This page provides general legal information about builders' liens under Nova Scotia's Builders’ Lien Act, including what liens are, and how to register, enforce and dispute them.  A lien is a remedy - it is a type of security. Anyone who performs work on, or supplies materials to, someone else’s land, has a right to register a lien against that land as security for getting paid. Liens are commonly registered by contractors on a variety of construction projects, including building and renovating homes.

Once registered at the appropriate Land Registration Office, a builder’s lien affects the owner’s interest in the property, and can interfere with selling or mortgaging the property.

This information is not intended to replace legal advice from a lawyer. Liens are very technical and complicated. We recommend hiring a lawyer if you are considering registering a lien, or if a lien has been registered against your property.

For contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and labourers

For property owners

Last reviewed: October 2019

Acknowledgments: Thank you to Melanie Gillis at McInnes Cooper for reviewing this content.