Posts Tagged ‘pets’

BC Landlords And Tenants – Pets

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Do you allow pets into your rentals? If so, why?  If not, why not?  It’s a very hot topic these days for BC landlords.

There is a very interesting article on this subject comparing the rule here compared to other provinces.  For example, things are very different in Ontario:

Although the Ontario Landlords Association occasionally hears from members that noisy dogs have caused other tenants to move out, or that pet snakes have worried parents of toddlers, or that carpets have been damaged by cat urine, the association takes no issue with the legal provision that makes no-pet clauses unenforceable. 

“Many of our members used to rent and had pets, so pet damages are their only worry and a pet deposit would quash any concerns over damages,” Amy Wong, a volunteer with the Ontario Landlords Association, said: “We have asked for this in Ontario but don’t have it. If BC has a pet deposit, they shouldn’t have any major concerns in most cases.”

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BC Tenants Speak Out: We Need To Make “No Pets” Clauses Illegal in British Columbia!

Monday, February 10th, 2020

BC landlords Pets Ok BC

Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the BC Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the BC rental industry. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at

BC Tenants Speak Out:  We Need To Make  “No Pets” Clauses Illegal in British Columbia!

I’m very happy to have a way to express my opinions as a Tenant in Alberta. Call me Ms. T, I’m a Tenant in Alberta. I moved here about five years ago to find a good job and lay down roots here. It’s been okay. I dislike the total lack of respect for the environment, total lack of animal rights, and a feeling that women are second class citizens. But overall my job is pretty good and the taxes are low. The biggest problem has been dealing with so many rotten landlords.

1.British Columbia is a diverse province full of parks, beaches and trails that are perfect for a day outside exploring with your dog. It also has many exciting off-leash dog parks and doggy beaches! Once you’re done exploring, return to your pet-friendly lodging for some relaxation with the pooch. Pets can stay in guest rooms with their families, but travellers should note that they usually cannot be left unattended in rooms. Pet-friendly accommodations in British Columbia include secluded cabins in the woods, luxurious waterfront cottages, family and budget-friendly motels, upscale hotels and resorts, and much more… and the whole family is welcome – pets included!

2.Pets OK BC is an initiative created by a broad coalition of citizens and nonprofit organizations from across British Columbia. Our primary goal is to strike down laws in BC that allow property owners to impose unfair “no pets” policies on tenants in rental housing, and that allow Strata Corporations to impose pet restrictions on owners of Strata properties.

The specifics: we are urging the government to repeal and replace Sections 18 (1) (2) and (3) of the Residential Tenancy Act [S.B.C. 2002, c.78], Sections 18 (1) and (2) of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act [S.B.C. 2002, c.77], Section 123 (1) of the Strata Property Act [S.B.C. 1998, c. 43], and repeal Section 3(4) of the Schedule of Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act [S.B.C. 1998, c. 43]. Doing so would allow tenants (and in some cases, owners) of all of these types of properties to keep pets in their homes.

Under the current versions of these laws, many tenants and property owners with pets across the Province are subjected to blanket “no pets” policies and bylaws. These indiscriminate rules are based on common misconceptions about the law, about relationships between human and nonhuman companion animals, and/or about the data on tenancies, property, insurance, and the business of property management. Please see our FAQ page for more information about these misconceptions.

BC has a  glaring lack of availability of pet friendly housing, amidst historically low vacancy rates overall.  Because “no pets” policies can be imposed with impunity in rental agreements and strata bylaws across the province, many families, senior citizens, persons living with disabilities, and other individuals are forced to part with their nonhuman companions with alarming regularity. According to the BC SPCA, 1,774 animals were surrendered to their shelters because of “no pets” restrictions in 2016. That’s 5 per day, on average, and the number rises each year. And, that doesn’t include the hundreds of animals surrendered annually to the many other rescue organizations across BC.

The moral and legal precedent for this initiative is clear. In other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world, modern laws that prevent unreasonable “no pets” policies have been drafted, adopted, and proven to work, for decades. Ontario abolished “no pets” policies in rental housing in 1990. The world hasn’t ended in Ontario. Landlords in Ontario can still have pets who cause problems removed from their properties (for instance, if the pet is “making too much noise, damaging the unit, causing an allergic reaction to others, or is considered to be inherently dangerous”). This is a much fairer system than the one we have in BC, where “no pets” policies can be applied indiscriminately, which can result in unfair evictions and/or pet surrender to our overburdened animal shelters. We are long overdue for this change.

And people in BC want this change to happen, overwhelmingly. According to a poll commissioned by the BC SPCA in 2002 (McIntyre & Mustel), a majority of British Columbians agree with us that unreasonable “no pets” policies should be abolished.

We launched an online petition in 2015, which received over 14,000 verified signatures from BC residents in a few short months. On the strength of this confirmed mandate (and in part because the BC Legislature does not accept electronic petitions), we have pushed ahead to launch a formal petition to the BC Legislature to introduce these needed changes. We are also putting pressure on MLAs of all political stripes to assure their constituents that they support this initiative and will act on it. Given that housing accessibility and animal rights and welfare were both pivotal election issues in 2017, and given the massive outpouring of support we’ve seen for our campaign in recent months, it’s clear this is something our future representatives in Victoria can get behind. Some sitting MLAs have already extended support to this cause, and more politicians are expected to follow them soon.

3…………………..even Ontario landlords!

With low vacancy rates throughout British Columbia it’s important to encourage more people to become landlords. 

When more good people are motivated to invest their hard earned savings into creating secondary suites in their homes or buying an investment condo it helps tenants.  More landlords means more supply of high quality rental housing and gives tenants more options in finding a nice place to live.

We Need To Make  “No Pets” Clauses Illegal in British Columbia!

BC Landlords Want To Hear From BC Tenants – How Can We Improve The British Columbia Rental Industry?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

BC Landlords BC Tenants Win Win Campaign

Landlords and Tenants: Let’s Work Together To Improve the British Columbia Rental Industry

There has been a lot debate on the state of the BC rental industry recently. Everything from landlords dealing with serious damages to their rental properties and tenants who don’t pay rent and rent increases that are too low to tenants complaining about ‘renovictions‘ and the high cost of rent.

Because this our landlord members have come together to try to get past all the confusion and want to work with BC tenants to form solutions. The reality is good landlords are looking for good tenants and good tenants are looking for good landlords and high quality, affordable rental housing. So let’s make this happen! 

BC Tenants Let Your Voices Be Heard By Small BC Landlords

Many of the rental properties in our province are due to the investment of small investors who become small landlords. Some people call us “mom and pop” landlords but whatever you call us we are the stake holders who have invested our hard earned money into BC rental properties.

Many Small Landlords Were Renters Not That Long Ago

You won’t usually see this in the media, but the reality is many small landlords were renting ourselves not that long ago. We rented while studying at university or while looking for a job. So we know how important it is for landlords to offer high quality, afford housing from our first hand, personal experiences.

A Vancouver landlord wrote in:

“I invested in my condo and made sure it was exactly the type of place I always wanted to rent. I also want to make sure I’m the ideal landlord who is service oriented and caring. Did anyone see that silly movie a few years ago called “Hot Tub Time Machine”? Well if I could go back in time I would want to rent from me now.”

Let’s Get More People Investing and Creating High Quality Rentals

Good landlords know it’s important for us to have high quality, well-maintained properties that will attract good paying tenants. We also need to make sure we have fair rules that will lead more good people to invest.

A Surrey landlord explained her goals and why she became a landlord:

“As a small business owner I don’t have a pension. My rental property is to protect me and help me when I’m retired. Nothing nefarious here, only my investment property and my hope to keep finding good renters who appreciate me and respect the rental property.”

In What Ways Do BC Tenants Want to Improve the BC Rental Industry?

Help us help you by providing your thoughts and opinions on how we can improve the BC rental industry.

1. What are you looking for when choosing a rental property?

2. How important is it for you to be near public transportation?

3. Where is your “go to” place to look for a rental?

4. What qualities are you looking for in a landlord?

5. Do you have any thoughts or opinions on improving the BC rental industry?

Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at and let us know your answers to these questions or about anything else to improve the BC rental industry. We won’t edit or censor anything and are looking for your side of things.

British Columbia Landlords and Tenants Working Together For Success

Both landlords and tenants play an important role in the success of our province. Let’s work together to make things better and improve the BC rental industry for years to come.

BC Landlords – Should the Residential Tenancy Act be Changed To Allow Pets?

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

April 1st, 2013



According to a report in the Vancouver Observer, when Renée Stephen and her cat moved from Ontario to Vancouver in 2010 she came with huge aspirations.

However, she explained when she started rooting through the house listings on Craigslist she hit a problem. She found BC landlords didn’t seem to accept pets. There was next to nothing which was ‘cat friendly’ and those that were ‘cat friendly’ were of an incredibly poor quality. This was a stark difference to Ontario landlords where almost everything listed was able to accept cats.

Tenant Anthony Incardona suffered the same problem except he face it with his three year old dog. He found that only around 5% of the accommodation available in Vancouver was able to accept dogs.  He also found those places which did accept them were of a very poor quality.

So why is this?

Well, Vancouver has one of the lowest amount of vacancies available in Canada, which means that landlords can pretty much pick and choose who they want in their accommodation. It is bad enough for a normal renter to find accommodation, but when you throw pets into the mix it gets a great deal harder. Tenants complain the can scroll rental ads for hours every single day and still not come anywhere close to finding the right accommodation if you have a pet.

There may be a solution in the near future however, and that involves the BC Residential Tenancy Act Section 18 changing. This is the section of the legislation which allows Landlords in the area to exclude pets if they wish. A couple of years ago there was an attempt to change the legislation, but sadly there was too much support on the landlord front.

The problem is, many owners are actually finding accommodation that is completely pet free. Nowadays, one of the top reasons as to why pets are brought into shelters is because they can’t find the right accommodation, so they need to give up their pets. As a result, these animal shelters are pushed to overflow.

One of the main reasons as to why landlords exclude pets is to protect their properties, and nobody is disputing that they have the right to do that. This is why the SPCA has developed a toolkit which includes a pet policy so that the owner’s responsibility with their pets around is set in stone, which means there can be no arguments.

It was back in 2009 that Hollyburn Properties attempted to evict all of the pet owners after their latest rental acquisition. The main reason behind this was potential health risks that could be a result of animals in the building. Their policy still hasn’t changed since that time.

What many landlords need to realize is that families are looking to rent, who some see as the best tenants, and yet nowadays, the majority of families include pets.

Pet-friendly housing remains an issue here, but it isn’t in Ontario. In fact, tenants have a right to pets and there is nothing that landlords can do to prohibit them. All tenants are responsible for any damage caused to their unit by a pet.

The people in this story eventually managed to find accommodation for them and their pet, but it wasn’t plain sailing, and they certainly did not end up with the accommodation that they wanted.


BC Landlords What Do You Think? To Discuss This And Other Landlord Tenant Issues Welcome to the BC Landlord Forum

Tenant Activists Say “Stop Discrimination Against Pets!”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

October 9th, 2012


BC Activists Want to Follow the Failed Ontario System

According to Sharon Isaak British Columbia landlords need to follow the same system Ontario landlords do when it comes to pets and rental units.

What’s the Issue?

Isaak says over half of all people in Vancouver are renters.  In fact, in some areas the numbers are up to 80%.

She wants to change the laws to make it easier for renters to have pets in their rental property.

Weren’t the Laws Already Changed?

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

Here’s what Isaak says: about the laws which, “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.”

Why Are More Changed Needed?

Isaak says she’s seen several older tenants even forced to euthanize their pets in order to keep renting in their building.

What’s Her Proposed Solution?

However if you head out east, it’s illegal in Toronto to discriminate against a renter because they have a pet

Is that Working In Ontario?

No. The policy in Ontario has been a disaster.


In Ontario it’s legal for landlords to advertise “NO PETS” but it’s illegal to then enforce it!

Ontario Landlords Have to Put Up With These Rules?

Yes. Ontario landlords are often faced with neighboring tenants being allergic or not wanting dogs and cats in other rental units close to them. However, even though the new tenants claims “no pets” to the landlord, they bring them in after signing the lease.

That Isn’t What We Need In British Columbia

Exactly. The Ontario system for landlords and tenants is seriously broken.

What’s the Solution?


If there is an actual problem, following a system where Ontario landlords are taking to the social media Warning People Not To Become Landlords in Ontario will lead to fewer rental properties and less housing options for BC tenants.

Tenant Opinions: Landlords Shouldn’t Rule Out Smokers

Monday, August 13th, 2012

August 12th, 2012

Who Supports Smoking in this Day and Age?

A long term renter has written in with a defense of “tenant-smokers”.

What Does She Say?

She states that when she first starting looking for a rental in Victoria, BC she was “amazed at how often landlords post ads requiring tenants to be non-smokers and generally prohibiting pets, particularly dogs.”

She goes on to state she is a “moderate smoker” and enjoys the “company of my dog.”

Alright, But What Does This Have to Do with Rules From Landlords?

She states she is a professional who is employed in a stable job and her rent is always paid on time.

Alright, Why Does that Make her Special?

She continues by stating she doesn’t smoke in her apartment, although she could.  And her do is trained to do their business outside and not in the apartment.

Alright, That Isn’t Special, It’s Expected

She also states she is not only industrious and responsible, she is also a tax payer.

Aren’t We all Industrious and Responsible.  And We Pay Our Taxes.

The renter, Susie Harder, says she finds herself in a situation where her options are limited in finding a rental property in Victoria, BC.

She says just because a tenant doesn’t smoke or have pets doesn’t necessarily make them great tenants!

I Say Thanks For Your Advice, Susie

Landlords in Victoria also say “thanks” for her opinions and rent to people they want to rent to.