Application to Director to resolve dispute between landlord and tenant (Form J)

Apply to the Director of Residential Tenancies to resolve a dispute (like termination of tenancy, return of security deposit and damages to property) between a landlord and tenant.

File an application to resolve a dispute between a landlord and tenant (like termination of tenancy, return of security deposit and damages to property).

Tenants and landlords can resolve disputes themselves. When they can’t resolve a dispute, they can apply to the Director of Residential Tenancies for resolution.

Residential tenancy officers attempt to resolve the dispute through mediation if both parties are interested. If mediation doesn’t occur, then a hearing is held. The residential tenancy officer makes a final decision based on the evidence presented and issues a decision (Order of the Director).


Landlords and tenants can apply. You can make an Application to the Director up to 1 year after a tenancy (lease) has ended. If you're the respondent (the other party in the dispute), you may file your own application (counterclaim) at any time if the original application has not been withdrawn, has been settled by mediation or the hearing has concluded.

How to apply

  1. Complete the application form online.
  2. Check the application form for details on all required supporting documents.
  3. Include payment with your application.
  4. Submit your completed application, supporting documents and payment.
  5. Residential Tenancies sends you a hearing package (including a copy of the application form, Notice of Hearing, Certificate of Service and Hearing Information Sheet) by email or mail. Or Residential Tenancies lets you know that your hearing package is ready to pick up at Access Nova Scotia.
  6. After you receive the hearing package, formally serve (deliver) 1 of the copies of the completed application (including the Notice of Hearing) to the respondent (the other party in the dispute). Check the form for details on delivery options and instructions on how to formally serve the tenant.
  7. Complete Form L1: Certificate of Service.
  8. Within 7 days of applying, drop off your completed Form L1: Certificate of Service at Access Nova Scotia. Or send your completed form by email to the to the residential tenancy officer assigned to the application.
  9. A residential tenancy officer may contact you to offer mediation, if both parties agree to it.
  10. Participate in the hearing at your scheduled date and time by calling the toll-free number provided.

How long it takes

It should take 2 days for Residential Tenancies to send you the hearing package (including hearing date and time) or let you know that your hearing package is ready. If you apply in person at Access Nova Scotia, you should get the hearing package right away. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly.


Activity Fee
Application $31.15

If you receive Income Assistance, Social Assistance or the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), you may not have to pay this fee.

You can also request in your application that you’d like to have the application fee awarded to you as part of the decision. If the application fee is awarded, it’s paid by the respondent (the other party in the dispute). No other costs associated with the application may be awarded.

Payment options

Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), debit card, cheque, money order, cash. Make your cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.

When you pay online you need to pay the fee by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Visa Debit, Debit Mastercard).

Before you start

Make sure you have:

  • tenant’s name and address (and phone number and email address if you know them)
  • landlord’s name and address (and phone number and email address if you know them)
  • information about the lease, like term of lease, date tenant moved in, how much the rent is and amount of security deposit (if paid)
  • description of dispute
  • how the issue breaches (does not comply with) your tenancy (lease) or the Residential Tenancies Act
  • result you’re looking for from this dispute
  • copy of the tenancy (lease) (optional)
  • file number (if you know it) if you’re responding to an application (counterclaim)
  • written permission if you want to have someone else represent you or speak on your behalf during a hearing

Apply online

When you apply online you need to create an account or sign in.

Start now

Other ways to apply

You can use Form J: Application to Director (PDF 422 kB) if you’re unable to apply online. Take your completed application to Access Nova Scotia. Or drop it off with your Application Drop-off Payment Form.