Know Your Rights – Tenants Resources in HRM and Nova Scotia

(updated Sept 24, 2021)


Halifax is responsible to ensure the building you live in meets minimum standards, including things to do with fire and life safety, heat, running water, and sewer. A building or apartment that does not meet minimum standards is what is called “non-compliant.”

You can contact the municipality and ask for an inspection. If any non-compliant issues are found during the inspection, the owner of the property will be ordered to bring it into compliance. Property owners must maintain all buildings to the standard to which the buildings were required to be built (when new). All renovations, new construction, repairs to existing buildings, and replacement of structures, such as decks, must meet the current building code.  All renovations require a permit.

If you think your home may not meet minimum standards, or is being renovated without a permit, contact HRM via 311, or email, or visit a Customer Service Center at 40 Alderney Drive (Alderney Gate) in Dartmouth or 7071 Bayers Road, Suite 2005 (Bayers Road Centre) in Halifax

Mor info on minimum standards can be found here:

Your municipal councillor can often help with a minimum standards issue, please contact me.

Nova Scotia

The Province is responsible for tenancy, which is rent, rent control, lease terms, eviction, and arbitrating conflicts with a property owner. The province has prepared a guide to renting, which outlines your rights, among the ones I hear about – the property owner must heat your apartment even if you are behind on rent, and a property owner cannot cut off sewer and water.

You can read the residential tenancies guide here:

Dalhousie Legal Aid has also compiled a Tenants Right Guide.

If you are being threatened with an eviction, please read this guide. 

If your rent is being increased despite the covid rent cap, please read this.

Your Provincial MLA and their office can often be helpful in a tenancy issue, you can find out who your MLA is and how to contact them here.

Dalhousie Legal Aid’s Tenant Rights Legal team can be reached at (902)423 8105