Evicting Tenants with Pets in Ontario

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Commercial Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)

600 Pound Gorilla

Evicting Tenants with Pets in Ontario

Ontario Real Estate Source

By Brian Madigan LL.B.

Are tenants allowed pets? And, if they have them, can you evict them?

Have a look at the relevant provision under the Residential Tenancies Act:

“No pet” provisions void

"14.  A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void."

So, any clause in a residential lease under the Act would be void.

What about boisterous, unruly and objectionable pets? Can a landlord terminate the lease?

Have look at s, 76 of the Act:

 

"Application based on animals

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.

Same

(2)  The Board shall not make an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant relying on clause (1) (a) if it is satisfied that the animal kept by the tenant did not cause or contribute to the substantial interference.

Same

(3)  The Board shall not make an order terminating the tenancy and evicting the tenant relying on clause (1) (b) if it is satisfied that the animal kept by the tenant did not cause or contribute to the allergic reaction."

If a tenant has a pet and the landlord wishes to terminate the lease, then the landlord must prove:

1)     the species’ behaviour is risky, that is, it would amount to substantial interference with the reasonable enjoyment of the landlord and/or other tenants,

2)     the species presence has caused the landlord/or other tenant a serious allergic reaction,

3)     the species or breed is inherently dangerous to the safety of the landlord/or other tenants

In the cases of 1 and 2 above, the Board will not evict the tenant if the animal itself did not cause or contribute to the “substantial interference”, or the “allergic reaction”.

The landlord must prove:

·        Risky species, and

·        Actual realized harm caused by the specific animal

From the landlord’s perspective, this might be quite difficult to prove. That means no lions, tigers, bears or anacondas, but most cats and dogs should be able to pass the test. Vicious dogs which have already bitten someone would probably afford the necessary grounds.

The term “pets” is not defined under the Act. It does even say “ordinarily domesticated animals. This leaves open snakes, small alligators, lizards and other reptiles.

How big can the cat be? There is no restriction on size. There is not even a limitation concerning whether the animal would ordinarily require a permit to be placed in a zoo. This leaves open cougars, panthers, and other middle size cats while they are still young.

You will notice from the Act that without anything of practical measurement, the legislation very much favours the tenants.

So, a reasonable law-abiding tenant could easily get stuck with months of Landlord and Tenant Board applications concerning a crazy tenant with wild animals.

Just don’t rent to someone who works for a circus or zoo!

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker is an author and commentator on real estate matters, if you are interested in residential or commercial properties in Mississauga, Toronto or the GTA, you may contact him through Royal LePage Innovators Realty, Brokerage 905-796-8888
www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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Rainer
351,595
Nor Yeretsian
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc. - Toronto, ON
Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto

It's a tenant's world in Ontario. Wish the legislation was more equitable to both landlords and tenants.

Where is the fairness ?

Thanks Brian for bringing it to our attention.

cheers

Nor

July 25, 2011 09:51 PM #1
Rainmaker
824,584
Marc Swartz
Toronto, ON
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

Hi Brian - Our landlord / tenant legislation tends to be tenant friendly.

BTW, the links to e-laws in your post are to the version in French not the English version.

July 25, 2011 10:57 PM #2
Rainmaker
895,352
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Thanks Marc.

It's interesting, when they went in, they were fine. Now, of course, the look crazy. And, for those who follow, the corrections will already have been made.

July 26, 2011 10:00 AM #3
Rainmaker
895,352
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

John,

Thanks for those comments.

In fact, I think you should blog them as a post of your own

Good to see you back!

Brian

July 26, 2011 05:54 PM #5
Rainmaker
333,351
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Brian, having tenants and working with investors, the above has been helpful.

Ty

August 20, 2011 09:46 AM #6
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Brian Madigan

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