Renting with a pet: Know your rights

Renting with a pet: Know your rights

Finding an apartment when you live with a companion animal isn’t always easy. Steer clear of unhappy circumstances by being aware of the rules and regulations.

May 14, 2020

Are you looking for a new place to live? Did you know that building owners have the right to refuse companion animals? A landlord is also entitled to refuse specific types of animals, while allowing others. If this is the case, it will be mentioned in your lease or in the building’s regulations. So be sure to find out before you sign on the dotted line!

The obligations of the companion animal owner
You’ve finally found your dream home and the owner accepts pets? Congratulations! But don’t overlook your side of the bargain. You have obligations to ensure a harmonious co-existence with your neighbours.

For example, your landlord may accept animals, but that doesn’t give you the green light to have 10 cats! This could be considered a breach of your agreement—an “unreasonable” situation with unfortunate consequences.

An apartment building is a communal environment which must be pleasant for all residents. Your animal must not disturb your neighbours’—or your building’s—peace and quiet. If your dog tends to bark, trample outdoor plants or jump at neighbours, use a leash and consider training to improve their behaviour. And, should your dog damage a neighbour’s property, be aware that you will be responsible for the cost of replacing it.


Lastly, as a renter you are responsible for the cleanliness of your apartment and ensuring that your neighbours are never disturbed by your dog’s odour.

If you do not respect your responsibilities, or your lease, your landlord is entitled to demand rectification … or the departure of your companion animal. Be sure to cooperate fully and ensure that your animal is never a nuisance!

Your landlord’s obligations
Is a neighbour’s pet causing you strife? It’s always best to start by talking to your neighbour. If the situation persists, speak to your landlord, who will be responsible for settling the situation. If, within a reasonable delay, your landlord does not act, by law you can send a written notice requesting compensation. But—of course!—before taking this route try to reach a solution with the owner of the companion animal.

Good luck with the move!


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