Permitted and prohibited uses and activities

Eligible tenants

Additional family members or friends may move into your unit after you have established residency but you must submit a written request to the site Property Administrator to add or remove any occupants to or from your lease agreement.  A Change of Information form is required to add or remove persons to or from the premises and must be signed by both you and your site Property Administrator.  The form must be submitted to the Property Administrator by the last day of the month in which the change occurred.  If the additional person is a wage-earner, they may affect your eligibility for affordable GAP or social housing programs.

If a lease signer is removed from the agreement, both parties named on the lease must sign a Residential Tenancy Change Agreement.  There may be no rental arrears or outstanding debts to the WBHDC and the tenant’s insurance must be updated accordingly for such changes to be made.

Change of Information form

Residential Tenancy Change Agreement form

For more information, see Rent, security deposit and utilities above.

Appropriate use of the basement in a townhouse

Townhouse basements are not suitable for sleeping purposes.  The windows and/or window wells (if any) do not meet the minimum housing and health standards to permit bedrooms in the basement; that is, there must be at least two means of escape in the case of fire and WBHDC’s townhouse basements have not been constructed to comply with that requirement.

Basements may be used for storage purposes at the tenant’s own risk.  In the event of a flood or sewer back-up, you are liable for all damages to your personal property, which is among the reasons that WBHDC insists its tenants carry homeowner’s insurance.  It is recommended that all stored items be placed on shelving elevated from the floor.

Copying unit keys

WBHDC will issue a sufficient number of keys for the household.  Tenants are not permitted to duplicate keys that allow access to any part of the building of which the unit is a part (storage, main door, unit, etc.) and the distribution of any keys to another person is also prohibited.

You will be charged any costs associated with the changing of locks due to duplicating any of your keys.  You will also be charged to replace lost or stolen keys.

Changing the locks

WBHDC does not allow tenants to change the locks or place extra locks on the doors of your unit.  WBHDC must be able to access your unit in case of emergency. If you have security concerns, please address them with your site Property Administrator.

Hanging pictures and artwork

You may hang pictures and other artwork on the walls of your unit within reasonable limits.  Please use appropriate hardware, such as picture hanging hooks, to hang pictures.

Wall-mounted TVs and other heavy hardware are likely to do damage to the walls and so are prohibited.

When you move out, the condition of your unit must be restored to its state prior to your move-in and will be measured against your check-in Condition Report.  You will be charged to repair excessive damage to any walls, floors, ceiling or woodwork of your unit.

Ceiling fans

You may install a ceiling fan in your unit but you must obtain express written permission from WBHDC to replace any light fixture with a ceiling fan or ceiling fan/light combination prior to doing so.

You may not install the ceiling fan yourself.  Ceiling fans must be installed by a qualified electrician and you must provide verification to WBHDC that a qualified electrician completed the installation. This ensures that all electrical work has been performed according to code and that the unit remains safe for you and for future tenants.

New electrical wiring

Electrical wiring is an integral part of all WBHDC buildings and must not be altered in any way.  You may not add new wiring, electrical fixtures or outlets, television or radio connections to your unit.  The position of existing wiring cannot be altered.  The telephone must remain at the current location.

Curtains and window blinds

Tenants may use their own curtains but bedsheets, flags, tinfoil, etc., are not appropriate window coverings. WBHDC will supply blinds on request.

xmas-treesChristmas trees

A live Christmas tree is considered a potential fire hazard, and so you are not permitted to have a live Christmas tree in your unit.  Plenty of fire-safe artificial alternatives are available.

Waterbeds

Waterbeds are not permitted in any WBHDC units.  The excessive weight of a waterbed can structurally damage the building.  You will be held responsible for any damage to your unit or neighbouring units caused by a waterbed.  Bringing a waterbed into your unit is grounds for eviction.

air-conditionersAir conditioners

Air conditioners that are installed in a window are not permitted.  If you require an air conditioner, WBHDC recommends a portable floor unit that will not damage the window or building exterior.

Satellite dishes, radio and TV antenna and towers

satellite-dishAll WBHDC buildings are connected to Shaw and Telus services and offer a variety of digital programming through these providers. You are not permitted to install additional hardware that may damage your unit.

Balconies

Balconies should be kept clean and free of garbage.  You are not permitted to sweep or throw objects from the balcony because you could injure persons or damage property below.  You may not store boxes or other belongings on the balcony, nor may you place household furniture on, or attach satellite radio and TV systems to, the balcony, or hang objects over the balcony.

You may keep outdoor seasonal furniture and a barbecue on your balcony.  Please comply with the rules for barbecue use indicated below.

Barbecues

You may have a barbecue on your balcony if you live in an apartment unit.  You may also have a barbecue in your backyard if you live in a townhouse.  There are, however, specific rules to be followed should you choose to use a barbecue.

The Alberta Fire Safety Code states that any barbecue must:

  • be equipped with a maximum of one (1) 20 lb. propane canister per installation;
  • be placed at least one meter (three feet) away from building openings, such as doors and windows;
  • be placed at least three meters (10 feet) away from any source of ignition;
  • be placed at least one meter (three feet) away from any combustible surfaces unless otherwise directed by the appliance manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • apartment tenants may not use the elevator to move a propane canister to their unit if there any passengers – the elevator must be empty.

Due to the increased number of fire incidents involving barbecues, the Wood Buffalo Fire Department will charge the building owner a “cost recovery fee” of no less than $1,500 for any call found to be the result of an improperly installed barbecue.  This fee will be passed to you if you are responsible for the incident.

For further information, visit the Regional Municipality’s “Regulations for Barbecues on Balconies” by clicking here.

The Regional Municipality also issued guidelines in 2014 that may be downloaded here.

Pets

Most WBHDC buildings are pet-free, though there are some exceptions.  A pet includes a dog, cat, bird, reptile or amphibian, small mammal (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.)  Pets are not allowed out of consideration for your neighbours who may be allergic to animals, to ensure the cleanliness of all common areas, etc.

However, fish tanks of five gallons or less are permitted.

Pets are permitted in the following rental complexes: Meadow Creek Village Creekside and Delta townhouses, Prospect View townhouses, and Stony Mountain Plaza.

Keeping a pet in a building that prohibits pets is grounds for eviction.

combustiblesCombustible materials

Combustible materials can introduce a significant fire risk and may only be stored in your unit if you use appropriate care.  For example, combustible materials or flammable liquids, such as special cleaners, butane, oil, paint or kerosene, may be kept on the premises but only in small quantities and in special containers approved for this purpose. Gasoline for a lawnmower should be securely stored outside your unit in an approved container, such as a jerry can.

Extended absences

Sometimes tenants need to be absent from their premises for an extended period. Before leaving, WBHDC asks all tenants to report their absence to their site Property Administrator at Stony Mountain Plaza or, in the case of Edgewater residents, the Applications Office downtown to obtain permission for an extended absence. Tenants must make suitable arrangements to ensure they pay their rent when it is due if their absence extends past the first of any month.

Tenants must make arrangements to have someone check on their rental unit daily during their absence and provide in writing that person’s name, address and phone number to the site Property Administrator. Your designated check-in person must be approved by WBHDC, so it is important to let your site Property Administrator know as soon as possible of any upcoming extended absence.

Tenants in the rent subsidy program may be absent from their unit for a maximum of 30 consecutive days in any 12-month period.  Absences of longer duration will be considered abandonment and legal remedy will commence.

Home-based business

You may operate a home-based business from your unit but you must obtain written permission from WBHDC in advance.  You must submit a letter outlining the type of business, indicating whether there will be increased traffic to the rental property, and indicating whether any products, especially flammable or dangerous goods, will be stored in your unit or other storage facility at the rental property.

If the request is approved, you must provide proof of business insurance, abide by the regulations in your lease agreement, and comply with any applicable municipal bylaws.

You may not place signs, placards or notice plates for advertising purposes anywhere in your unit, in the common areas (other than bulletin boards provided for that purpose) or on or about the property.  The properties belong to WBHDC and it reserves all rights with respect to advertising on its premises.

The income derived from your home business should be declared on your Annual Income Review form and/or federal tax return.

Weather-related damage

If windows are left open during inclement weather, you will be responsible for any damage caused to walls or floor due to rain.

If windows are left open during very cold weather, damage caused to the plumbing due to freezing will also be charged back to you.