Who let the dogs in?
By Janis McMath, Editor-in-Chief
2018 survey from Angus Reid showed that 63 percent of people sided with the landlord’s right to turn away pet owners.
COVID-19 might’ve helped a controversial motion preventing landlords in refusing pets. The motion cites poor mental health from pandemic isolation, exaggerated difficulty in finding suitable housing due to COVID-19, and success of a similar motion in Ontario as reasons to end all “no pets” policies. It emphasizes that this pandemic has been particularly hard on “seniors, under housed individuals, and those who live alone.”
The motion also cites the BC SPCA on these rules being the number one reason for pet abandonment; about 1,500 pets are abandoned yearly due to these policies. The Port Moody city council also unanimously voted in a similar motion.
Similar to “no kids allowed” and “adult-only” bylaws, landlords reserve the right to refuse tenants with pets. Many cite property damage, noise levels, repair costs, and allergies as reasons to reject tenants with pets. In an interview with CBC, LandlordBC CEO David Hutniak brought up these points: “The issue at the end of the day is health and safety for our other tenants […] and the additional cost we invariably incur with damage to our units.” He then brings up the need to think of the individual property rights.
have consistently shown the mental health
benefits of owning a pet, but a 2018 survey from Angus Reid showed
that 63 percent of people sided with the landlord’s right to turn away pet owners.
The same poll showed the difference in opinion for homeowners and renters; on
the landlord’s right to refuse, 70 percent of homeowners and 50 percent of
renters sided with that right.
The motion ends with the council asking the mayor to
advocate to the province in changing the “no pets” clause and for staff to help
restrain the rights of landlords in rejecting pet owners.