or you need clarification, provide the RTDRS with a written request for correction. The Tenancy Dispute Officer will review your request. This should be done before filing the order at the Court of Queen’s Bench, if possible.

You require clarification on your order

A clarification from the Tenancy Dispute Officer may be requested when a party is not sure how to interpret an order.

You would like to have your case re-heard because you were prevented from attending or had no knowledge of the hearing.

You would like to make an application to set-aside, vary and/or stay the order granted.

Stay- You are requesting that the Tenancy Dispute Officer put a “hold” on the original order so that it cannot be enforced until the matter is re-heard at which time the stay will be lifted or a new order will be granted.

Vary- You are requesting that the Tenancy Dispute Officer change the terms of the order because you were prevented from attending the hearing.

Set-Aside- You are requesting that the Tenancy Dispute Officer cancel the order that was granted because you were prevented from attending the hearing.

In limited situations, a landlord or tenant may request that the Tenancy Dispute Officer review the order that was granted. These situations are normally related to procedural fairness such as the Application Package was not served to the respondent or a failure to attend the hearing through no fault of the party.

You believe that the Tenancy Dispute Officer made an error in their decision

The Tenancy Dispute Officer’s decision is binding on the applicant and respondent unless it is set aside or varied through an appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

If the applicant or respondent believes that the Tenancy Dispute Officer made an error in law or jurisdiction they may appeal to the Court of Queen’s Bench within 30 days of the date that the order is given.

An example of an error in law is that the Tenancy Dispute Officer did not interpret the legislation correctly. An example of an error in jurisdiction is that the Tenancy Dispute Officer made a decision that they are not authorized to make or that they did not follow procedural fairness principles. Simply disagreeing with the decision is not a valid reason to appeal it.

You have comments or suggestions about the quality of RTDRS services, policies or procedures

The RTDRS Administrator may accept complaints about conduct of a Tenancy Dispute Officer that is contrary to the Code of Conduct. Service quality includes issues related to the conduct of other RTDRS staff and concerns/suggestions regarding RTDRS policies and procedures.

How to submit your request

If you wish to submit a request pertaining to the above reasons:
1. Review the RTDRS Request Process tip sheet. This tip sheet outlines how to raise your concerns and what will happen once it’s received.
2. Complete the RTDRS Request Form and submit it by fax, mail or deliver to an RTDRS office. You can also e-mail the form to RTDRS@gov.ab.ca.