Nova Scotia Landlords Association

Welcome to the NSLA for Small Business Landlords

The Nova Scotia Landlords Association (NSLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect our members' interests to national and local government.

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  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
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  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
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Nova Scotia Landlords: Find Good Tenants

 Nova Scotia landlords no tenants

Investors become landlords because we see a business opportunity.

People need nice places to live in and investing in rental property seems like a great industry to be part of.

You’ve read some people who became landlords and although it wasn’t easy they earned enough profits to consider themselves wealthy.

With their new financial freedom they could help out family members, pay for their kids’ university tuition and even take a trip or two.

Challenges for Nova Scotia Landlords

In past blogs we’ve discussed some of the challenges Nova Scotia landlords face.

One of the biggest challenges is what you face if you rent to bad tenants.

It used to be we thought all the worst tenants were in Ontario.

And they still are, as this Ottawa landlord can attest to.

Landlords all over Canada face the ‘bad tenant’ challenge, even Manitoba landlords face this challenge.

Bad Tenants In Nova Scotia

We wrote before about what happened to small landlord Lee Cowan.

She’s the landlord who rented to a group of tenants and after they moved out (without proper legal notice) she found they had trashed the place including:

- Appliances destroyed

- Basement was flooded and now smells horrible and has damaged the enter unit

- Cabinets have been ruined

- Drywall has been destroyed all over

Lack of Tenants

Another problem landlords in our area face is something that isn’t common in other areas of Canada, even places like Manitoba.

It’s a lack of good tenants.

As a recent CBC News report illustrated landlords can find enough renters to fill their properties.

Some landlords are even offering move theaters and gyms where tenants can work out in their rental buildings.

And get ready for this…some landlords are offering tenants free TVs, yoga, rebates from local dentists and even Apple Ipads if you rent from them.

Landlords in Nova Scotia, PEI and Elsewhere in the Region

Have you found good tenants for your rental properties?

What do you think will happen in 2014?

Discuss this in the Nova Scotia Landlords Forum

Jan 1 1 Landlords fight for renters in Halifax’s apartment glut

Landlords fight for renters in Halifax’s apartment glut

Average rent is still expected to climb

CBC News Posted: Nov 19, 2013 10:12 AM AT Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013 10:31 AM AT

iPad? Dental care? Halifax landlords are using some creative tactics to get people into these Bedford apartments. (CBC)

New apartments are popping up in Bedford, but landlords say there aren’t enough people to fill them, so they’re relying on creative tactics to compete for renters.

Killam Properties landlord Jeremy Jackson recently opened a new apartment building in Bedford. It has a full-sized gym and an in-house movie theatre, but he says it’s tough to attract renters.

“You have to work very hard at it as a landlord these days,” said Jackson.

Some landlords are throwing in iPads, televisions, free yoga and even discounts at the dentist.

About 1,500 rental units are sitting empty in Halifax and more apartment units are going up.

“With that increase in supply, we’re expecting to see vacancy rates climb in the next year or two,” said Tim Andrews, market analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing.

Still, the growing vacancy rate isn’t having a big impact on price.

Andrews said the average rent is still expected to climb by two to three per cent in the next few years.

Home sales

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s real estate sector continues to deal with declining sales. According to the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, home sales dropped by five per cent during the August-to-October period compared to the same three months last year.

The average price of a home in Nova Scotia is $206,525, up by one per cent.

Nova Scotia & PEI Tenant Screening: Tenant Credit Checks

November 3rd, 2013

Nova Scotia Tenant Screening Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks

Landlords in our region are facing lots of challenges these days.

And while we want to discuss issues such as low rent increases the media continues to attack landlords.

After all, we are easy targets and easy for the media to define.

Another Landlord Is Trouble

According to a report on CBC News, landlord Lee Cowan of O’Leary says her rental unit has been trashed.

The landlady say when her tenants not only trashed her nice 3-bedroom property they moved out without proper notice….they didn’t even tell her!

What Damages Did The Tenants Do?

 A lot.

The landlady said the damages included:

- Appliances destroyed

- Basement was flooded and now smells horrible and has damaged the enter unit

- Cabinets have been ruined

- Drywall has been destroyed all over

Landlords and Facebook

Cowan has posted her story on Facebook and received a lot of positive replies.

Positive Replies and Support Are Not Enough

“I have gotten thousands of responses,” she said.

“To say thank you to these people is not a big enough word. I can’t think of a big enough word to say how many people have said, ‘We care.

We don’t know you but we care.’ They’re offering me all this support. 

They’re kind, caring people. Maybe they’ll help change the system a bit, so this doesn’t happen to somebody else.”

But no financial support and no answers!

Tenant Screening

These types of terrible stories are becoming more and more common in our region.

We used to think “Oh, those bad tenants are only in Ontario or Quebec.”

Sadly that isn’t true now

As this story shows, landlords need to be careful who you rent to.

If you rent to the wrong tenants you could be out thousands of dollars.

You could be ruined financially?

What Can A Landlord Do To Avoid Bad Tenants?

Smart landlords will do proper tenant screening.

Cowan simply took the money and rented to these ‘tenants from hell.’

Being a landlord in 2013 requires more than just accepting month.

You need to do proper tenant screening, including credit checks.


Don’t be a landlord victim! Always do tenant credit checks and make sure you are renting to good tenants.

halifax landlord licensing (link to OLA, HLA, OSHLA)


Councillor calls for program to combat problem landlords

Waye Mason says licensing program could prevent problems in converted student housing

CBC News Posted: Oct 28, 2013 7:06 AM AT Last Updated: Oct 28, 2013 7:06 AM AT

The councillor for south-end Halifax wants the city to consider a licensing program for residential properties that have up to six rental units as a way to get a handle on problem landlords.

Licensing programs are already used in some Ontario cities to regulate safety issues and prevent problems in houses converted to rental units. The regulations affect properties with three to six units.      

In Oshawa, Ont., it’s limited to residential areas near the local university and college campuses.

Some bylaws there require the submission of electrical safety and property maintenance plans as well as annual licence renewals.

Coun. Waye Mason wants city staff in the Halifax Regional Municipality to look into the idea — particularly for the student ghettos in the south end.

“There is a problem with too many people living in a house that’s been converted,” said Mason.

“But it seems that it’s very hard to effectively manage that right now. So we’re looking to other cities that have the same problem to find better solutions.”

Mason said some landlords have raised concerns about the proposal. He said he’s open to the idea of geographic restrictions for a new licensing bylaw or even stronger enforcement of the current rules instead of licences.

Mason said there will be lots of time for public consultation before a new bylaw is developed.

P.E.I. Landlords Can Raise the Rent by 2% in 2014

 October 5, 2013

P.E.I. Landlords Rent Increase 2014


Good news for P.E.I. landlords.

This is especially important with all the bad news for landlords we’ve seen over the past year in the region.

The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (also known as IRAC)  had meetings on whether or not there should be a rent increase and, if so, what the allowable rent increase should be.

In its report, IRAC said it received eight submissions from tenants, one from a landlord and one from anti-poverty group Alert.

According to the Guardian website starting Jan. 1, 2014, landlords will be allowed to increase rent for heated premises by two per cent, while rent for unheated premises and mobile homes in trailer parks can go up by one per cent.

How does that compare to other provinces? Well according to the Ontario Landlords AssociationOntario landlords can raise the rent 0.8% in 2014.

In its report on the increases, IRAC said it considered submissions from the public, the vacancy rates in P.E.I., the province’s economic outlook, increases in other provinces, consumer price index forecasts and previous allowed rent increases.

Although IRAC approved an increase, that doesn’t necessarily mean rent will go up the full amount or at all because it is at the landlord’s discretion, as long as they don’t go above the maximum allowed.

Among the concerns tenants raised were the negative effects of a rent increase on people with fixed incomes, above average construction of new rental units and the negative effects an increase would have on students.

IRAC has allowed rent increases every year for the last 10 years, including in 2013 when landlords were able to raise it by as much as five per cent for heated premises and three per cent for unheated.

The report showed rents went up in Charlottetown for 2013 where the average for a two-bedroom unit reached $831 compared to $797 in 2012.

Summerside’s average was $697 in 2013 compared to $669 last year.

That was despite an overall vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent across the province, which was up from 4.8 per cent in 2012.

While IRAC found property taxes are expected to be within the range of consumer price index increases and electricity rate increases will be stable for several years, heating oil prices 35 per cent over the past four years.

To Discuss This And Other Landlord Issues Go To the Canada Landlords Forum!

Prince Edward Island Landlords Can Raise the Rent By 2.0% in 2014

oct 1 trashed

A woman in western P.E.I. says she’s facing financial ruin as a result of renting out her house.

O’Leary resident Lee Cowan told CBC News tenants trashed her three-bedroom home then moved out last month without telling her.

Lee Cowan

Lee Cowan surveys the damage done in the kitchen and dining room in her O’Leary home. (CBC)

She said the basement of the house was flooded, drywall is torn off walls, and cabinets and appliances are ruined. The damage has been reported to police.

Cowan said insurance won’t cover all the damage, but since posting photos on Facebook she has been overwhelmed by support.

“I have gotten thousands of responses,” she said.

“To say thank you to these people is not a big enough word. I can’t think of a big enough word to say how many people have said, ‘We care. We don’t know you but we care.’ They’re offering me all this support. They’re kind, caring people. Maybe they’ll help change the system a bit, so this doesn’t happen to somebody else.”

Insurance adjustors are still tallying the cost of repairing damage to the home. Cowan is looking for legal advice on what to do next.

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