Province says amendment will lighten the burden on the court system
The Alberta government may soon offer tenants and landlords of mobile home sites the same dispute resolution procedure available to renters and landlords of apartments and houses.
If passed, the Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Amendment Act, will extend the application of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) to mobile home sites, offering parties a faster, cheaper and less formal procedure than resorting to courts. The bill was introduced Feb. 26.
Alberta’s government says the proposed changes will help alleviate the burden on the court system in the province. However, parties may still exercise the option to go through court proceedings if the dispute is valued at more than $50,000 or if the dispute involves issues that can’t be resolved through the RTDRS.
Other significant changes introduced in the bill pertain to the specific situations in which tenants and landlords of mobile home sites may apply to the RTDRS.
Tenants may apply to the RTDRS for the following purposes: To end the tenancy or claim damages if the landlord violates the rental agreement, to seek a reduction in rent for loss of benefit of the agreement, to get back the security deposit, and to ask for compensation if the tenant performs the landlord’s legal and contractual obligations.
On the other hand, landlords may apply to the RTDRS for the following purposes: to end the tenancy, to seek possession of the mobile home site, to ask for compensation for losses in case the tenant fails to vacate the site despite the end of the tenancy, to claim damages if the tenant violates the agreement and to resolve unpaid rent or utilities.
According to Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish, residents of mobile home sites have been vocal about wanting access to the RTDRS. “Our government is taking action to make life better for Albertans who live in mobile home communities,” Glubish said in a news release from the provincial government. “This bill is a big step forward to address their concerns and deliver on their priorities.”
According to the same release, the government also plans to engage with the residents of mobile home sites about their difficulties that cannot be resolved through the RTDRS.