Renting with a pet can be difficult.
Toronto has a a 1.5 per cent vacancy rate according to Statistics Canada. This makes it challenging to find a place to live. When someone requires their residence to accommodate not only themselves but a pet as well, that challenge increases.
For some, surrendering their pet to secure housing may be a difficult solution to consider. This is easier said than done, though. There can be an immense amount of guilt associated with parting with a pet.
Additionally, not every shelter accepts surrendered pets.
“We primarily rescue cats from shelters where pets are at risk of euthanasia and hoarding situations,” said Tara Greaves of Toronto Cat Rescue said. “We don’t take surrenders from the public,”
This leaves those considering surrendering their pets with a potentially lengthy process to go through.
According to the City of Toronto website, in order to surrender a pet you need to first book an appointment, provide all records for the pet, possibly fill out a form indicating the pet’s history and then pay a fee.
There’s been some debate about whether or not banning people from renting with a pet in rental properties should be allowed.
While seeing one “not pet friendly” stipulation after another while browsing apartment listings may be discouraging, it should be noted that this condition cannot be included in an actual lease agreement. The law in Ontario prevents the banning of guests or pets from being included in a lease agreement.
With that in mind, a landlord can still choose to exclusively select tenants who are pet-free. Until you are a legitimate tenant and not just a perspective tenant, this law does not cover you.
Furthermore, a landlord cannot evict a tenant for acquiring a pet after a lease is signed.