IPOANS: Ending, restricting fixed-term leases will put thousands at risk of losing homes

DARTMOUTH: A new survey of rental housing providers by the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS) is highlighting the importance of keeping fixed term leases.

The January 2024 of survey of more than 180 Nova Scotia rental housing providers showed that fixed term leases are often used to provide housing to supportive housing organizations, students, rent supplement recipients, Department of Community Services clients and financially precarious individuals.

Rental housing providers responding in this survey reported providing housing for supportive housing organizations and those using rent supplements in more than 7,400 units.

“This survey shows how important fixed term leases are to providing affordable, accessible housing to a wide range of Nova Scotians,” said Kevin Russell, Executive Director of IPOANS. 

“It also sends a clear message to the politicians, government and others that ending or restricting the use of fixed term leases will put the housing of thousands of Nova Scotians at risk.”


When asked what they would do if government eliminated or restricted the use of fixed term leases, rental housing providers reported back that:

·        46.89% would stop renting to supportive housing organizations;

·        43.5% would stop renting to people receiving rent supplements from Housing Nova Scotia;

·        45.2% would stop renting to Department of Community Services clients;

·        48.9% would stop renting to students; and

·        78.53% would stop renting to tenants at high risk of rent default.

“The contrast is clear – with fixed term leases, we get lots of housing choice.  Without fixed term leases, that housing goes away in significant numbers,” added Russell.


Eliminating or restricting fixed term leases would also result in rental housing providers – representing over 5,700 rental units – making the following changes in their operations:

·        24.31% would leave rental units empty;

·        55.8% would sell their property or properties;

·        29.83% would repurpose their property to another use; and

·        63.54% would stop future investments in rental properties/switching to other type of investments.

“Rent control has made Nova Scotia’s housing crisis worse and increased homelessness in this province.  Governments can’t afford to make an even worse mistake by ending or restricting fixed term leases,” concluded Russell.