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Legislative changes that every Nova Scotia co-op needs to know

Published February 10, 2023

Over the last few years, provincial governments have been updating and amending the legislation that housing co-operatives operate under. To be able to meet their legal responsibilities, co-ops need to ensure they stay up to date with changing government statutes and policy.

Nova Scotia co-ops need to be aware of two legislative changes in the last year:

  1. In April 2022, the Nova Scotia Legislature passed Bill 138. Co-ops can now hold meetings virtually, if allowed in their bylaws. This new legislation includes an amendment to consolidate the law respecting co-operative associations. The revised Co-operative Associations Act can be found here.2. Housing co-ops in the province also operate as landlords under the Residential Tenancy Act. Changes to that legislation came into effect February 3, 2023. They include:
    • A rent cap remains in place until December 31 2023; for existing tenants, rent can only increase up to 2% each year.
    • A landlord can increase rent anytime, not just on the annual anniversary of when the tenant signed the lease. The landlord must give the tenant at least 4 months’ notice and only increase rent once every 12 months.
    • Tenants can use Form C1 to end their tenancy (lease) early if their landlord gives them a Notice of Rent Increase to increase rent before their tenancy anniversary date.
    • A landlord can’t charge tenants different amounts for different rental terms. For example, they can’t charge a tenant a different amount for a year-to-year lease, month-to-month lease or a fixed-term tenancy (lease).
    • If a tenant sublets their unit without their landlord’s permission, the landlord can end the tenant’s lease
    • A landlord must give 24 hours’ notice before entering the tenant’s unit, even if the tenant has given their notice to end the lease. A landlord can only enter a unit without notice if there’s an emergency.

If you have any questions, contact our Atlantic office.

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