IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the AUMA urge the Government of Alberta to conduct a review and amend the Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act to offer Residential Tenancies Disputes Resolution Services to mobile home site residents, to prohibit the potential practice of “economic eviction” of residents by defining such targeted rental increases as an offence and address the quality of life and safety of mobile home park tenants.
WHEREAS the Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act sets out the rights and responsibilities that apply to people who own a mobile home and rent the mobile home site (pad) from a landlord;
WHEREAS Service Alberta is responsible for the enforcement of the Mobile Homes Sites Tenancy Act and Regulations;
WHEREAS mobile home tenants have limited options for obtaining solutions to ongoing issues regarding targeted rent increases, safety and accessibility within the mobile home parks;
WHEREAS mobile home tenants’ quality of life, including economic and social impacts, may be at risk through a municipality enforcing mandatory improvements to the property owned by mobile home landlords; and
WHEREAS a municipality has limited authority or tools to effectively manage quality of life and safety issues arising between mobile home park landlords and tenants; and
WHEREAS Service Alberta offers binding mediated resolution services only to regular landlord and tenant disputes under the Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Service.
In 2016, the Town of Okotoks submitted an AUMA resolution regarding an amendment to the Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act to offer Residential Tenancies Disputes Resolution Services (RTDRS) to mobile home park residents. This resolution was passed, but saw a limited response from the Government of Alberta over the last three years.
Residents of mobile home park sites across Alberta should be afforded the same binding mediation services as offered to other landlord/tenant situations to bring effective and efficient resolution to tenancy issues. The Residential Tenancies Dispute Resolution Services is a free service offered under regular tenancy/landlord disputes where a tribunal can make decisions and issue a binding order that is filed at court. This service should be offered under the MHSTA also.
The Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act is in dire need of a substantial review or revision to provide for more protections and address safety concerns for tenants. Through the Act, municipalities have the authority to create Advisory Boards to educate and advise landlords and tenants on rental practices, rights and remedies; and to mediate disputes. The Act does not provide municipalities authority to enforce reasonable solutions to disputes that support the safety and quality of life of the mobile home site tenants, who may have limited income or alternate housing options.
Municipalities therefore have no levers to create remedies to issues that are sometimes decades old and are unable to effectively support tax paying citizens living within municipal jurisdiction. This is a problem that affects numerous municipalities across Alberta—and is a problem in need of immediate provincial attention through dialogue with the AUMA.
The province’s response to the resolution indicates that Service Alberta will “continue to analyze this issue as we develop options for an appropriate role for government to play in a fair and equitable relationship between tenants and landlords”. The response does not commit to a review of the relevant legislation, nor an expansion of the scope of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.
On February 26, 2020, Bill 3: The Mobile Homes Sites Tenancies Act was introduced in the legislature. If passed, the bill would give tenants and landlords of mobile home sites access to the same dispute resolution service for tenancy disputes that renters and landlords of apartments and houses have, instead of having to go through the courts.
The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) is faster, less formal and less expensive than going through the courts. It also relieves some of the burden on the court system.