Animal Justice Asks Prime Minister to Protect Companion Animals in Renters’ Bill of Rights

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that he would introduce a “Renters’ Bill of Rights” aimed at establishing protections for residential renters across the country. This would create a national standard rental agreement, require landlords to disclose rent histories, and would crack down on “renovictions.”

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However, left out of this announcement was any move to protect tenants who share their lives with companion animals. These types of protections would prevent landlords from discriminating against potential tenants because they have companion animals, and prevent landlords from prohibiting pets in a rental agreement. Currently, no province except Ontario has “pet-friendly” renters’ protections. 

Animal Justice has written to the Prime Minister asking him to include in the renters’ bill of rights a prohibition on “no-pet” clauses in rental advertisements, leases, and other rules landlords might impose. This would help families across the country, as a majority of homes include at least one dog or cat. 

Rent prices are at a record high, and vacancy is at a record low across the country. The cost of living is sky-rocketing. Finding suitable and appropriate housing is already immensely difficult for countless Canadians, and this situation is made worse for animal guardians in provinces where landlords can prohibit companion animals.

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Many renters are being left having to make the gut wrenching decision between having a place to live, and keeping a member of their family—their beloved companion animal. The lack of pet-friendly rental housing has contributed significantly to astronomical rates of pet surrenders, with shelters and rescues across the country sounding alarm bells that they are overburdened and at capacity. It is incumbent on governments across the country to take action to address this crisis, instead of making it worse by giving landlords an unfettered ability to discriminate against animals and their guardians.

It’s time for Canada to recognize the value of companion animals and their guardians and provide them the housing rights and protections they deserve. Take action by writing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ([email protected]) and Housing Minister Sean Fraser ([email protected]) to voice your support for pet-friendly rental protections!

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