Understanding Pet Policies For Rental Properties In Ontario

Understanding Pet Policies For Rental Properties In Ontario

Are you a pet lover living in Ontario? Have you faced challenges finding a rental property that allows pets? If so, you’re not alone. Many tenants in Ontario need help finding suitable accommodations that are pet-friendly. Whether you already have a furry companion or are considering getting one, it’s essential to understand the pet policies for rental properties in Ontario. 

In this article, we will explore the common questions renters have, such as whether landlords can say no to pets in Ontario and whether landlords can evict tenants for having pets.  

By understanding your rights and responsibilities as a pet owner, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the rental market and find a welcoming home for you and your four-legged friend. 

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    Can a Landlord Say No Pets in Ontario?

    A landlord can post or advertise the vacant property, stating that tenants with no pets are preferred. This is legal in Ontario.  

    According to the Residential Tenancies Act (2006, c. 17 s. 14) of Ontario, ‘NO PETS’ clauses in a lease agreement are not valid, but the landlord or the property manager is allowed to know whether a tenant has pets or not.   

    Section 14 of The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) states the following : 

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

    However, a landlord can reject your rental application if you have pets. There are no legal policies regarding pet ownership, and it is not a human right. However, some exceptions exist for people with disabilities who need a service animal. 

    For condominiums, the owner corporation can declare that no pets are allowed and can reject an application or evict a tenant for violating the terms. The regulations are governed by the Condominium Act of Ontario. 

    Benefits of Pet-Friendly Rental Properties in Ontario

    Pet-friendly rental properties offer various benefits for both landlords and tenants, such as: 

    • Attracting a larger pool of tenants 
    • Increased tenant satisfaction and retention 
    • Potential for higher rental income 


    By allowing pets, landlords can attract a larger pool of potential tenants, including responsible pet owners who may be willing to pay higher rents or stay longer.  

    Increased tenant satisfaction and retention are also expected outcomes of pet-friendly policies, as tenants with pets are often more loyal and committed to properties that accommodate their furry companions. 

    Can I Have a Pet if the Landlord Says No in Ontario?

    The landlord can say no to a potential tenant with pets before signing the lease agreement. However, you can bring a pet after your tenancy starts, and a landlord cannot evict you according to Section 14 of The Residential Tenancies Act.  

    Hiding Pets and Transparency in Ontario

    It is better to be transparent to a landlord about owning a pet. Hiding it before signing the lease agreement and bringing it afterwards might cause trouble in the future. Such incidents do make a bad impression. 

    Suppose you have to shift elsewhere, and the future landlord does a tenant reference check. The ex-landlord will undoubtedly bring up this issue to the future landlord. 

    Are Pet Deposits Legal In Ontario?

    In Ontario, landlords are not allowed legally to take pet deposits from tenants. Pet deposits cover the potential cost of owning a pet in a rental unit.  

    However, some landlords can ask for a pet deposit. Upon good terms and mutual consent, a tenant might offer to pay this deposit. The amount cannot exceed one month’s rent. Please get a receipt for any deposits you make. Pet deposits are not applicable for service animals. 

    Pet Ownership and Eviction Concerns in Ontario

    A landlord cannot evict a tenant for simply having pets. However, if the pet poses any threat, causes disturbance to other tenants or damages the rental unit, the landlord can evict the tenant. 

    People who are allergic to pets are usually the ones who complain. For such issues, the pet owner has to find a solution so that their neighbor is not affected or disturbed. Landlords can evict tenants if they find the pet dangerous, disturb neighbors, or damage property. A landlord must notify the pet-owner tenant about the issue and give the tenant a chance to rectify it. 

    If there is any damage done to the rental unit by the pet, the tenant should take the initiative to fix the damage. The tenant can keep the pet indoors or take measures if the pet is disturbing the neighbors.  

    If the neighbor (s) are allergic to the pet (s), the tenant should maintain the pet(s) fur, and special consideration should be given to prevent contamination of the common laundry machine. 

    If situations do arise where the landlords have to evict the tenant, the landlord has to obtain an order from Ontario’s Landlord and Tenants Board (LTB) of Ontario. 

    Landlords should clearly outline the consequences for violating pet policies in the lease agreement and follow legal procedures for addressing any breaches of the pet policies, including eviction if necessary. 

    Legality of Refusing Emotional Support Pets

    Landlords in Ontario cannot refuse accommodation to tenants with disabilities who require emotional support animals, as doing so would constitute discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.  

    Emotional support animals (ESAs) help individuals with mental health disabilities. However, landlords may doubtfully accommodate ESAs for various reasons, including property damage and allergies. 

    The Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in housing. It requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, including allowing them to keep emotional support animals. 

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    Understanding pet policies for rental properties in Ontario is essential for tenants to find new homes with furry companions. By familiarizing themselves with lease agreements, embracing responsible pet ownership practices, and respecting community guidelines, tenants can find rental properties with confidence and integrity. 

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Understanding pet policies for rental properties in Ontario

    Yes, some landlords may impose breed restrictions based on factors such as size, temperament, and insurance considerations. Tenants should inquire about breed-specific policies before committing to a rental property. 

    Many landlords in Ontario require pet deposits or additional fees to cover potential damages or cleaning costs associated with pets. Although pet deposits are illegal, these financial provisions vary among rental properties and should be clear during lease negotiations. 

    It is up to the landlord's preference. According to the Residential Tenancies Act (2006, c. 17 s. 14) of Ontario, ‘NO PETS’ clauses in a lease agreement are not valid, but the landlord or the property manager is allowed to know whether a tenant has pets or not.  

    Tenants should maintain open communication with landlords regarding any pet-related concerns or issues that may arise during the tenancy. Promptly addressing and resolving these matters can help foster positive landlord-tenant relationships. 

    Emotional support animals may be exempt from specific pet policies under the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, tenants must provide appropriate documentation and adhere to relevant guidelines to qualify for such accommodations. 

    Tenants who believe they are subject to unreasonable pet policies may consult with the Landlord and Tenant Board. However, the outcome of such appeals may vary depending on the specific circumstances and relevant regulations. 

    Tenants whose request for an emotional support animal accommodation is denied may file a complaint with the relevant housing authority or pursue legal action under the Fair Housing Act. 

    Landlords may request documentation from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a licensed therapist or psychiatrist, confirming the tenant's need for an emotional support animal. However, they cannot require specific forms or certifications. 

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