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Truro Colchester Welcome Network

Renting a Home

Most apartments have one or 2 bedrooms. There are a few 3-bedroom apartments. If you have a large family, you may want to rent a house.

When you rent a home, you are called a tenant. The person or company you rent from is called a landlord. The agreement you sign with your landlord is called a lease.

Tips For Finding Rental Property from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration

  • If you are not comfortable in English, bring an English-speaking person with you to view the rental property.
  • Schedule viewings during the day when it is easier to see damage.
  • Ask the landlord about repairs that need to be made.
  • Make a list of the damage before you sign or agree to anything. Have the landlord sign the list too. Attach the list to the lease so the landlord will not blame you for the damage.
  • Ask if the rent includes utilities. Utilities include these things:
    • water
    • electricity
    • heat

Before you move into your rental

  • Find out if there is a limit to the number of people allowed to live there.
  • Find out if pets are allowed
  • Have these documents ready:
    • proof of income
    • resume
    • references

Be prepared to wait for your application to be approved.

Rights and responsibilities when renting

If you rent a home, you will sign a lease. The lease outlines the terms of your rental agreement. It includes what you are responsible for, and what your landlord is responsible for. For example, you are responsible for paying your rent each month and repairing any damage you cause. Your landlord is responsible for the following:

  • day-to-day upkeep
  • repairs
  • fixing damage caused by previous tenants

Note: A landlord is allowed to ask how much money you make. A landlord can refuse to rent to you for these reasons:

  • they think you do not have enough money
  • they think you will not be able to pay your rent every month


It is against the law for landlords to refuse to rent to you or treat you differently for these reasons:

  • your age
  • your disability
  • your race, colour, nationality, or the country where you were born
  • your religion
  • your sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or marital status
  • the make-up of your family, for example, if you have children
  • the source of your income, for example, if you receive income assistance

If you think your landlord is discriminating against you, you can complain to the Human Rights Commission. Call: 1-877-269-7699


Subletting your rental property

Once you have signed a lease, you are legally responsible to follow its terms and conditions for the length of the lease. If you need to move before the end of the lease, you may need to find someone to take over the rest of your lease. This is called a sublet. You can only sublet your rental property if your landlord allows it.


You can find out more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant from these resources:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The CMHC offers the following information:

  • things to consider before renting
  • types of housing for rent in Canada
  • finding or advertising rental property
  • visiting the rental property
  • lease and rental agreements
  • signing the lease
  • credit checks and bad credit
  • rental payments and deposits
  • roommates and pets

To find out more, visit Click “get the info you need” under “Consumers” then choose “renting a home.

Legal Aid Nova Scotia

Visit Click on “legal information” and choose “residential tenancy” from the menu.

This website offers legal information on a variety of topics. To find information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, choose “housing” then choose “residential tenancies help” or “tenant rights guides”.

Nova Scotia Residential Tenancies Program

Type “nova scotia residential tenancies program” into your search engine. This website includes the following information for landlords and tenants:

  • updates to laws
  • policies
  • forms
  • rights and responsibilities

Utilities for your Home

Water, electricity, and heat supplied to your home are called utilities. Your rent may include these utilities, or you may have to pay for them separately. If you pay for your own utilities, create accounts for those utilities at least one week before you move in. You can do this over the phone or online.


In Nova Scotia, we use electricity to heat our homes as well as to power lights and appliances. If your rental property is heated with electricity, you will buy it from Nova Scotia Power.

To find out more, visit


There are several other forms of home heating:

  • natural gas
  • oil
  • propane
  • solar
  • wood
  • heat pumps

There are many local providers for each of these. Some of these are more expensive than others.


Some landlords require you to buy insurance to protect your home and your belongings. This is called Contents or Tenants Insurance. Even if your landlord does not require it, it’s a good idea to have it. It can pay for temporary accommodation in the case of fire, for example.

Cable and Internet

Many companies offer cable television and internet service in Truro and Colchester County. The largest companies are Bell Aliant and Eastlink. These are some other options:

  • Seaside Internet
  • TNC Wireless
  • Xplornet
  • Citywide Communications
  • Purple Cow
  • and others

Check to make sure service is provided in your area. Some rural areas of Nova Scotia do not have access to high-speed internet.


There are 2 kinds of telephone service in Nova Scotia: mobile and landline. A landline is a telephone that is wired into your home. Many Nova Scotians are choosing not to have a landline. Most use mobile phones.

The following companies offer mobile phone plans:

  • Bell Mobility
  • Eastlink
  • Koodo
  • Rogers
  • Telus
  • Virgin

Shop around to get the best service in your area for the best price.