Many landlords are increasingly refusing tenants with pets fearing that they will do multiple damage to their dwelling.

As a landlord, what does the law say? Can you refuse pets in your rental? How to protect your property from damages that pets can cause?  

Public opinion

Based on a survey led by Angus reid institute, 63 % of the population thinks that landlords should be able to refuse to rent their properties to pet owners. Concerning the 37% left, from people who think that a landlord should not be able to refuse to rent to pet owners, 43% were from Quebec and 39% from Ontario. 

In big cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, the results are approximately the same with a majority of people who think landlords should be able to accept or refuse pets in their dwellings. 

In general, people are in favor of landlords and mainly think that Landlords should be able to choose whether they accept pets or not. 

Different laws depending on the Canadian provinces

  • In Alberta : 

In Alberta, as a landlord, you can choose if you accept pets in your rental. If not, it should be written on the lease agreement signed by both parties.

Pet fee : To avoid damages caused by pets, you can ask your tenant for a pet fee to cover the damages that can occur. It can be refundable as a deposit. But it can also be a non-refundable fee as if another person lives in the rental. 

  • In British Columbia : 

As in Alberta, you can choose if you accept pets in your rental. If not, it has to be written on the lease agreement. 

Pet damages deposit: To prevent your rental from pet damages, you can ask your tenant for a “pet damage deposit”. This cannot exceed half of the amount of a month’s rent and it can be used only to cover the expenses to fix the damage caused by pets. Learn more about what type of deposit you can ask here

  • In Ontario : 

 First, you should know that Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act does not allow landlords to forbid pets in rental agreements. The only exception is if the property is a condominium and the corporation’s declaration prohibits pets. 

However, a landlord has the right to refuse to rent to a person who has pets. If the landlord was unaware that his tenant has pets or if the pet was adopted after the tenant moved in, the landlords have no right to evict the tenant. 

A tenant can only be evicted if a pet makes too much noise, damages the unit, causes an allergic reaction to others, or if considered to be inherently dangerous. 

  • In Quebec : 

As in Alberta and British Columbia, you can choose if you accept pets or not in your rental unit. If not, it has to be written on the lease agreement. 

In all of Canada, please note that guide and service dogs are not considered as pets. They are useful and essential to the well-being of their owners. They should never be refused by a landlord and you cannot ask their owner for a deposit or any fees. 

Methods to avoid pets damages 

  • Check his pets résumé

An Ontarian company launched a revolutionary tool to introduce your pet to your future landlord. 

The aim is for pet owners to be able to provide potential landlords with a trustworthy record of their pet’s good behavior and cleanliness. 

The tenant has to complete the résumé of the pet with a picture, the pet information (age, breed, weight, if he is sprayed or not), the behavior of the dog, health conditions etc …

  • Insure yourself!

A clause in a lease agreement or a screening tool would not prevent your house effectively from pet damages. 

Some tenants would just break the lease agreement and some will just be unexpected damages even if the pet seems to be friendly. 

The most effective solution is to get insurance in order to be covered if any damages happen. 

We, at APRIL Canada, believe that pets are family but nobody is immune from an accident. That’s why we offer an insurance that covers you, as a landlord, from damages caused by pets*. 

*up to 500$ if the pet is specified on the lease agreement. 

Now you know everything about the law concerning pets in rental! 
You have the right to choose if you want to accept pets in your rental but you should know that pet damages could happen at any time even if you have a specific clause in the lease agreement. 
If anything happen to your unit, we are here to protect you! 

Why I should insure my rental place?