Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson proposes more pet-friendly rentals

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Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson plans to introduce a motion at a council meeting this month to bring comfort to tenants with pets. It resolves that “the City ask the Seniors Advisory Committee, the BC Apartment Owners and Managers Association, and the next Renters’ Roundtable to provide recommendations to Council on regulations that better enable tenants to keep pets in rental buildings”.

The province has authority to regulate in this area. Under the Residential Tenancy Act, landlords may prohibit pets or restrict the size of animals in rental housing.

The preamble to Stevenson’s motion notes that the Ontario government doesn’t allow landlords to ban pets. Instead, the Ontario legislation specifically states: “A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.”

Stevenson’s motion points out that the vacancy rate in Vancouver has averaged 0.9 percent over the past 30 years, making it difficult for tenants with pets to find housing in the city.

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Tyler

Jun 5, 2013 at 5:27pm

This legislation is long overdue.

Robercarter

Jun 5, 2013 at 6:29pm

Ridiculous ! Where are the people with athsma supposed to live ?! The west end is already full of pets. People. Please get a life.

liliana feldman

Jun 5, 2013 at 6:37pm

The size of dogs should not be restricted as it is presently the case in subsidized housing. I would like to have a Siberian Husky and was told that it,s too big. I would really appreciate a support in the matter.

Reality Check

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:14am

Is Councillor Stevenson planning a return to provincial politics? Because that's where rental legislation resides. Unless the City is planning to buy rental units and become the landlord, they have no control over telling someone who their tenant can be.

Bob

Jun 6, 2013 at 12:00pm

Can I start bringing my dog to restaurents, theatre, office, etc..?

There are many legitmate reasons for not allowing pet in a rental house such as:
1) damage from pet - what if the damage deposit does not cover the total repair cost? is the tenante obligated to pay?
2) allergy - enough said
3) landlord scare of dogs or cats - enough said
4) kids saftey - enough said
5) etc..

I understand the frustration but this is a choice. No one should be forced into anything...including the landlord for accepting pets.

Meghan Boswell

Jun 6, 2013 at 3:34pm

Montreal has passed this legislation, it is very successful and inclusive for all people (and animals). Having a pet in a rental building does not mean that non pet owners will suffer any consequences. People suffering from allergies and asthma (like myself) have trouble living in a building with carpet in general. Non carpeted apartments will not retain any dander from previous tenants.

Please open your minds and think for a second please about how positive this can be for the tenants as well as the landlords, there are direct benefits-- some are cited in the BC SPCA's website. http://www.spca.bc.ca/welfare/campaign-issues/pets-in-rental-housing.html

As far as bringing pets into restaurants, offices and theaters I would love this person to research it a little further. In Europe pets are welcome at restaurants, and many offices are allowing their employees to bring their dogs to work. Getting some love from your canine coworker during the day is a very helpful in breaking up your work day. Your furry co-worker will dictate break times and even much needed time away from your computer screen for quick bathroom breaks outside. Not to mention the stress relief that comes from a quick cuddle.

There is something to be said for living in harmony...

dexter mac

Jun 7, 2013 at 6:36am

another one of his stupid ideas..get a life tim and get a real job.quit wastingtax payers money.

Save Vancouver

Jun 7, 2013 at 7:31am

Congrats Councillor Stevenson, this will be a great way to remove thousands of affordable basement suites from the rental pool. Homeowners will love city hall telling them they'll have to accept a barking dog living below them.

Bob

Jun 7, 2013 at 8:35am

Meghan, I'll address your points one at time:

1) there are many kinds of allergies..including pet/fur allergies. just because you, yourself, can cope with living in a building with carpet doesn't mean you have to subject someone with pet/fur allergies to live with animals.

2) yes, I agree there many positive aspect of owning a pet. I KNOW, I owe a dog! however I'm also not selfish. CHOICE is for everyone. you have a choice to NOT live in a non-pet friendly building and landlords also have a choice to NOT allow pets into their building. pet owners also have a choice to NOT owe a pet. CHOICES are great. if you have problem finding a place that will accept pets then you have to make choices and find alternatives, DON'T force other people to do something they don't want to do.

3) of course there are places in the world that allows pets in restaurants, offices and theatres. if you look hard enough there are always exception to the norm. i ask you and other readers this, does your local town/city allow this? does your employer allow this? creating a policy for an exception is illogical.

my main point is not whether having pets in a building is good or bad.

my main point is that everyone deserve a choice, nobody should be forced (legislated) into anything.

Claudia

Jun 7, 2013 at 9:55am

I am a senior citizen who has no family at all. My 11 year old cat is my companion and my family. As a renter in the city of Vancouver it's almost impossible to find a decent place to live. Thank you so much Mr. Stevenson for your effort. A pet brings joy and calm. Why are so many landlords in this city opposed to others having a pet/companion????

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