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By-law Enforcement

The Town has by-laws to encourage residents and businesses to be responsible and respectful of their neighbours and contribute to the health, safety, and vibrancy of our community.

Our by-law enforcement officers are responsible for the investigation and enforcement of all our municipal by-laws. You can often see them around Town providing education, conducting inspections, responding to complaints, issuing warnings, or applying penalties.

To report an issue or a violation of one or more of our by-laws, you can report the problem online now, or contact the following By-Law Officers:

Below are some common questions or topics related to building matters.

Programs and Services for Tenants and Landlords

Minimum Housing Standards

Our pdf Minimum Housing By-Law (222 KB)  is used to protect the right of Town residents to have a suitable standard of living. It can also be used to protect the standards of Town buildings for property owners or landlords who may have tenants or occupants that are causing a dwelling to not meet the Town’s minimum housing standards. All housing within the Town must have:

Where there is a conflict with the provision of another By-law in force within the Town of Yarmouth, the provision that establishes the higher standards to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public shall prevail.

If you have any questions please contact 902-742-1505 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also fill out and return a PDF complaint form here.

Dangerous or Unsightly Premises

The Town of Yarmouth enforces the requirements of Section 15 of the Municipal Government Act of Nova Scotia. The Act requires that "every property in a municipality shall be maintained so as not to be dangerous or unsightly."

"dangerous or unsightly" means partly demolished, decayed, deteriorated or in a state of disrepair so as to be dangerous, unsightly or unhealthy, and includes property containing:

Please fill out and return the Complaint Form for complaints related to minimum housing standards and/or dangerous/unsightly premises, use the Report a Problem online application, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Vacant Buildings

Vacating a building in Yarmouth isn't as simple as just boarding up the doors and windows. As a property owner, you're responsible for following a set of guidelines to ensure said property adheres to certain safety and aesthetic standards.

If you plan to board up a property for longer than seven days, you'll first need to obtain a permit from the By-Law Enforcement Officer. Any such permit is valid for a maximum of one year from the date issued and said permit comes with the expectation that you will use, to the satisfaction of the town, a proper panel-type material to secure all openings to the building. The remainder of the building must be maintained so as to not become dangerous or unsightly.

Any property owner who fails to meet these guidelines gives the Town the right to enter the premises and carry out any work necessary to bring the building up to code. The Town may charge owners for any work carried out.

You can read more about the Town's vacant building policies by browsing the pdf Vacant Buildings By-Law (204 KB) .

Fire Inspections

The Town of Yarmouth employs a municipal fire inspector as required by the Fire Safety Act of Nova Scotia. The inspector carries out a system of inspections on the following occupancies:

  1. Assembly occupancies (churches, community halls, licensed establishments, restaurants, theatres, bowling alleys, arenas, rinks, gymnasiums, museums, indoor pools).
  2. Residential occupancies containing four (4) or more dwelling units (apartments, motels, hotels).
  3. Business and personal service occupancies (offices, banks, and service shops).
  4. Mercantile occupancies (stores, markets, and retail outlets).
  5. Industrial occupancies ( workshops, factories, warehouses, repair garages, gas stations).

The inspector is responsible to ensure compliance with the National Fire Code of Canada and is available to provide information on fire safety and fire emergency planning.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions or concerns.

Fire Safety Planning

The National Fire Code of Canada requires that certain buildings shall develop and maintain a Fire Safety Plan. To assist owners/occupants in the development and/or maintenance of these plans, the Office of the Fire Inspector for the Town of Yarmouth has made available a Fire Safety Planning Guide. Building owners/occupants are encouraged to use this guide as a template to prepare or enhance their plans so that they meet the requirements of the Fire Code.

The following occupancies are required to have a formal fire safety plan:

  1. Assembly occupancies (any building in which persons gather including restaurants, halls, gymnasiums, libraries, churches, clubs, bowling alleys);
  2. Every building is required to have a fire alarm system including sprinklered buildings;
  3. Areas used for bulk storage;
  4. Areas where flammable or combustible liquids are stored or handled;
  5. Areas where hazardous processes or operations occur.

If your building falls within one of the categories listed above, you are required to have a fire safety plan. For more information or to obtain a hard copy of our fire safety planning guide, please call, visit, or email the Fire Inspector at: Fire Services Department, 221 Pleasant Street, Yarmouth Tel: 902-740-5706 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The town of Yarmouth does not make any warranties or representations with respect to the content, quality, accuracy or completeness of any information or material contained in the Fire Safety Guide Template. The town of Yarmouth assumes no legal liability for the content, quality, accuracy, or completeness of the Fire Safety Guide Template. In no event will the Town of Yarmouth be liable for any damages, whether direct, indirect general, consequential, incidental, exemplary or special, arising from the use of this template.