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Can my landlord evict me for having pets?

Pets can be a contentious issue for landlords and tenants. Depending on the animal, its demeanour, and your care, it can be just a quiet charming companion or a destructive disturbance. Many landlords impose a no-pets clause on tenants, and many tenants will subsequently break it. Will that get you kicked out?

In most provinces, violating a pre-existing no-pet clause is enough to warrant an eviction notice. But that doesn’t mean you’re out right away. Generally, a landlord must give you time to resolve the problem caused by your cat, dog, or other pet, and you can also appeal to human rights commissions or a landlord-tenant board.

A landlord can’t impose a no-pet clause or evict you for pet ownership if it violates the human rights code. For example, a visually impaired person can’t be thrown out for having a service dog.

If there was no existing no-pet clause, you can’t be evicted for simply for bringing one in. However, a landlord could move to evict you if the pet is dangerous, damaging property, or interfering with other tenant’s enjoyment of the premises (with excessive barking or causing allergic reactions, for example),

Ontario landlords can write a no-pet clause, but they aren’t enforceable. Even if you agree to the clause and then bring in a pet, the landlord can’t do much about it unless it’s demonstrably dangerous, destructive, or a disturbance.

 

Read more: 

Provincial fact sheets from the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/reho/yogureho/fash/