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Friday, October 31, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

The Landlord and Tenant Act governs leases generally, whether agricultural, commercial or otherwise.  The Act does not apply to residential leases governed by The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

The Agricultural Leaseholds Act provides some additional rights for tenants in agricultural leases to remove crops after the end of the term if harvest is delayed by weather or other reason. Under sections 5 and 6 of that Act, the Board has the power to hear disputes and make orders permitting re-entry for completion of harvesting.

The Court of Queen's Bench has general jurisdiction under The Landlord and Tenant Act to make orders declaring leases to be terminated, whether by expiration or by reason of breach, and to grant to the landlord an order for possession. 

Under section 14 of The Provincial Mediation Board Act, the Board has the power to delay applications for possession and to delay enforcement of orders for possession.  The powers of the Board in subsection (1) are:

Power to prohibit proceedings by landlord
14(1) The board may at any time and from time to time, of its own motion or upon application by any person, by order, subject to such terms and conditions as the board deems fit:

(a) prohibit any or all proceedings under The Landlord and Tenant Act during a period of time stated in the order;

(b) prohibit any action by a landlord for the recovery of possession of land from a tenant during a period of time stated in the order;

(c) prohibit the execution by a sheriff of any writ of possession during a period of time stated in the order;

where in its opinion serious hardship to the tenant or his family would otherwise ensue.

The Board has interpreted its role as one of providing time for an orderly end to a tenancy.  The Court of Queen's Bench has jurisdiction to deal with the merits of the matter and determine that a lease has expired or that a tenant has breached a lease. The Court will determine if the landlord is entitled to a writ of possession.  Nevertheless, if the tenant will suffer serious hardship as a result of the immediate end of a lease, the Board has jurisdiction to provide "a period of time" to the tenant if that will avoid serious hardship to the tenant or at least mitigate the serious hardship.  The Board does not have jurisdiction to deal with the merits of an application for possession.

There are no prescribed forms for applications under section 14.  Tenants who apply to the Board for relief are expected to assist the Board by addressing the following issues:

  1. What is the "serious hardship to the tenant" that will ensue if the lease is terminated
  2. What period of time is necessary to avoid serious hardship to the tenant

If the parties dispute the facts, evidence will be required.  Parties are encouraged

  • to communicate openly
  • to resolve their disputes directly
  • to contact the board to discuss procedure should an application be necessary


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