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Nova Scotia's 2 per cent rent cap is being extended, but at a higher rate

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Nova Scotia introduced an amendment to the Residential Rental Cap Act that will see a five per cent cap come into effect Jan. 1, 2024, which will remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2025.

The province's current two per cent cap was established in November 2020 and will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2023.

“When deciding on a five per cent increase per year for the next two years, we took into account the projected rate of inflation over that time. We chose five per cent to allow landlords to catch up with inflation while avoiding any large rate increases for tenants,” says Service Nova Scotia Minister Colton Leblanc.

This means someone paying $1,500 a month will see their rent increase by $75.

Joanne Hussey, a community legal worker with Dalhousie Legal Aid, was concerned the province was going to scrap the rent cap all together.

“I think we were really worried about the impact that would have on our clients and on tenants generally. I think renters in this province have been feeling that squeeze of rents getting much higher, their incomes not changing and their options being fewer and fewer,” Hussey says.

Property owners on the other hand were hoping Leblanc was going to pull the plug on the cap. 
Still, Peter Polley says the increase to five per cent is too little, too late.

“If you mathematically add together the two per cent the last two years, plus five going forward, that would be less than half of inflation, call it the broad based inflation level. Which is a fraction of what we are incurring at the property level in terms of what is happening with our property taxes that are skyrocketing, our insurance, water, everybody knows electricity,” says Polley.

The rent cap applies to residential tenants who are renewing their lease or are signing another fixed-term lease for the same unit.

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