Nova Scotia extends 'renoviction' ban
Ban extended so 'our most vulnerable citizens continue to be protected during the pandemic,' says minister
Nova Scotia's ban on landlords ending a residential lease for the purpose of renovations — or "renovictions" — has been extended.
According to a release Friday, the extension is until the state of emergency ends or the ban is repealed, whichever comes first.
Colton LeBlanc, the province's minister of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Service, said in the release that the ban was being extended so "our most vulnerable citizens continue to be protected during the pandemic."
"With the uncertainty of the pandemic continuing, and with the province still being in a state of emergency, we need to extend this temporary measure to help keep people in their homes."
Lisa Hayhurst, a co-chair at ACORN Dartmouth, says the extension of the ban is a good start, but a permanent ban would be best. ACORN advocates for low and moderate income families.
"That would be ideal," said Hayhurst. "That way you don't have to worry about people not having housing because of renovating."
Jeremy Jackson, board chair of the the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia, said in an email his group respects the province's right "to take action on the relatively small number of renovictions that have arisen."
But Jackson said the bigger issue is the two per cent rent cap over three years. He said small property owners are "getting squeezed as everything is getting more expensive to run a building."
He said he wants the government to sit down with the rental property industry to find "workable solutions because rent control is actually making the housing crisis worse."
The ban started Nov. 25, 2020. It was originally scheduled to end Feb. 1, 2022, or when the province lifted the state of emergency.
The Residential Tenancies Act was changed in October to further protect renters in situations where landlords needed to end a lease to carry out renovations.
One of the changes is a requirement for landlords to give a renter a minimum three-month notice before they can be evicted due to renovation. These changes would come into effect once the ban ended.
The province also extended the two per cent rent cap until Dec. 31, 2023.