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Letter to The Editor –

An Application to Director for Non-Payment of rent does not equate to an eviction.  
The Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia must address recent media articles about increasing tenant “Eviction Applications” filed with Residential Tenancies.

Filing an Application to Director, the correct terminology, is a requirement of the Nova Scotia Residential Tenancy Act. Filing an Application to Director is akin to a credit card or mortgage company sending a final notice to pay.

Filing of an Application to Director is the first step in a process that includes a Residential Tenancies’ mediation hearing and an opportunity to appeal a Residential Tenancies Hearing Officer’s decision to the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court. The entire process can take up to four months and, in some cases, much longer before there is a final resolution. In most cases, tenants do not pay rent during this period and, in some cases, cause wilful damages to the unit and exhibits disruptive behaviour taking away the peaceful enjoyment of home for other tenants, a right entitled under the Residential Tenancy Act.

Not reported in the media or mentioned by housing advocates, most Application to Director for non-payment of rent often results in a mediated settlement between the tenant and landlord, which sees tenants remaining in their unit long as the repayment plan is honoured.

The 2019-2020 year over year residential tenancy statistics show that the overall number of application filings were down eighteen percent between July 1 to October 30, 1,746, verses 1,438. While during the same period, Rental Arrear applications were down nine percent, 1,132 verses 807.
IPOANS research shows rental arrears application filings during July to October period represented 0.3% of Nova Scotia’s 122,000-unit rental universe.
Contrary to statements made in the media attributed to politicians, and housing advocates, landlords are not mass evicting tenants for non-payment of rent. In fact, what the data does reveal, landlords are working hard, as they always have, to keep tenants in place. Any tenant who loses their rental housing is a tragic situation for both the tenant and the landlord as there are no winners in evictions; both parties lose.

The Investment Properties Owners Association of Nova Scotia urges the government and the liberal leadership candidates vying for the premiership to make housing policy decisions based on data, not by the unfiltered noise being emitted unsupported by data.

Kevin Russell
Executive Director
The Investment Properties Owners Association of Nova Scotia