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Vancouver councillors want end to ‘no pets’ policy in rental agreements

Last Updated Oct 6, 2020 at 10:26 am PDT


According to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Branch landlords have the right to prohibit pets

In Ontario rental agreements banning pets are not allowed

VANCOUVER (CityNews) — If you’re a dog or cat owner in Vancouver you know there are fewer rental options available for people with pets, but the City of Vancouver’s Renters’ Advisory Committee wants that to change.

Vancouver councillors Pete Fry and Jean Swanson are putting forward a motion on behalf of the committee Tuesday asking the mayor to push the province to end the no pets clause in rental contracts.

“Anyone who is responsible for another life, can probably be responsible with an apartment,” Fry says.

According to B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch landlords have the right to prohibit pets, and the right to restrict the size, kind, and number of animals.

“I think what’s missing in the no pet clause is  evidence-based decision making,”

“You can’t just assume a certain type of tenant is going to be bad.”

Fry points out clauses banning pets aren’t allowed in Ontario.

“It doesn’t assume pets are going to cause damages, and that’s the big disconnect here.”

You have an opportunity to tell Vancouver City Council how important pets are to people's housing! Tomorrow, October…

Posted by Pets OK BC on Monday, October 5, 2020

In an email to CityNews, the CEO of Landlord BC said he does not have any comment on the motion at this time.

But Jon Stovell with Reliance Properties says he opposes it.

“Landlords know people have pets, a lot of pet owners are good tenants, but lots are irresponsible. So this is ill advised. A lot of landlords will say no pets, but if you talk to them, they’ll end up allowing pets,” he says.

“You don’t have a right to live anywhere just because you have a pet. They can infringe on the rights of others, in an older building, if the person next door is allergic to animals or afraid of animals.”

According to apartment hunting website PadMapper, there are more than 2,700 rentals available in Vancouver. Of those just under 300 specify that they allow cats or dogs.

The BC SPCA and the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association are in favor of the motion, noting that that no pet policies often leads to surrendered animals.

“Each year, about one quarter of dogs and cats coming into our custody, is because the owner has trouble finding pet friendly housing. This is a big problem,” says Marcie Moriarty with the BC SPCA.

“We get cats back, from people who can’t find suitable housing, and people call in asking us to take their cats due to unsuitable housing,” adds Maria Soroski with the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association.

No ban on pets motion