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

A Ban On Pets Is Generally Unlawful. A Lease Clause Purporting As a Pet Ban Is Void. However, In Very Specific Situations a Pet Ban May Be Legal.

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

As with most rules, there are exceptions.  In respect of where a landlord is, generally per s. 14 of the RTA, forbidden from banning a tenant from having pets, s. 76 of the RTA provides the exceptions whereas it is said:

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

A clause within a lease stating that a residential tenancy shall be without pets is void; however, there are exceptions whereas if the pet presents as a safety hazard or is substantially interfering in the reasonable enjoyment of others living within the residential complex, a landlord may apply to the Landlord Tenant Board for an Order that would, essentially, set aside the 'no pets' restriction and thereby ban a pet.

DK Legal Practice provides Landlord Tenant Board services for clients located in Oakville, Burlington, Toronto, Erin Mills, Waterdown, among other places!

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