THE DAVISVILLE & LEASIDE INSIDER

THE DAVISVILLE & LEASIDE INSIDER

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I RENT A CONDO UNIT. CAN MY LANDLORD PREVENT ME FROM GETTING A PET?

BY  TIM DUGGAN
FOR: NOWTORONTO.COM
NOVEMBER 16, 2015 12:16 PM

A significant percentage of people who live in Toronto rent condominium units. Many renters sign leases containing clauses that prohibit them from having a pet in their unit. Nevertheless, some renters may want to get a pet despite having agreed not to do so.

First, what should be an obvious point: if you are a tenant, and you have signed a lease in which you agree not to have a pet in your unit, bringing a pet into your unit in the face of that agreement may create some issues in your relationship with your landlord. The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the RTA) governs most residential tenancies in Ontario. Section 14 of the RTA provides that a “no pet” provision in a residential lease is void. That is, any provision in a lease that prohibits the presence of animals in the unit is not enforceable against a tenant. For non-condominium rental units, this would likely be the end of the inquiry (subject to considerations like whether the pet is a nuisance or otherwise interferes with other residents of the residential complex).

But for condominium rental units, there is an added wrinkle in the form of the condominium corporation’s governing documents (known as the declaration, the by-laws and the rules). These documents often contain restrictions on the use of the units, and may include restrictions and prohibitions on the keeping of pets in the units. For example, a condominium corporation may restrict the number of pets that can be kept in a unit (e.g., one pet per unit), or the type of pet (e.g., no dogs), or the size of pet (e.g., no pets over 25 lbs.). The condominium corporation may even prohibit pets altogether. Pursuant to the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Condo Act), both owners and tenants are bound by the provisions of the condominium corporation’s governing documents, and the landlord of a rented unit is required to give the tenant copies of these governing documents and to take reasonable steps to ensure that the tenant complies with the governing documents.

Given this context, if a landlord of a condominium unit includes a no-pets clause in the lease for that unit, the landlord may be doing so because the condominium corporation’s governing documents prohibit pets. This could be seen as giving rise to a conflict between the RTA and the Condo Act.


For more info on selling or buying a condo or house, and for info on the current market, contact me by email or call me at 416-322-8000.

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