Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan introduced amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act today, Sept. 18, that will benefit both tenants and landlords.
“Our goal is to make the act more inclusive, accessible and balanced for tenants and landlords,” said Mr. MacLellan. “These changes are largely based on consultations with tenant and landlord groups. While we are pleased to adopt these amendments now, we will continue to work with these groups on other opportunities for improvement.”
The following changes will improve clarity and consistency in the law, increase efficiency and help balance interests of tenants and landlords:
— both tenants and landlords will have alternate ways to serve documents, such as electronically, in addition to only through personal service or registered mail
— reducing the minimum timeframe landlords are required to store abandoned property from 60 days to 30 days
— currently, new homebuyers who do not wish to be landlords may only make an application to evict a tenant after a home is purchased and in their possession. The proposed changes allow the seller to initiate the eviction upon proof of sale
— allowing tenants to give notice to change their yearly tenancy to month-to-month instead of asking for a landlord’s permission
— providing landlords with entry times to show an apartment to a prospective tenant or purchaser where there is a fixed-term lease in place
— terminating a lease the next month after a single tenant dies to eliminate unnecessary financial hardship for family of the deceased. Currently, a family of a deceased tenant must give one month’s formal notice to end the tenancy and could be responsible for up to two months’ rent, depending on when the notice is given.
There are over 300,000 people living in over 110,000 rental properties across Nova Scotia.
These changes are part of ongoing work to modernize the Residential Tenancy Program and support government’s commitment to cut red tape for business and citizens, modernize legislation and make government services more accessible and efficient for Nova Scotians.