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Posted on
25 July 2017
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Renting with pets in BC: what are the rules?

Written by  Amanda

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We asked our Facebook community for suggestions on topics of interest for our blog posts. Faye O. wanted us to look into the rules around renting with pets in the province. We love hearing from our Facebook community and value their input, so upon request, here is some information about renting with pets.

(Please note that this content is for informational purposes only, it is not a legal opinion.)


Renting with pets in BC

BC’s pet owners can find it challenging to find pet-friendly homes, especially if the rental market is tight. It’s very important for both tenants and landlords to understand their rights and the rules around renting with pets. So, if you are a pet owner looking to rent or a landlord considering renting to a pet owner, here is some information we have gathered from the Government of BC’s Residential Tenancy Branch website. For all of the rules relating to pets and pet damage deposits, you can read BC’s Residential Tenancy Act in full. 


Landlords

  • Landlords have the right to prohibit pets*.
  • Landlords have the right to restrict the size, kind, and number of pets*.
  • Landlords can make their own (reasonable) pet-related rules that the tenant must follow.


*These rules do not apply to certified guide and service dogs.


Tenants

During a tenancy, the tenant must follow the rules set out in the tenancy agreement about pets. If a tenant decides they want a pet, they must check their tenancy agreement first.

  • If pets are allowed: the landlord will need to schedule an inspection of the home.
  • If pets are NOT allowed: the landlord and the tenant must decide whether allowing pets can be negotiated.



Want to change the pet policy in your tenancy agreement?

If you want to make changes to the tenancy agreement, all of the changes must be recorded in the agreement.

  • If a tenant can prove the landlord verbally agreed to a pet, the landlord may not be able to enforce restrictions on pets or claim that the tenant has breached the agreement.
  • If a landlord wants to start enforcing the pet restrictions, the landlord should give notice that the terms will be enforced and provide a reasonable period for the tenant to comply with the changes.


Here are some steps to take when changing your tenancy agreement from the BC government website.


Pet damage deposits

  • Landlords may ask for a pet damage deposit if a tenant gets a pet for the first time.
  • The landlord and tenant should inspect the condition of the home before the tenant pays the damage deposit and before the pet enters the home.
  • During the inspection, both parties should complete a Condition Inspection Report.
  • This report may be submitted as evidence if there is a dispute about the condition of the home.



Where to go with questions or more information

While we are responsible for certain industries and specific laws in the province, we have no authority when it comes to rental agreements or tenancy rules in BC. If you have any questions relating to your tenancy agreement or specific laws about renting with pets, you may want to contact the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Branch.  


ADDITIONAL READING:
A guide for landlord and tenants in BC – a publication from the BC Residential Tenancy Branch
Travelling with your furry friend
How much is that doggie in the window? Scam warning

 

Last modified on 25 July 2017
Amanda

Amanda

Amanda is the communications coordinator at Consumer Protection BC. She's passionate about sharing information in ways that inspire and educate...let's see what she comes up with! If you have a consumer question, you are welcome to post a comment!

Comments  

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deborah deutsch

26 July 2017
I was told the law had changed in BC this year, and landlords were not allowed to prohibit pets?
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Amanda

27 July 2017
Hi Deborah, thank you for your question. It's my understanding that the laws that I pulled from the BC Residential Tenancy Branch's website are up to date. I know other provinces have different laws about renting with pets, but I believe these are accurate for British Columbia. If you have questions about the laws I suggest you contact the Residential Tenancy Branch, as this is their area of authority. Here is a link to their contact information: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/contact-the-residential-tenancy-branch. I hope this helps!
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Amanda

27 July 2017
Hi Debra, thank you for your question. While Consumer Protection BC is responsible for several industries and certain transactions in the province, issues relating to tenancy rights fall outside of our authority. It's my understanding that there is a "right to quiet enjoyment" for both tenants and landlords. That does not mean freedom from all noise, but it means, generally, that people need to be mindful and respectful of those who live around them. That being said, this is not our area of authority, so I might suggest you contact the Residential Tenancy Branch for further clarification on what is considered reasonable noise. Here is their contact information: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/contact-the-residential-tenancy-branch. I hope this helps and best of luck :) !
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Debra

27 July 2017
Hi my boyfriend who is 60 and is hard of hearing (needs hearing aid). He talks loud and a laughs loud too, but he is a very easy going happy fellow.
He has had his landlord constantly tell him he is too loud, the cops
were called when his grand children were visiting because she hear them playing and probably being loud too as they were excited to see grandpa. The guy can't move without her at him. He is moving and I am wondering about noise violations in a trailer park? What's reasonable and what's not?
In town our neighbours have people over, drink booze and get
Loud, but it's summer and we all deal with it...they usuually shut it down before ten...ten-thirt y.
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cheryl brown

01 August 2017
I was given a visa card from RBC and not working for 5 years off on medical i told the bank i didnt want a visa card , and particularly not the RBC card as it was a high limit , and I didnt want to take advantage of my mom s gift, who had alzheimers and was trying to help out to be able to purchase a small car and take her to her appts
I asked for the limit to be brought down but this didnt happen, and the bank sent me the card anyways, mom passed and the bank ceased all her assets and income and i now owe a lot of interest and the insurance for my medical conditions not being accepted under insurance my credit is done, and I am in collections, I dont even make a high enough income to do a consumer proposal..
what do i do now..
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Amanda

02 August 2017
Hi Cheryl, thank you for your question. Would you mind clarifying what you would like help with? Are you looking for advice on how to pay off your debt? Although, it sounds like your issue is not captured under our areas of authority, I may be able to offer you a referral to a place that is better suited to help you. If you are looking for ways to pay off your debt, I might suggest you do some research about credit counselling in the province. Please let me know if I've misunderstood your question.

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