What Is the Law About Having a Dog In An Apartment?

Generally, a Tenant Is Allowed to Have Pets. If An Apartment Is Governed By the Registered Tenancies Act, 2006, Then a Tenant Is Permitted to Have Pets Subject to Very Few Exceptions. Also, Do Note That a Landlord Is Allowed to Ask About Pets.

Notice to Evict for renovations document

When a lease contains a clause disallowing pets, such a clause is unlawful and void as being against section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O.  2006, Chapter 17 (the "RTA"), whereas such explicitly states that a landlord is unable to ban pets; accordingly, and such applies despite any agreement by the tenant, a 'pet ban' clause is unlawful and therefore unenforceable. The RTA very clearly states:

“No pet” Provisions Void

14 A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.

Exceptions

However, and regardless of the s. 14 provision within the RTA voiding a pet ban, exceptions are possible in a few specific situations. The possible exceptions that may be available that would allow for a valid pet ban are provided in s. 76 of the RTA which says:

76 (1) If an application based on a notice of termination under section 64, 65 or 66 is grounded on the presence, control or behaviour of an animal in or about the residential complex, the Board shall not make an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant without being satisfied that the tenant is keeping an animal and that,

(a) subject to subsection (2), the past behaviour of an animal of that species has substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex for all usual purposes by the landlord or other tenants;

(b) subject to subsection (3), the presence of an animal of that species has caused the landlord or another tenant to suffer a serious allergic reaction; or

(c) the presence of an animal of that species or breed is inherently dangerous to the safety of the landlord or the other tenants.

Per these exceptions, where it may be shown that a pet is damaging property, genuinely posing a safety risk, unreasonably disrupting or interfering with the peaceful living of others, a pet may be banned. It is also possible that a municipal bylaw, or mandate of another applicable level of government, will restrict rights regarding pets or perhaps pets of a certain breed. Furthermore, if a tenant resides in a unit that is part of a condominium corporation, and the condominium corporation bylaws or proper and formal rules ban pet ownership as prescribed within the applicable Condominium Declarations a pet ban may be valid.

Summary Comment

Generally, where a tenancy is governed by the RTA and a lease clause purports as a pet ban, such a clause is void and unenforceable. Some exceptions do exist. The possible exceptions include specific situations where a pet is shown as posing a safety risks such as a demonstrably dangerous dog, or where the pet is shown as substantially disruptive to others due to prolonged excessive barking or other interference to the living conditions and reasonable enjoyment of others. Allergy issues may also be a genuine concern. To obtain an Order granting an exception, a landlord must apply to the Landlord Tenant Board.

McNab Litigation Services provides Landlord Tenant Board services for clients located in and near Pickering, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Toronto, as well as various other locations!

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