For Immediate Release
December 11, 2023
Fixed term leases vital to providing emergency housing for unhoused
Any changes to fixed term leases will result in more homelessness, warned Kevin Russell, Executive Director of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS).
“When IPOANS members are contacted by government or not-for-profit agencies to provide emergency housing, the only way they will agree to provide emergency housing is by using a fixed term lease,” said Russell. “In fact, we also understand that many not-for-profit organizations themselves use fixed term leases. Just as Nova Scotia’s rent control is creating more homelessness, so too will restricting the use of fixed term leases. Without fixed term leases, it will be next to impossible for find housing in emergency situations, for students and for newcomers.”
Earlier this week at the Nova Scotia legislature’s Human Resources Committee, Michael Kabalen, Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, under questioning by the NDP, said the following about fixed term leases:
“As a not-for-profit provider, for example, we’re often dealing with individuals who have been housing insecure for a long time. And so, we often will start with a fixed term lease… So to broadly say fixed term leases are a problem, I think there are lots of good reasons that a fixed term should be used… to say they are all bad, is also an overstep.”
Russell said that any abuse of fixed term leases is the result of the Nova Scotia government’s refusal to create a compliance and enforcement unit.
“Nova Scotia doesn’t have a fixed term lease problem, we have an enforcement problem that’s affecting both rental housing providers and tenants,” added Russell. “The sooner the government gets to work on a compliance and enforcement, the better. Rental housing providers need protection from bad tenants that damage and destroy property, disturb other tenants and engage in rent theft, while we acknowledge that there are some cases where landlords don’t follow the law and tenants need support.”
c: Kevin Russell