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Tenant Alliance Celebrates Victory for Nova Scotia Renters

by Dalhousie Legal Aid Service

HALIFAX – With the passing of the Bill 119 on its third reading, Nova Scotia renters have won an important victory. The Bill amends the Residential Tenancies Act to grant immediate security of tenure to tenants. Once proclaimed, tenants will no longer be evicted from their homes without valid reasons.

“Immediate security of tenure is a progressive step that brings Nova Scotia in line with other Canadian jurisdictions,” said Cole Webber of Dalhousie Legal Aid Service. “It’s high time that Nova Scotia renters were afforded this basic protection.”

Under the old rules, tenants were not granted security of tenure until the fifth year of their tenancy. Landlords were able to evict tenants who did not have tenure, without providing reasons.

“My family was evicted from our apartment because our landlord said I had too many children”, said Craig Poirier of Halifax, member of the Tenant Alliance of Nova Scotia (TALONS), and father of five. “I fought my case all the way to Supreme Court only to be told that because I did not have tenure, the landlord’s reasons for evicting me would not be considered, even though it was clear case of discrimination on the basis of family status. Immediate security of tenure means landlords won’t be able to evict families like this any longer.”

TALONS  was established to lobby government for greater protections for Nova Scotia renters. In April 2009, TALONS submitted a brief to the Nova Scotia government outlining its recommendations for amendments to the tenancies act including changes to the security deposits and repairs enforcement schemes, and for immediate security of tenure.

“TALONS supports the move to immediate security of tenure and will continue to fight for the rights of tenants to quality, affordable housing.” said Webber.

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For more information, please contact:
Cole Webber, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service
Phone: (902) 423-8105

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Topics: Housing
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