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Nova Scotia’s new Tourist Accommodations Registration Act

Brian Tabor, QC and Jennifer Murphy

On April 1, 2020, Nova Scotia’s new Tourist Accommodations Registration Act and its regulations come into force, repealing and replacing the Tourist Accommodations Act. With the exception of those who rent short-term roofed accommodation within their primary residence, short-term roofed accommodations hosts and platform operators are required to register through an online system, and can do so starting April 1, 2020.

In March 2019, the Nova Scotia government announced changes to the tourist accommodations legislation, aimed at growing and supporting the tourism industry in Nova Scotia by making it easier for short-term accommodations operators to do business in the province. Under the former Tourist Accommodations Act, short-term rental providers were required to be licensed, and to follow overly specific rules – as specific as ensuring each rental unit is equipped with a shaded lamp that can be turned on or off from the bed, a receptacle to be used as an ashtray even in a non-smoking rental unit, and a closet or wardrobe for hanging clothes with a minimum of 8 coat hangers, among many other requirements.

Now, under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act, short-term roofed accommodations hosts and platforms that facilitate the rental of short-term roofed accommodations are simply required to register in the Tourist Accommodations Registry (rather than be licensed), and gone are the overly prescriptive rules.

In addition, the annual registration fees due under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act are reduced and simplified compared to the licensing fees under the predecessor legislation:

  • $50 for hosts with 1-4 bedrooms available for short-term rental;
  • $150 for hosts with 5 or more bedrooms available for short-term rental; and
  • $500 for platform operators.

Annual registration fees would normally be paid on application; however, in recognition of the COVID-19 pandemic, registration fees for hosts and operators are deferred for the 2020-2021 operating year. Hosts and operators are still encouraged to register as close to April 1, 2020, as possible to ensure compliance with the new legislation.


This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact a member of our Commercial Transactions/Agreements group.

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