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The Residential Tenancies Act and Dispute Resolution

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

The Nova Scotia Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is the province’s government legislation that sets out guidelines for the relationship between landlords and tenants. It sets out the methods for dispute resolution between tenant and landlord for most types of disputes. The RTA helps landlords and tenants understand their rights and how to exercise them.

Not all residential housing is included in the RTA. University and college on-campus residences, hospitals, municipal homes, prisons, reformatories, some nursing homes, and hotels are excluded. For the most part, only rented housing falls under the RTA. However, lease-to-purchase arrangements do fall under the Act until the tenant owns the premises.

The act is periodically amended, and as of this writing was last amended September 18, 2018. Additionally, the Cannabis Control Act provided landlords in Nova Scotia the authority to amend existing leases to put new rules in place about recreational cannabis smoking and cultivation.

There are numerous Residential Tenancy Forms associated with the Act which are used to help landlords and tenants address common actions they need to carry out and assist them in following the rules outlined in the Act. These include signing leases, providing notices of termination, increasing rent, applying to resolve a dispute, and filing an application to the director.

While the act and the forms seem straightforward, the sheer volume of forms, restrictions on when and how they are to be filed, and the hearings that come from filling some of the forms, can make use of the forms - and thus resolving tenant disputes - a complex and challenging task. Realizing a month later, that a form was filed too early and needs to be re-filed, could push a potential eviction for not paying rent an additional month or more. This could result in months of lost rent in addition to the lost time involved in re-filing. Having an experienced property manager, like Anchor Property Management, who understands the RTA and associated forms, as well as the timelines and processes involved, will ensure that the tenant-landlord relationship is maintained and that disputes are dealt with properly in a timely manner.

For questions or to discuss our suite of services, contact Anchor Property Management today!

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