Renting To Pet-Owners: Provincial Laws You Need To Know

Provincial Laws On Renting To Pet-Owners

Each provincial Residential Tenancy Act sets out the rules and regulations governing residential renting for landlords and tenants. The rights of landlords regarding renting to pet owners differ across Canada.

Renting To Tenants With Pets: Regulations By Province

Landlords may include a “no pet” clause and refuse to rent to pet owners. British Columbia allows landlords to prohibit or restrict the size, kind, or number of pets they allow a tenant to have on the residential property.

Landlords may require an additional refundable pet deposit for tenants who own pets. The landlord can ask for a pet deposit, provided that the amount, including any other security deposits, does not exceed ½ of one month’s rent. Service animals cannot require a pet deposit.

Terms respecting pets and pet damage deposits

18   (1) A tenancy agreement may include terms or conditions doing either or both of the following:

  • prohibiting pets, or restricting the size, kind or number of pets a tenant may keep on the residential property;
  • governing a tenant’s obligations in respect of keeping a pet on the residential property.

(2) If, after January 1, 2004, a landlord permits a tenant to keep a pet on the residential property, the landlord may require the tenant to pay a pet damage deposit in accordance with sections 19 [limits on amount of deposits] and 20 [landlord prohibitions respecting deposits].

(3)This section is subject to the Guide Dog and Service Dog Act.

In Alberta, landlords can enforce “no pet” clauses and refuse to rent to pet owners if included in the lease agreement. They also have the right to decide what kinds of pets, size, breeds and number of allowed pets.

Pet deposits and fees are allowed. Any pet fees should be a reasonable amount. Any refundable pet deposit amount plus the security deposit amount must not exceed one month’s rent.

No fees or deposits can be imposed on service animals in Alberta. Landlords who discriminate against an applicant with a service dog can be found guilty of an offence under the Service Dogs Act and the Blind Persons’ Act and can be fined up to $3,000.

If a tenant commits a substantial breach, the landlord can apply to the RTDRS or Court to end the tenancy or give the tenant at least 14-days’ notice to end the tenancy. A tenant must receive the notice at least 14 clear days before the tenancy ends.

Landlords in Saskatchewan can refuse rent to pet owners and include “no pet” clauses in their lease agreements. Pets are otherwise welcomed if not stated.

If the landlord allows pets, they can legally request additional charges to the tenants. Landlords can request a one-time pet fee or a monthly fee, or both, which are all non-refundable. A landlord can also require a refundable pet deposit, yet the amount must not exceed one month’s rent, including other security damage deposits. For service animals, these fees cannot be charged.

In Manitoba, landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets and enforce “no pet” provisions with eviction, provided they give written notice. Landlords can also set general guidelines on the kinds of pets allowed.

Landlords can request a pet deposit for tenants who own pets. A pet deposit cannot exceed one month’s rent in addition to other security deposits. Treated like a damage deposit, the landlord may claim the deposit for any damage or cleaning cost caused by the pet.

Pet damage deposit

29.1(1) A landlord who gives a tenant permission to have a pet in a rental unit on or after June 30, 2010, may require a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit.

Transitional — deposit not more than 1/2 of one month’s rent

29.1(2.1) If, during the period from June 30, 2010, to the day immediately before this subsection comes into force, a landlord required a tenant to pay a pet damage deposit, the deposit must not be more than the equivalent of 1/2 of one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement.

You can find pet deposit requirements for Manitoba here: https://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/r119e.php#29.1(4) 

No landlord can request a security pet deposit for a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code.

Exception — service animals

29.1(3) A landlord shall not require a tenant who relies on a service animal as defined in The Human Rights Code to pay a pet damage deposit in respect of that animal.

Ontario landlords are legally allowed to refuse to rent to pet owners. Yet once the rental agreement is signed, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for owning a pet.

The Residential Tenancy Act includes a provision stating that all conditions in a tenancy agreement that prohibit the presence of animals in or about the residential complex are void (2006, c. 17 s. 14). This is provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants or is a breed that is deemed to be inherently dangerous.

“No pet” provisions void

14 A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.  2006, c. 17, s. 14.

It is illegal for a landlord to ask for a pet deposit in Ontario. However, the landlord can accept the deposit if a tenant offers and cannot exceed one month’s rent. Since service animals are not considered pets, any additional fees or requirements do not apply.

Landlords have options to issue eviction notices if the tenants’ pets are causing reasonable damages and nuisances. Suppose the tenant’s dog caused extensive damage to rugs by defecating and urinating. Landlords can serve an N5 based on damages if they provide details of the damages and at least two estimates for the repairs. The tenant will have seven days to rectify the damages by paying the amount required or fixing the damages themselves. If not resolved, the landlord can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Quebec landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets or implement restrictions on what pets are allowed. If there is any failure to respect provisions in the lease, landlords may apply to the Administrative Housing Tribunal for an order to cancel the lease.

Quebec has no official policy in place regarding pet deposits. No additional fees or pet deposits can be charged for service animals.

In New Brunswick, landlords may refuse tenants based on owning pets and enforce “no pet” restrictions, leading to eviction. Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants with service animals or charge additional fees.

Landlords are not permitted an additional deposit for pets.

In Nova Scotia, landlords have the right to include pet restriction clauses in the leases. 

Under The Service Dog Act, discriminating against a person who requires a service dog can get a fine of up to $3,000.

It is illegal for a landlord to charge an additional pet deposit.

Landlords in P.E.I. may enforce a “no pet” clause or implement restrictions on the type or size of pet allowed. Landlords cannot refuse to rent to applicants who require a service animal.

Pet deposits are illegal for a landlord to request.

Landlords may refuse to rent to tenants with pets and include “no pet” clauses in the lease agreement.

Landlords cannot discriminate against applicants who require service animals or charge additional fees or deposits. 

It is illegal for landlords in Newfoundland and Labrador to charge a pet deposit.

The Landlord and Tenant Act for the Yukon does not cover this particular issue. Yukon landlords cannot discriminate against people with disabilities that require a service animal.

Landlords can enforce “no pet” policies. A landlord cannot refuse rent to applicants who have a service animal.

A pet deposit can be charged, and the amount cannot exceed 50% of one month’s rent.

Landlords may refuse to rent to pets and enforce “no pet” clauses for private rentals. Landlords cannot discriminate against those with disabilities requiring a service animal.

The Residential Tenancy Act does not cover pet deposits, but security damage deposits can not exceed one month’s rent.

Exceptions in Canada

Nationwide, condominiums have their own by-laws and policies in place. It may not be up to the landlord to make the decision regarding having pets on the property. Ensure you read all rules and regulations regarding pet ownership at your condominium.

Renting to tenants with dogs in British Columbia is vastly different from renting to pets in Ontario, and landlords should review the rules and regulations that apply to them. Balancing these rules with the benefits of renting to pets (LINK: to other pet article above) will enable landlords to make informed decisions on renting to pets across Canada.

Always Screen Tenants With Pets

Our tenant pre-screenings with credit and background checks allow tenants to provide landlords with descriptions and photos of their pets. Order your Tenant Report today to learn more about who is moving into your rental.