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 a tenant, do your research first. Read the Residential Tenancies Act and regulations, visit our website, or call our contact centre. Find out your rights and responsibilities, as well as your tenant's.

Put your complaint in writing and deliver it to the tenant. 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 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 tenant?
  • Can you find and serve papers on the tenant?

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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 Access Nova Scotia 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 Access Nova Scotia Centre. There is a $31.15 filing fee.

You will Need:

  • Your tenant'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 any security deposit paid.
  • Dates for when the tenancy started, ended, or is to end.
  • Details concerning whether you gave the tenant a copy of the lease and a copy of the Act.
  • Details concerning whether a notice to quit was given, and if so, when and how.
  • If you are filing for reimbursement for repairs, provide details concerning the repairs that were made.

When you bring your completed application to the Access Centre, a staff member makes sure the form has been completed correctly and all the necessary information/documents are attached. The staff member will assign a file number, the name of the contact person in the office, and a hearing date. Staff will prepare a copy of the application for your records and another for you to serve on the tenant.

You may serve the copy by sending it  by registered mail or serving it in person.

Personal Service

Personal service can be done by the applicant or the applicant can get someone (staff person, superintendent, etc.) 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, as well as the 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 Access Nova Scotia Centres).

Registered Mail

This is done through the post office. When you are sending the application by mail, you must get a signature card showing proof of service. 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 have served the papers, come back to the 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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