Pet versus landlord

image Are the landlords still the Lords of their land? Can the Lord of the land tell us, ordinary people, what we can and cannot do, or have? What about tenants, don’t they have any rights?

One’s domicile is one’s castle. No one can violate one’s right to a private life, not even the so called Lord of the land. Every person in Quebec has a right to enjoy his or her property (e.g. one’s domicile and pets since both are property).

Landlords and the “Régie du Logement” are guilty of Human Rights’ violations if they enforce the “no pet” clause without proof of a “legal” nuisance or serious prejudice, as per the Quebec Charter of Human Rights, (C-12) for the simple reason “they don’t want pets in their buildings”.

Ontario makes such a clause in a lease invalid and void. In Canada the Criminal Code considers pets as property, as does Quebec’s Civil Code. No law can go against the Charter of Rights; article 6 entitles everyone to the enjoyment of their property.

The Régie du Logement is not a Court, but simply a Provincial administrative tribunal and the “Régisseur” is not a Justice of the Peace but an Administrative Justice. This is why they often ignore the Charter and rule in favor of the wealthier Lords of the land. They have very little legal competence, which is why the Superior Court of Quebec has a Judicial Review power over all tribunals and lower courts as they are a Court of Higher Competence. Perhaps they do not trust the competence of the lower branches of justice.

So what should one do if the landlord wants the removal of pets off their property? I suggest you tell them “speak to the hand”… and if the landlord pursues it and it goes in front of the Régie du Logement, argue the Quebec Charter and Civil Code. The landlord must prove that the pet causes a legal nuisance or causes him serious prejudice, therefore depriving him of his Rights, in order for the Régie to validate that another’s Humans Rights (the tenant’s) are allowed to be violated in order to protect his own legal right (the landlord).

If the Régie du Logement rules that the tenant must get rid of his/her pet, the tenant can then file a motion in Superior Court to obtain a Stay of Execution, while applying for a Judicial Review, against both the Landlord and the Régisseur.

If one chooses not to get rid of his/her pet, the Régie cannot terminate a lease on the basis that the tenant did not comply with the order to get rid of the pet. That would be “contempt of (bogus) court“, punishable by fines only. The landlord would then need to get a Writ of Seizure from the Courts of Quebec in order to enforce such order, thus “seizing” the pet. This cannot usually be obtained, unless the landlord can prove a nuisance or prejudice caused by the pet.

A landlord may refuse to rent to someone with pets, but cannot legally enforce it once the tenant has moved in, without that “Writ of Seizure” mentioned above.

If landlords want the right to refuse pets, they should pay higher City taxes than those who allow pets, in order to fund the City pounds/shelters who have to deal with the problems of pet abandonment created by landlords.

When landlords are faced with damages caused by the pets, they can take legal action against the tenants through Civil Courts in order to be financially compensated to repair damages.

6 thoughts on “Pet versus landlord”

  1. Thank you for this article. A friend of mine has been looking for an apt for almost a year now and the minute she mentions her dog it’s always the same thing, a head shake and ‘oh, sorry you seem really nice but we don’t accept dogs’.

  2. This is the best Christmas gift I have gotten. My building owners have changed many times in the last 4 years since my dog’s death. I want to foster and adopt other dogs. This news elates me so very much. Thank you Sophie for this present to me. I will post this on my FB page with your link. Thank you for being the voice of the furry-4 legged friends.

  3. I’m going through this right now my landlord doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak French my lease is in French and I think I got a letter of eviction but its in French

  4. Sorry I don’t agree…I own a house that I rented to my sister and family of 6 with two very large dogs. To make a long story short – the dogs caused over 60K in damaged to the entire house. On top of that my sister made a mid-night move without any notice to avoid responsibility for the damages and rent owing. Regie du logement does not do a thing for me as I’m still waiting for a court date after 3 years. Keep in mind that I have had dogs for the last 50 years and loved them dearly but I would never let a large dog in my rental property again. All potential tenants must sign an agreement that they will not allow a large dog in my property.

    1. And such signed agreement is invalid in court. The jurisprudence on the issue is that such agreement is signed under duress in order to avoid being homeless, sounds like you have family issues. However la Regie is a useless administration tribunal, it is not a court of law. If your sister caused damages, sue her in a court of law.

      Landlords are not lords of the land that can dictate what goes in or not. Anyone can ride a Harley-Davidson in their house. It’s called enjoyment of property, it’s a protected Quebec Charter right.

      Landlords such as yourself have very little rights, and zero concerning what happens within 4 walls of a “residence”. As for the landlords right to enjoyment, well are you enjoying the cash it provides? – That’s all you get. If the enjoyment to rent it to others is affected, that is another issue which the tenant is liable for. One can sue you for “discrimination” for refusing pets.

      -Rick

  5. Hello,

    I am so happy I found this!!!!
    I have lived in my current apt for 5 and a half years and just got a letter from my landlord asking me to remove my two “pit bulls” (they are registered Amstaffs ) from the apartment because of neighbour complaints and because they have “severe deterioration” of our apartment… First of all it’s not true and second they couldn’t know unless they illegally entered my home. This letter comes as retaliation for a refused abusive rent increase that got settled at la regie last fall.
    In the other hand, my two dogs come to work with me 7 days a week. They are rarely left alone in the apartment and when they are they are left crated.
    I am thankful I found this article and I was wondering if there is someone else I could go to for a legal consultation. Thank you !!!!

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