Landlord and tenant disputes

Hearings

The Notice of Hearing form gives the date, time and location of the hearing.

Disputes resolved before the hearing

If you have resolved your claim before the hearing, there are a couple of options:

  1. The applicant may withdraw their application by sending the RTDRS a Notice of Withdrawal form (PDF, 105 KB). You should also advise the respondent that you have done this. The RTDRS does not refund fees for withdrawn matters.
  2. The applicant can choose to continue the process. The applicant and respondent may attend the hearing and tell the Tenancy Dispute Officer at the beginning of the hearing that they have resolved the dispute.

If the resolution is acceptable to the Tenancy Dispute Officer, they may issue a Consent Order. This order documents the agreement and is signed by the applicant and respondent. It also outlines next steps if the agreement is not kept, so that the applicant and respondent do not have to make another application or attend another hearing.

The Notice of Hearing form will tell you the type of hearing that the Tenancy Dispute Officer will conduct (in-person or by telephone).

Types of hearings

The type of hearing depends on the location of your rental premises.

In or around Edmonton

  • The hearing will take place in-person at the RTDRS Edmonton office.

In or around Calgary

  • The hearing will take place in-person at the RTDRS Calgary office.

In other Alberta locations

  • The hearing will take place by telephone. See RTDRS Telephone Hearing Tips (PDF, 1 page) for more information.
  • The Notice of Hearing form explains that you will be called by the Tenancy Dispute Officer at the phone number on the application form. If you cannot be contacted at that phone number at the time of the hearing, provide the correct number to the RTDRS at 780-644-3000, for toll-free dial 310-0000, first.  

What happens at the hearing?

The Tenancy Dispute Officer manages the hearing process. All parties participating in the hearing are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner. Anyone who displays disruptive, disrespectful or threatening behavior may be required to leave the hearing room or may be disconnected from the teleconference.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer will follow the process outlined in the Hearing Procedure Chart but may alter that process to suit the case before them.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer will give verbal reasons for their decision to both parties plus a written order at the end of the hearing. 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 by mail) within 30 days to give them their decision (verbal or written) and a written order.

If you are unable to attend a hearing

If you do not attend the hearing, the Tenancy Dispute Officer may conduct the hearing without you.

You may attend by telephone, or have a representative appear on your behalf. If you must attend by telephone at an in-person hearing it must be arranged with the RTDRS at least one hour prior to the hearing start time.

If you do not attend the hearing, the hearing may still proceed and an order may be granted in your absence. The order may have serious consequences for you.

Hearing adjournments

"Adjourn" or "adjournment" is the legal word for delaying the hearing.

A hearing may be re-scheduled if the Application Package has not been served on the respondent or if ALL parties consent to the re-scheduling of the matter. The applicant must advise the RTDRS of this in writing, by fax or e-mail prior to the hearing date and time set out in the Notice of Hearing form.  

If the Application Package has not been served on the respondent, the RTDRS will change the date and time of the hearing and the applicant will serve the respondent with the new Application Package. If both parties agree to re-schedule the hearing and the RTDRS has been advised, the applicant has 10 business days from the date of the original hearing to set a new hearing date and time with the RTDRS or the file will be closed. The applicant will not be required to re-serve a copy of the new date on the respondent if both parties agree to the scheduled time. If both parties cannot agree on the new date and time the applicant must serve the respondent with a copy of the new Notice of Hearing form.

If a party requests that a hearing be adjourned because they are unable to attend and the opposing party does not consent to the adjournment the hearing will commence at the scheduled time. The person who is unable to attend should send someone on their behalf or appear via teleconference to request an adjournment. At the discretion of the Tenancy Dispute Officer a party may make a request for an adjournment in writing for consideration. The Tenancy Dispute Officer will then consider the request to adjourn the matter to a later date.  If an adjournment is granted, the Tenancy Dispute Officer will set a new date and time for the hearing to commence.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer may also adjourn the hearing to meet a requirement of fairness. For example, if the Application Package was not served properly, the Tenancy Dispute may adjourn the hearing. For more information on the adjournment process, please consult the RTDRS Rules of Practice and Procedure .

What if I don’t receive a phone call at the hearing time or get disconnected during a hearing?

  • You should remain available for the phone call from the Tenancy Dispute Officer for 45 minutes from the hearing start time.
  • Check the application to make sure that your phone number is listed correctly.
  • Cell phones are discouraged because they are prone to connection and disconnection problems.
  • The Tenancy Dispute Officer will tell you what to do if you are disconnected, which is usually to hang up and they will call you back.

If you are concerned that you’ve missed the call or have not been called by the Tenancy Dispute Officer, within 10 minutes of the hearing start time, use another phone to contact the RTDRS at 780-644-3000, toll free dial 310-0000 first.

How do I prepare for my hearing?

Be sure to attend your hearing on time, plan on arriving 15 minutes early. If your hearing is by telephone, the Tenancy Dispute Officer will call the applicant and respondent at the telephone numbers the applicant provided on the application form. The applicant and respondent must both be available at the scheduled start time and for 45 minutes after the start time to accommodate for any delays.

If you have witnesses that will be giving testimony at the hearing you should advise them of the date, time and location of the hearing. Prepare for your case by going through your evidence and being familiar with copies of the information and documents that you provided in advance to the RTDRS and the other party at the hearing.

Remember to bring your documents (Application Package, additional evidence, defence evidence, etc.) with you as you may be required to refer to them at the hearing.