In Ontario, Canada, landlords have the right to establish a “no pets” policy in their rental properties, but this policy must be clearly defined in the lease agreement and is subject to specific legal considerations. Here are key points to consider regarding a landlord’s ability to refuse pets in Ontario:
Lease Agreement: A “no pets” policy is typically included in the lease agreement. Both landlords and tenants are expected to adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the lease.
Enforceability: A “no pets” policy is enforceable in Ontario, and tenants are generally expected to comply with this policy. Violating the terms of the lease can result in various consequences, including eviction.
Human Rights Legislation: Ontario’s Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on various grounds, including disability. Under this code, tenants with disabilities who require service animals or support animals, including emotional support animals, may be entitled to reasonable accommodation. In such cases, a landlord is required to make exceptions to the “no pets” policy.
Reasonable Accommodation: Landlords are legally obligated to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities under the Human Rights Code. This includes allowing service animals and emotional support animals, even in properties with a “no pets” policy.
Liability Insurance: Landlords concerned about pet-related liabilities may require tenants with service or emotional support animals to carry liability insurance for their animals. However, this requirement should not create an undue financial burden on the tenant.
Pet Deposits and Fees: In some cases, landlords may allow pets with specific deposits or fees. These are non-refundable and are intended to cover potential pet-related damages.
Behavior and Responsibility: Even in properties with a “no pet” policy, tenants are expected to behave responsibly and ensure that their actions do not negatively affect other tenants or the property. This includes not having unauthorized pets on the premises.
In summary, landlords in Ontario have the right to establish a “no pets” policy in their rental properties, but this policy is subject to the Human Rights Code and must allow for reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities who require service animals or emotional support animals. It’s essential for tenants and landlords to be aware of their rights and responsibilities and to communicate effectively to address pet-related matters while respecting the lease agreement and legal requirements.