Your Tenancy

YOUR TENANCY

Do you have questions about how to pay your rent? How your rent is determined? How to request a rent adjustment? Here is some helpful and important information that you need to know as a CHC tenant.

Landlords have responsibilities, including:

  • Making the premises available on the date the residential tenancy takes effect
  • Giving the tenant a written “notice of landlord” with the address and contact information of the landlord within seven days of the tenant moving in
  • Not disturbing the tenants peaceful enjoyment of the premises
  • Not to bothering the tenant beyond what is necessary to do the landlord’s business
  • Ensuring the premises is habitable at the beginning and throughout the tenancy

Tenants also have several responsibilities to ensure they remain in good standing with their landlord, these include:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Being considerate of the landlord and other tenants
  • Not endangering other tenants
  • Not performing illegal acts or conduct illegal business on the premises
  • Keeping your home and assigned outdoor areas clean and in a reasonable state of repair.
  • Keeping the premises clean
  • Preventing damages to the premises
  • Reporting maintenance concerns
  • Replacing furnace filters, checking smoke detectors
  • Moving out when the rental agreement ends

Calgary Housing Company’s Eviction Prevention Program aims to support successful tenancies and to employ best practices to prevent eviction from CHC where possible.

The vast majority of people experiencing eviction processes is a result of late rent payments. The focus is on primary and secondary approaches towards addressing the root causes of the late rent payments and preventing the circumstance. Significantly less common are circumstances that involve eviction for breaches of lease commitments or tenancy regulation with regard to tenant responsibilities (i.e. behaviours affecting neighbours peaceful enjoyment of property, violence or illegal activities.)

Read the CHC Eviction Prevention Policy

The program seeks to balance CHC’s social mandate with the business needs of the company including the rights and safety of all CHC tenants, staff and the surrounding community, as well as individual tenants while maintaining compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act and other regulations under the Alberta Housing Act.

The principles of the Eviction Prevention Program are:

  • All actions will reflect a flexible and compassionate position to prevent eviction. A flexible and compassionate approach to eviction prevention does not mean eviction will never occur, but rather that CHC strives to ensure tenants are in the right program that is best suited to meet their needs and support a positive housing outcome. This may be within CHC programming, or a transfer or referral to another housing provider.
  • CHC will work with tenants, community agencies and other public supports where possible to identify solutions and to maintain tenancies wherever possible; and where eviction is not preventable, to make every effort to refer the tenant(s) to other housing options.
  • CHC recognizes the rights of each individual to be treated fairly, with respect and without discrimination.
  • CHC is committed to the early identification and mitigation of issues that may negatively impact housing stability for tenants.

CHC receives the majority of its revenue from rent that tenants pay. Collection and management of rent is crucial to the ongoing viability of the Corporation and the delivery of our social mandate.

Communication and trust are a key component of the eviction prevention process. CHC focuses on different strategies of eviction prevention, examples include:

Primary

  • Tenant Onboarding at Lease Signing to detail roles and responsibilities of both tenant and landlord
  • Rent Smart – an 8 week program offered 4 times/year to educate residents on tenant and landlord responsibilities
  • Tenant Liaison supports – CHC has 8 Tenant Liaisons (registered Social Workers) who provider referral supports to residents ranging from food security, financial literacy, vocational training, legal services, mental health supports and more
  • On-site partnerships at select properties with resource rooms to provide additional resources and supports (e.g. Women in Need, Community Social Workers, Mustard Seed)
  • Rent adjustments where a household has had a decrease in income (only available in certain programs – speak to your Property Manager if you have had a change in income)
  • On site office hours for Property Managers and Tenant Liaisons to ensure CHC staff are available to address any concerns or supports needs from residents

Secondary

  • Payment Plans to support households in arrears as well as alternative payment dates
  • Mediation supports where there is escalating conflict between neighbours or within a household
  • Referrals to case management support where a households requires more ongoing case management and support
  • Transfers to supportive housing agencies
  • Warning notices for breaches to the lease agreement (excludes cases of violence)
  • Release of Information to collaborate and coordinate supports for households connected to other support agencies

There are two types of breaches where CHC is limited in our ability to prevent an eviction, those are:

  1. Violence of threat of violence towards CHC tenants, staff or contractors
    • CHC has a zero-tolerance policy to ensure the rights and safety of tenants and to uphold our legal responsibilities as a landlord under the Residential Tenancies Act, as well as our duties to create a safe (including psychologically safe) work environment for our staff)
  2. Failure to provide income verification documents
    • As CHC is required under the Affordable Housing Act, and as part of conditions of operating and funding agreements, to verify household income and to ensure annually that households are eligible for subsidized housing

Response to Breach of Lease Agreement

Where there is a household at risk of eviction, or a non-renewal of their lease the following actions are taken, based on the type of breach to the lease agreement and/or Residential Tenancy Act

Type of Breach

What action can be expected

Arrears

    • Any household in arrears is sent a letter informing of the amount of arrears and information about CHC’s Payment Plan process
    • CHC supports flexible payment plans that are co-created with the resident to get back on track. Payment plans can even extend multiple years to ensure the success of the payment plan.
    • CHC supports residents with information and options about 3rd party payments to support where there are concerns or challenges with money management (e.g. Alberta Works will send the rent portion directly to CHC)
    • CHC provides referrals to agencies that provide financial assistance for households with arrears

Over Income Limits

    • In social housing programs, regulated under the Affordable Housing Act, households must be under the Income Limits to remain eligible for subsidized housing. Where households are over the Income Limits, or refuse to provide proof of income, CHC provides 3 months notice to residents they must vacate (as per the legislation).

Breach of Residential Tenancy Act (RTA)

    • Where there are chronic breaches of the RTA – particularly breaches that impede the rights of other tenants to “reasonable enjoyment of their premises” – tenants can expect both written communication from CHC as well as meetings to address the behaviors and provide clear expectations to sustain. This response would be to breaches such as frequent noise disturbances, criminal activity, damage to the unit

Violence,  or anti-social/criminal behavior deemed to cause high risk to residents and community

    • Where there are acts of violence from a resident, CHC undertakes an investigation – led by the Property Manager and with support of their supervisor and in consultation with other parties including CPS, Corporate Security and CHC’s legal services where appropriate.
    • Where there is acts of violence that puts residents, the community or CHC staff/contracts at risk, a 24 Hour Notice of Eviction is issued under the authority of the Residential Tenancies Act
    • When a 24 Hour Eviction Notice is served, CHC staff continue to provide information to residents about services and resources, including alternative housing. At times, the impacted households may not have an immediate alternative housing to go to, and CHC will work with the household to allow them to stay short term while alternative housing is secured – particularly when there are children. This ability is of course dependent on the risk assessment to other residents, CHC staff and the community.

CHC is committed to our vision of becoming the leading affordable housing provider in Canada – to ensuring housing stability and success for the 25,000 Calgarians who live in a CHC managed unit. We partner and collaborate with over 100 non-profit organizations to offer programs and services to residents to not only achieve housing stability, but to improve quality of life and support individuals and families to thrive.  When a household is at risk of, or facing eviction, CHC partners with agencies to provide housing stability and homeless diversion supports.

Recognizing that communication is a key pillar for eviction prevention, CHC has implemented enhanced language services and has a language line available to residents through our customer service centre.

As an affordable housing provider, eviction is a last resort, and significant resources are employed to prevent such outcomes as we understand the impacts and consequences of homelessness and precarious housing. However, in cases of violence CHC must ensure, as a landlord, that we are providing safe homes to individuals and children. This approach is applied with a commitment towards safe communities for all residents, staff and contractors

Calgary Housing Company tenants must pay their rent on or before the first day of every month. Payment may be made by:

  • Telephone banking
  • Internet banking
  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
  • Cheque: mail or drop off at our main office
  • Debit at each District Office
  • We do not accept cash or post-dated cheques
  • Please note it can take up to 5 days for a payment to reach your account once it is paid.
  • If you have any concerns about not being able to pay your rent on time, please contact your Property Manager to discuss

As part of your tenancy agreement, you must pay the proper authority all the utility charges for your unit (that you are responsible) in a timely manner.

  • If you owe money to your electricity provider they will install a load limiter on your electric power meter. This will allow just enough power to keep the furnace running and some lights on in the winter months (from approximately October 15 to April 25).
  • If you try to use more electricity than the limiter will allow, the breaker on the limiter will be tripped (it will turn off) and electricity will be fully interrupted to your unit.
  • Should you have access to your power meter you will have to reset the breaker on the limiter yourself (located on the outside of your building).
  • If you reside in a property where the power meters are not accessible, you will be required to pay your account in full in order to have the service provider come out and remove the load limiter.
  • CHC will send someone out to reset the load limiter for you (between Oct. 5 and Apr. 25 only). There is a charge for this service.
  • The cost of damages to the property due to suspension of service (utilities), will be charged to you 
  • Should a change to your family size or significant income change occur you must contact your Property Manager or Account Administrator.
  • Subsidized Housing tenants must report income changes including employment, employment insurance, income assistance or any change in the source of income.

Some CHC programs are eligible for rent adjustment. See the CHC Programs section for more info.

  • Tenants living in Low End of Market housing and Affordable Housing units do not qualify for a rent adjustment. Contact your Property Manager if you are having trouble paying your rent.
  • Subsidized Housing tenants must provide proof of your household income, complete a Request for Rent Adjustment Form , sign and date the form, and submit it to your Account Administrator.
  • Request for Rent Adjustment Forms can be picked up in person at our main office, downloaded, or we can mail you one.
  • Your Request for Rent Adjustment Form will be reviewed and, if approved, you will receive a letter indicating what your new monthly rent will be. Rent adjustments cannot be backdated.
  • Deadline for submissions is the last day of the month. The review will take effect the month following the submission (ex. if the paperwork is submitted in January, the possible adjustment would take effect in February.)

Depending on what program you belong to, many CHC tenants are required to complete an annual rent review in accordance with government legislation.

  • A letter will be sent in advance with the due date for your completed review.
  • When you receive a Review Form, you are required to complete it and provide us with proof of your gross household (before tax) income.
  • Even if you have recently filled out a Request for Rent Adjustment Form and/or your household income or family situation has not changed, you must still complete the Annual Rent Review Form and return it to us by the due date.
  • Failure to return all documents by the due date may result in losing your rent subsidy and you will be issued a Notice to End Tenancy.
  • For information on how rent is calculated, see the CHC Programs section.

We understand that at times tenants need to relocate to a new unit during the term of their lease agreement. When a request is made for reasons related to health, safety or security, we try our best to accommodate these requests.

Decisions about approving a request to transfer to a new unit must be made to also consider the need to serve our wait-list and serve the 4,500 households in our community waiting for access to affordable housing as well as the cost to turn-over units during a transfer.

Click here information about the types of transfers you can apply for as well as the approval criteria.

If you have questions, please contact your Property Manager or our Customer Service Line at 587-390-1200.

Prior to taking occupancy of your new home, you signed a Residential Tenancy Agreement (Lease) for a fixed term tenancy (this means there will be a start date and an end date to your tenancy).

  • If your lease is not renewed prior to the end date, your tenancy will be declared terminated and you will be required to vacate your premises.
  • Lease renewals are considered if:
    • You remain eligible for the program
    • Your rent is paid in full each month.
    • Your home and yard is kept in an acceptable condition of cleanliness
    • Your behaviour and that of your  family and guests has been considerate and respectful of others,
    • You do not breach any of the terms of your lease agreement.
  • CHC conducts periodic inspections of your unit to assist us in determining whether your tenancy may continue.
  • Lease renewal signings take place during the last month of your existing term. Refer to your lease.
  • If have lost your lease agreement, you can call your Property Manager to request another copy.

If you are renting under our Affordable or Low End of Market programs, you may be subject to an increase in your rent.

  • Each year CHC conducts rental market surveys to evaluate rent amounts
  • The new rent must be agreed upon during the lease renewal signing in order to continue your tenancy with us.
  • As per the Residential Tenancy Act, Calgary Housing and their agents may enter your unit with notice between the hours of 8am and 8pm for the purpose of inspecting the state of repair of your unit, for performing repairs, for showing your unit or for pest control measures.
  • To ensure speedy repairs, tenants can give Calgary Housing verbal Permission To Enter the unit
  • 24 hour notice will be posted to enter the home unless you give Permission to Enter
  • If you have any pets, please ensure they are confined on the date and time noted
  • If you are not home a Calgary Housing Representative will provide access to your unit
  • Calgary Housing may enter the residential premises without consent or notice if there are reasonable grounds to believe that an emergency requires the landlord to enter the premises, or the tenant has abandoned the premises.
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Tenant Handbook

In Summer 2020 we compiled a new Printable PDF version of important information for tenants. You will find details on how to connect with CHC, guidance on the programs we provide, and advice on maintenance and management of your home. Keep a copy of the PDF on your device or print your own hardcopy. Download CHC Tenant Handbook 2020