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Advocates want to make it easier for pet owners to rent

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If you have a dog or cat and are a renter, there is no law in BC preventing your landlord from kicking you out because of your pet.

However if you head out east, it’s illegal in Toronto to discriminate against a renter because they have a pet and Sharon Isaak with Renters at Risk says we need to follow that lead.

She thinks the worst thing a landlord can do is make someone choose between their best friend and their home.

“Over 50 per cent of people in Vancouver are renters, and in some parts of the city 70 to 80 per cent of people rent. We need to stop treating renters as second class citizens and allow people to have pets in their homes,” stresses Isaak.

In 2003, the Residential Tenancy Act was adjusted to help those with pets find a home.

“[The laws] were changed to allow landlords to ask for a pet deposit to encourage them to allow pets, but what we’ve seen over the years, there’s been no more changes to encourage landlords to allow pets and that needs to change,” believes Isaak.

She’s seen seen several cases involving an elderly renter who has been forced to put their pet down in order to stay in their building, and wants to see the Residential Tenancy Act changed.