Government of Nova
novascotia.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
Access Nova Scotia
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If There are Problems

  1. Working Things Out
  2. Applications to Director
  3. If you are Served with an Application to Director

Working Things Out

If you have a problem with your landlord, do your research first. Read the RTA and Regulations, visit our website, or call our Contact Centre. Find out your rights and responsibilities, as well as your landlord's.

Put your complaint in writing and deliver it to the landlord. Follow up in person or by telephone. Many times landlords and tenants are able to work out issues on their own.

If you can't figure things out, you can make an Application to Director for mediation or for a hearing.

You should consider:

  • Have you made every effort to resolve the problem yourselves?
  • Is it really a landlord/tenant problem?
  • Do you have enough evidence to back up your complaint?
  • If you are seeking payment of money, and if you are awarded money, do you have a reasonable chance of collecting from the landlord?
  • Can you find the landlord to serve papers?

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Applications to Director

To file an application to Director:

Find the form online (see "Downloadable Forms") or get a copy from your nearest Nova Scotia Access Centre.

Complete all parts of the form. If you have questions call the Contact Centre at 902-424-5200 or 1-800-670-4357.

You must bring the form in person to an Nova Scotia Access Centre. There is a $31.15 filing fee.

If you are unable to pay the application fee, you may be able to have the fee waived. Please see our fee waiver process below.

You can also request in your application that you would like to have the application fee awarded to you as part of the decision. If the application fee is awarded, it will be paid by the respondent. No other costs associated with the application may be awarded.    

To file an application you will need:

  • Your landlord's name and address.
  • A copy of the lease, if there is one, and copies of any other documents that have relate to the complaint. Make three copies of all documents.
  • The amount of rent for the unit and the amount of the security deposit, if you paid one.
  • Dates for when the tenancy started, ended, or will end.
  • Details concerning whether you received a copy of the lease and a copy of the RTA.
  • Details concerning whether a Notice to Quit was given to you or to your landlord, and if so, when and how.
  • If you are filing for repairs, details concerning the repairs that are needed.

IMPORTANT: If you believe your landlord has given you Notice to Quit because you have taken action to secure or enforce rights under the Residential Tenancies Act, make an application to the director asking that the notice be set aside.

When you bring your completed application to the Nova Scotia Access Centre, a staff member will review the form to make sure it has been completed correctly and that all the necessary information and documents are attached. The staff member will assign a file number, the name of the contact person in the office, and a hearing date. They will prepare papers for you (the applicant) and for your landlord (the respondent). You must serve the completed papers on your landlord. The papers can be delivered by registered mail or served personally.

Fee Waiver Process

If you receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Income Assistance, or Family Benefits, you may fill out an application to request to have your Application to Director fee waived. If you do not receive any of those benefits, you may still be able to have your fee waived. For more information on the fee waiver process, click here.

Personal Service

Personal service can be done by the applicant or the applicant can get someone (friend, relative or someone else) to do the service.

Whoever does the personal service must complete the affidavit of service form, swearing that personal service was done. The form (Affidavit of Service) shows the name of the person who served the document, place, date and time of service. The form must be signed in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths (there is usually one available at Nova Scotia Access Centre).

Registered Mail

This is done through the post office. When you are sending the application by mail, you must get a tracking card that shows the respondent has signed for it. The person being sent the application is the only one who can sign for the registered mail. You should make the post office aware that you require a signature card and advise them who must sign it. Proof of service is required for the hearing to proceed. After you get notice the respondent has signed for the mail, come back to the Nova Scotia Access Centre to sign an Affidavit of Service.

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If you are Served with an Application to Director

It is important that you take time to read the application carefully. It contains information relating to the problem and what the other party is seeking.

An information sheet that explains the process will be part of the package you receive. The application will also list the name and phone number of the tenancy officer who has been assigned the file. We recommend that you contact this person to answer any questions you have before starting mediation.

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