Finding a pet friendly rental can be difficult. Even landlords that are friendly to animals in their own home may place restrictions on pets such as by type, size, or temperament. Based on where you live, the no pets clause may not be legally binding, or, it may enough to get you evicted if you break it. It’s always a good idea to make sure landlords are on board with pets, especially if you live in close quarters with them or with other tenants, but what if they aren’t? The recourse and laws vary by province:
Alberta Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to someone with pets. Pets could lead to an eviction if there is a no pets clause in the agreement, as this would be considered a breach of contract. Size and number of pets can also be restricted in the agreement. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
British Columbia Rentals: Landlords can bar you from keeping pets, as well as place restrictions on the sizes permitted, what type of pets, and the number of pets you can keep. However, there have been cases where the pets clause was too broad, and found not to be enforceable. If the clause is so vague that even keeping a single fish in a bowl would be a violation, it may not be binding. Source & more information at the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Branch Website and Fact Sheet.
Manitoba Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to those with pets, and no pets clauses are binding. Landlords must issue a breach of tenancy agreement notice requiring that the pet be re-homed before an eviction notice is sent to a tenant. If a pet is damaging the property or disturbing the other tenants, that is also grounds for eviction. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
New Brunswick Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to people with pets, and if there is a no pets clause, they could be evicted, but infractions are dealt with on a case by case basis. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
Newfoundland Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to people with pets. If pets are permitted by the tenancy agreement, or not mentioned specifically, the apartment is pet friendly. If the rental agreement states that pets are not allowed, the landlord can give the tenant written notice to comply with the agreement, and if they do not, they could be evicted.
Nova Scotia Rentals: Landlords can restrict pets if they are included in the landlord’s rules (which must be reasonable and for the purpose of fairness, safety, comfort, welfare, or protection of property). The rules must apply equally to all tenants, and all must be given a copy of the rules prior to signing the lease. If the landlord wants to introduce restrictions, they must give 4 months notice to existing tenants prior to their signing of a new lease. If these requirements are met, the landlord can seek to terminate the tenancy of the residents if they have pets. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
Ontario Rentals: No pets clauses are not considered legally binding, except in select cases. Even if you have signed a lease with a clause specifying that no pets are allowed, you can only be evicted due to having a pet if your pet is dangerous, or causing allergic reactions or problems for other tenants or the landlord, which requires a written order from the Landlord and Tenant Board to result in action being taken against a tenant. Source & more information at OntarioTenants.ca
Prince Edward Island Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets, and may include a “no pets” clause in the lease, which can lead to termination of the rental agreement if breached, but this does not apply to tenants who pre-date the agreement. Only new tenants will be subject to an introduced no pets agreement, not those who have been living there before it was introduced. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
Quebec Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets. If pets are not mentioned in the lease, they are allowed, provided that they are not prohibited by the by-laws of the building or residence in question, as the by-laws are considered part of the lease. If a tenant has a pet in spite of them not being allowed, they can be evicted, if the landlord can demonstrate that they cause a serious injury. The landlord also has the option to apply for a court order requiring the tenant to get rid of the pet. Source & more information at the CMHC website.
Saskatchewan Rentals: Landlords can refuse to rent to a tenant with pets. If pets are permitted in the tenancy agreement or not mentioned, the rental can be considered pet friendly. If a tenant has pets despite not being permitted to as per the terms of the lease, they must be given a fair warning to rehome the pet, but if they do not, they may be evicted. A reasonable pet fee of pet deposit may be charged, but it must be specified in the lease, however, the total security deposit, including a pet deposit, cannot exceed the price of one month’s rent; if it does, any portion of the fee above the mark of one month’s rent is immediately refundable to the tenant, and can be deducted from regular rent payments. Sources & more information at The Government of Saskatchewan Website and the CMHC.