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The tenancy term, current and desired relationship between landlord and tenant, amount of arrears, loss of time to collect monies owed, and loss of time to gain possession of premises are all factors that play a role in making a decision to refuse rent from a tenant.

What if a fixed term tenancy is ending and the tenant attempts to pay the landlord?

When a tenancy is approaching the end of a fixed term and the landlord has no intention of continuing the tenancy beyond the term, monies, other than arrears, offered by the tenant must not be accepted. Doing so, may be interpreted as an intention to continue the tenancy beyond the fixed term.

Tenants are very aware of this and often attempt to combine an overpayment with payment of arrears before or after the term has expired. To correct this, the landlord should immediately return the overpayment by traceable method of payment, with a cover letter stating the end of the term, no-intention to renew, the breakdown of the amount accepted and amount returned and the date the tenant is expected to vacate. If the tenant continues to stay, the tenant is in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act of Alberta by over-holding on a fixed term.

What if the tenant attempts to make payments when the landlord has already applied to a court for financial remedy and/or termination of tenancy?

The tenant’s willingness to rectify the situation gets tested when the tenant is encouraged to attend a hearing where the next substantial payment could be made and a conditional order (also called a Cinderella Order) may be obtained that would stipulate payments, dates and methods of payment. Alternatively, the landlord may ask the court to order the tenant to pay and/or vacate.

What if the tenant offers payment when the landlord has made it clear that the tenancy is unwanted?

The landlord may use the opportunity to negotiate a settlement in exchange for the tenant to vacate. This must be done with extreme caution and in writing with very clear terms of understanding and strict measurable conditions. When tenants are unable to live up to their commitment, they often will use the failed attempt to accuse the landlord of refusal to accept rent.

Kim Kahts specializes in Alberta evictions and residential tenancy disputes. Follow her on Twitter: Kim Kahts LandlordRX @LandlordRX

Visit Associated Eviction Services for services, practical solutions and tips for Landlords on disputes, tenant eviction, enforcement and free samples of Alberta residential tenancy forms and notices for landlords.

Associated Eviction Services (AES) offers paralegal services to local and remote Alberta real estate investors, property managers, real estate agents representing investors and building managers. We specialize in residential tenancy dispute matters within Alberta jurisdiction.


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