The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) adopted the Mobile Home Sites Tenancy Act resolution brought forward by the Town of Hinton and the Town of Okotoks.
Coun. Ryan Maguhn spoke about the resolution during the 2019 AUMA Annual Convention on Sept. 25 to 27.
AUMA represents urban municipalities, advocating the interests of those municipalities to the provincial and federal government and other stakeholders.
“The resolution passed with, I believe it was 91 per cent of the vote,” said Mayor Marcel Michaels.
The resolution urges a review and amendments to the mobile home sites tenancy act by the government of Alberta, in order to offer Residential Tenancies Disputes Resolution Services and prohibit the potential practice of “economic eviction,” by defining targeted rental increases as an offence and addressing the quality of life and safety of mobile home park tenants.
Owners and tenants of apartment buildings or other rental units have access to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service, but mobile home park tenants can’t take advantage of this service, Michaels explained.
Tenants of mobile home parks own their mobile home but rent the land, and because the entire park is owned by the park owner it’s currently difficult to control any maintenance and services inside.
The tenancy act doesn’t specify disputes and how to resolve issues, which is why many tenants have to take the owner to court for a resolution, said Michaels.
If rent increases, tenants often don’t have a choice but to pay, as moving the trailer or going to court is expensive.
“A review of the act would be great, but if we just get these few changes, I call that a win,” said Michaels.
AUMA will now lobby for the resolution and advocate for the issue to the Ministry of Service Alberta.
“This [government] has been accessible, they’re listening, and they’re understanding,” said Michaels. “If any government is going to do anything with this issue, I believe this is the time for that change.”
Michaels added that council will continue to follow up with Service Alberta in order to get a better process in place.
A resolution on the same issue was adopted by AUMA members in 2016, which expired this year.
In response to AUMA’s advocacy prompted by the 2016 resolution, the previous government considered expanding the reach of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service to mobile home site tenants, and to prohibit the practice referred to as “economic eviction,” stated the AUMA website.
If you have any questions about AUMA’s resolutions process, email firstname.lastname@example.org.