Landlord and tenant disputes

Service Requirements/ Filing Additional Evidence

Once you receive the Application Package, you must serve it on the respondent. "Serve" is the legal word for delivering a legal notice to another party.

After you file your application with the RTDRS, you will be given an Application Package which includes:

  • the Notice of Hearing form, which includes the date, time and location of the hearing
  • application form
  • evidence

You must serve the Application Package on the respondent(s) at least 3 clear days before the hearing date. This doesn’t include:

  • date of service
  • date of hearing
  • weekends
  • holidays

For example, if your hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, service must be completed no later than the previous Wednesday.

See the Document Service Tip Sheet for detailed information on how to serve an RTDRS Application Package.

What’s important to know

You should serve a copy of the Application Package on each respondent.

The only methods of service accepted by the RTDRS are mentioned below, unless a Tenancy Dispute Officer approves of an alternate method (e.g. by regular mail, placing the documents in a mailbox or under the door). See "If you're unsuccessful serving documents" for more information.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer decides whether or not the service requirements have been met.

Landlords

Landlords can serve documents in one of the following ways:

Personal service

You can serve the tenants or non-tenant occupants by giving the Application Package to them personally.

  • You must make several attempts to serve the Application Package.
  • The service attempts should be on different days and at different times throughout the days (morning, afternoon and evenings, if necessary).

Keep a note of the dates, times and locations that you attempted to serve the Application Package; you will need this when filling out the Affidavit of Service by Landlord form. If you are unable to serve the tenant personally at the rental premises you can serve them personally at any location.

By Registered Mail

You can serve the Application Package on the tenants or non-tenant occupants by registered mail:

  • Send it to the rental premises address.
  • Keep all receipts and tracking numbers.
  • Service is completed on the date the respondent signs for the registered mail.
  • You will need all of this information when filling out the Affidavit of Service by Landlord form

To an adult or posted in plain sight

If you believe that the tenant is evading your service attempts or is absent from the premises, you may:

  • Serve an adult (18 years of age or older) who appears to live with the tenant.
  • Post the Application Package in plain sight on the rental premises (such as a door used often by the tenants).

When posting the Application Package, you must post a copy of the package for each tenant named as a respondent.

At the registered office address

If the tenant is a corporation, you can serve the Application Package at the registered office address as shown on a corporate registration search. Contact the RTDRS for more ways to serve a corporation.

Contact Corporate Registry

Tenants

Tenants can serve documents in one of the following ways:

Personal service

You can serve the Application Package on the landlord by giving it to them personally at any location.

By Registered Mail

You can serve the landlord by registered mail at:

  • The address where you pay rent.
  • The address in the Notice of Landlord that was given to you by the landlord.
  • The address in the Notice of Landlord posted at the rental premises by the landlord.

Remember to:

  • Keep all receipts and tracking numbers.
  • Service is completed on the date the landlord signs for the registered mail.
  • You will need all of this information when filling out the Affidavit of Service by Tenant form.

At the registered office address

If the landlord is a corporation, you can serve the Application Package at the registered office address as shown on a corporate registration search. Contact RTDRS for more ways to serve a corporation.

Contact Corporate Registry

If you’re unsuccessful serving documents

If the tenant no longer lives at the residential premises, posting documents on the premises is not considered proper service. You may still serve the tenant in person at any location. You may also attempt service by registered mail to the tenant’s last known address (the residential premises) as the registered mail might be forwarded to a new address. 

If you have not been successful after several reasonable attempts to serve the respondent(s), you may apply to the RTDRS to serve the documents another way. This is called “substitutional service.” You must complete a Affidavit in Support of Substitutional Service form in which you list your attempts at service, request approval to serve another way and explain why you believe it will work. A Tenancy Dispute Officer will review the request and make a decision.

The Affidavit in Support of Substitutional Service form is available on the RTDRS website or at the RTDRS offices in Edmonton and Calgary. Take the completed form to a Commissioner for Oaths. The RTDRS has Commissioners available in our offices if you are in Edmonton or Calgary. If you filed your application by fax, you must have the affidavit commissioned by a Commissioner for Oaths and faxed to the RTDRS.

Urgent situations

Normally, a hearing needs to be scheduled with a notice period of 3 clear days to take place (see above).

However, in extreme situations such as cases of significant damage to the rental premises, assault or threat of assault, you may apply to reduce the notice period to the respondent. This is called "abridgement of service".

Only the most serious cases will be accepted.

To apply for this, you must:

  1. Fill out an Affidavit in Support of Abridgement of Service (PDF, 1 page)
    • Include evidence to support your request.
  2. Take the form to a Commissioner for Oaths
    • RTDRS has Commissioners in the Edmonton and Calgary offices.
  3. Submit the form in person, by mail or fax.

The Tenancy Dispute Officer will review the request and make a decision.

Contact us

After service is completed

If you served RTDRS documents

After you have served the Application Package on the respondent, you will have to:

  1. Fill out the appropriate Affidavit of Service form
    1. Take the completed Affidavit of Service form to a Commissioner for Oaths to be commissioned. 
        • The RTDRS has Commissioner for Oaths in the Edmonton and Calgary offices.
        • If the Application Package was served by registered mail, you must provide the Commissioner the postal receipt with the tracking number and the Signature for Certificate of Delivery Confirmation document (which you can get through a Canada Post office or their website).
    2. File the Affidavit of Service form with the RTDRS
      • You can file the forms before or on the day of the hearing.
      • You can file in-person or by fax.

Filing additional evidence

Additional evidence is evidence that was not submitted at the time of filing the Application Package.

Applicants can submit additional evidence by serving it on the RTDRS and the respondent at least 24 hours (should include one business day) in advance of the hearing. Evidence must be submitted in person or by mail.

Disputes resolved before 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.