End “No Pets” Policies in British Columbia
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Amidst an unprecedented affordable housing crisis and historically low vacancy rates across British Columbia, affordable pet-friendly housing is in dramatically short supply and existing units are quickly disappearing. An estimated 75-97% of rentals have 'no pets' policies in place, putting families with pets at an unfair disadvantage to secure housing. Stratas often enact unreasonable pet restrictions, limiting the choice and personal freedoms of homeowners. In 2016, the BC SPCA alone took in 1,774 companion animals due to the lack of pet-friendly housing, a number which has risen steadily each year since they started keeping record in 2012.
'No pets' policies are based on the widespread misperception that pets are likely to cause excessive damages, which has been shown by peer-reviewed studies to be a fallacy. The fact is tenants without pets incur virtually the same amount of damages on average, and any pet-friendly landlord can attest that the benefits of providing pet-friendly housing outweigh the risks.
Our proposal follows the legal precedent set in Ontario, which removed the pet restrictions clause from their Residential Tenancies Act in 1990, and has enjoyed a greater abundance of pet-friendly, family-friendly housing for 27 years.
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House introduce and pass a motion urging the government to repeal and replace Sections 18 (1) (2) and (3) of the Residential Tenancy Act, S.B.C. 2002, c.78, Sections 18 (1) and (2) of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, S.B.C. 2002, c.77, Section 123 (1) of the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43, and repeal Section 3(4) of the Schedule of Standard Bylaws in the Strata Property Act, S.B.C. 1998, c. 43, to allow tenants of all of these types of properties to keep pets in their homes.
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