Calls grow for pet-friendly housing rules in B.C.
As the B.C. government looks to address the housing crisis in the province, there are calls for pet owners to receive rental protections.
Premier David Eby announced a new housing strategy on Monday, part of which will take aim at rental restrictions. Vancouver animal law lawyer Rebeka Breder says pet owners should be taken into consideration with that plan.
“Definitely steps in the right direction to deal with the housing crisis in the province,” she said of the new housing strategy. “But it is beyond me how I’ve yet to hear anything about dealing with companion animals,” she told CityNews.
“Ask any renter who has tried to find housing accommodation in this province and has a cat or dog and I could bet anything that they would tell you it is incredibly hard to find pet-friendly housing.”
Olivia Foster is a pet owner who rents a condo in Vancouver. She tells CityNews when she was looking for accommodation last year, she found it challenging to find the right fit.
“Despite knowing that the building I wanted to move into was pet-friendly…the landlords that were renting that unit out said ‘no dogs’ even though the building itself was dog-friendly which is really frustrating,” she said.
David Eby’s Housing Supply Act is aiming to do away with rental restrictions by amending the Strata Property Act. It could mean the end of age restrictions in strata-run buildings.
However, Breder says pet bans should also be removed, saying the contention that pets cause more damage doesn’t hold up.
“If you actually look at the bigger picture and the amount of wear and tear and damage that is caused in rental accommodations in general, the minority of that is caused by pets. The majority is human-caused,” she said.
Breder points to Ontario, where rental units are not permitted to ban pets, saying people with allergies haven’t had many issues with it. She says the way it is right now, too many people are having to choose between having a home or keeping their furry friend.
By Liza Yuzda
Posted Nov 23, 2022, 8:38PM PST.
Last Updated Nov 23, 2022, 9:09PM PST.