Does a Tenant Have a Right to Have a Dog?

A Landlord May Ask a Prospective Tenant About Potential Pets. A Landlord Must Refrain From Imposing a Pet Ban Within a Lease. Only In Rare Cases May a Tenant Be Banned From Owning Pets.

Notice to Evict for renovations document

It is somewhat common that a lease will contain a 'no pets' clause; however, as per section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, S.O.  2006, Chapter 17 (the "RTA"), any such provision within a lease agreement is void despite the agreement established between the landlord and tenant; and accordingly, such a clause is unenforceable.  Specifically, the RTA 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

However, and regardless of the s. 14 provision within the RTA voiding a pet ban, exceptions are possible in a few specific situations. The possible exceptions that may be available that would allow for a valid pet ban are provided in s. 76 of the RTA which says:

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.

Accordingly, if a pet is causing damage to the property, or disruption and interference to others, a 'no pets' condition may be permitted.  Additionally, if a municipal bylaw or other authority forbids the presence of pets, or if the tenancy is within a condominium corporation where the Condominium Declarations forbid the presence of pets, such may, and likely does, over rule the 'no pets' provision and the landlord may, and likely will, be successful in banning a pet.

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.

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