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Builders’ Lien Act gets a renovation

On June 30th 2017, the Nova Scotia Builders’ Lien Act saw key amendments come into force that will significantly improve the way businesses in the construction sector get paid as well as get information about when projects are completed. These were big issues that needed to be addressed.

The act is one of the oldest pieces of legislation in Nova Scotia, dating back to 1899, and hadn't been updated in over one hundred years. It didn't reflect current business realities and it needed a renovation.

CFIB worked actively to push for these amendments to the legislation and the changes represent a step in the right direction in making Nova Scotia a better place for small businesses in the construction industry.

The major changes include:

  • Changing the way finishing holdbacks are calculated so that only 10% of remaining services or materials are held back versus 2.5% of the entire contract.  
  • Allowing for early release of holdbacks to subcontractors who finish their work at the early stage of a project, instead of waiting until the end when the entire project is complete.
  • Creating a central point of publication for public notice of substantial completion for all construction projects.

For more information on the changes to the regulations and to view the central point of publication for substantial completion, please visit or visit the Construction Association of Nova Scotia's website here.

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