Victims of Domestic Violence Can End Lease Early

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Nova Scotia tenants who are victims of domestic abuse can end leases early without financial penalty, beginning September 16, 2013.

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act will allow victims to work with the Department of Justice's victim services program to end a year-to-year or fixed-term lease with one month's notice.

"It's important that people experiencing domestic violence have options to protect their safety," said John Joyce-Robinson, director, victim services. "The worry about a lease could prevent someone from leaving a dangerous situation, so it is important people know about this change."

For a year-to-year lease, a tenant normally gives three months' notice before the anniversary date. A fixed-term lease normally has a stated end date. Without this change, the tenant is financially responsible for rent for the period of the lease. The Residential Tenancies Act changes allow tenants to apply to have the financial responsibility reduced.

Tenants with week-to-week or month-to-month leases can end it with one week's or one month's notice.

For more information on how to end a year-to-year or fixed-term lease, call victim services, at 1-888-470-0773.