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.