Colton LeBlanc, Minister of Service N.S. and Internal Services. (Submitted photo)

HALIFAX: New rules to protect tenants against renovation evictions are included in amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act that will be introduced on October 20.

“We need to do more to protect tenants,” said Colton LeBlanc, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services. “The changes we have proposed are part of our government’s larger effort to protect tenants and address the housing challenges in the province.

“Our work is just beginning, and we intend to bring more changes forward in the future.”

The proposed amendments address the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission’s recommendation to modernize provincial legislation to enhance renter protections against evictions due to renovations. The measures include:
— tenants will be given a minimum of three months notice before they can be evicted due to renovations
— mutual agreements to terminate a lease between tenants and landlords must be in writing
— if a tenant does not agree to terminate the tenancy, landlords must make an application under the Province’s residential tenancies program for an eviction order
— landlords must give the tenant between one and three months rent as compensation for the eviction
— landlord violations of the new protections can lead to additional compensation for tenants such as covering moving expenses or paying the difference between the tenant’s new unit and the rent paid for their former unit, for up to one year.

Other tenant protections in the bill include:
— rental increase notices can only contain one amount, regardless of whether the tenant decides to renew their tenancy as a month-to-month or yearly lease
— landlords cannot charge different rental rates for different lease terms
— a streamlined security deposit claim process so it is easier for tenants to get back their security deposits
— landlords must provide a 24-hour written notice to enter tenants’ units unless the tenant gives permission or there is an emergency.

Changes that will increase efficiency and provide clarity around processes for landlords include:
— flexible effective dates for rental increase notices that are no longer tied to an anniversary date; such notices are still limited to once a year
— when a tenant’s dispute of a rental eviction notice is dismissed, an eviction order can be issued.

Amendments to strengthen tenant protections against renovation evictions, will come into effect upon Royal Assent. Other amendments will take effect at a later date.

Quick Facts:
— the current ban on evictions due to renovations will end on February 1, 2022, or at the end of the provincial state of emergency, whichever is sooner

Additional Resources:
Residential tenancy guides and other information can be found at: