Your first stop for self-help is a review of our FAQs. Take a look at the ever increasing collection of questions asked by Ontario’s small-scale landlords as well as the actual answers provided by Landlord’s Self-Help Centre.
I have a tenant who moved into the rental unit a few years ago and brought a cat with him, since then he has brought two more cats and three dogs. Is there any limit on how many cats or dogs the tenant is allowed to have in his rental unit?
The Residential Tenancies Act does not include any provision on the number of pets tenants are allowed to have in their units. The number of dogs and cats a resident is allowed to have is regulated by the municipal bylaws. You will have to contact your local health department for these details.
My tenant wants to bring a dog into the rental unit, despite my lease saying it is prohibited. Can I enforce this clause in my lease?
No-pet clauses on leases are not enforceable as per section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act.
What are my rights if a tenant and I sign a lease agreement with a clause saying that pets are not allowed?
Under section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act, tenants are permitted to have pets regardless of any “no pet” clause in a lease agreement. Section 14 says: “A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.” This is provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants or is of a breed that is deemed to be inherently dangerous.
The tenant brought home a pit bull! Other tenants are complaining about this, Could I force the tenant to remove the pit bull from the rental unit?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, you can serve your tenant with an N5 because of the presence of a pet that is of an inherently dangerous breed and follow this process accordingly. As per the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, pit bulls and other dogs bearing pit bull characteristics have been identified as an inherently dangerous breed.
The rental unit is a condominium which does not allow pets. My tenant moved in without a pet but has now brought in one, is there anything I can do about this?
The Residential Tenancies Act permits tenants to have pets regardless of any “no pet” clause in the tenancy agreement provided that the pet is not causing damages, disturbances, allergic reactions to other tenants or is of a breed that is deemed to be inherently dangerous. However, if the condo bylaws prohibit the presence of pets and the condo management has sent reminder letters to the landlord, the landlord can serve the N5 form to end the tenancy because the tenant has violated the condo bylaws.
Our tenancy agreement has a clause that allows my tenant to have up to two cats, and she has exceeded this limit. Can I evict her based on this?
Section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act does not stablish a maximum number of pets that the tenant can have. The maximum number is regulated by municipal bylaws. Contact your municipality in order to find out what is the maximum number of pets allowed in a rental unit such as the one where the tenant currently resides.
My tenant has a dog which has caused extensive damage to rugs placed in the rental unit by defecating and urinating. How can I force my tenant to pay for the damages caused by her dog?
You would have to serve your tenant with an N5 based on damages. You need to provide details of the damages as well as at least 2 estimates for the repairs in the N5. Once the tenant receives this notice, she has seven days to rectify the damages by either paying the amount required or fixing the damages herself according to the N5 notice. If it is not corrected, you will then have to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board and go to a hearing where the matter will be decided by a Board adjudicator. You can obtain all the necessary forms from the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website at https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/.
Last week, I rented to a lady who agreed to a “no dogs” clause in the lease. However, she now has a dog which is causing damages and triggering my pet allergies! Is there anything I can do to force her to remove her dog from the rental unit?
There is nothing you can do about this based on the mere fact that the tenant signed a lease with a no-pet clause as this cannot be enforced according to section 14 of the Residential Tenancies Act. However, if the pet causes damage, disturbances, allergic reactions or is of a breed that is inherently dangerous, you have grounds to issue a notice of early termination. Therefore, if you can prove that the dog causes you to have a serious allergic reaction and it is also causing damages to the rental unit, you can issue a Form N5. Once you serve this notice, the tenant has a seven-day period to correct the situation. If the problem is not corrected, you can then file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Form N7 may be given instead of the N5 form where the landlord and the tenant live in the same building and the landlord has less than 3 residential units in the same residential complex.
I rented my house to a tenant and I let her move in with only one dog. There are now two dogs destroying the yard and upsetting the neighbours by barking at all hours of the day. How can I evict her based on these damages and disturbances?
The law permits tenants to have pets as long as they do not cause damages or disturbances to other tenants on the rental premises. In your scenario, you can serve the tenant an N5 notice based on damages and disturbances caused by the dogs. The N5 form is a 20-day notice which allows the tenant to correct the issues stated within the first seven days from having served the N5 notice. If the problems are not corrected within the prescribed period of time, you can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board to go to a hearing for a decision on the issues. You can obtain the Form N5 and all other forms required on the Board’s website https://tribunalsontario.ca/ltb/forms/ .
I am allergic to cats and I live in the same house as the tenant. The tenant has brought one into the rental unit which is triggering my allergies. Could I force the tenant to get rid of the cat?
You can first talk to the tenant and let her know that you are allergic to cats. You can follow-up your conversation with a written letter (keep a copy for your records). If the tenant is unwilling to remove the cat after your informal discussion, you can issue a Form N7 as you live in the same house and provided that you have less than 3 residential units. If you have more than 3 residential units, you can serve an N5 notice and follow the process accordingly. The reason for the notice would be that the tenant has substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex by the landlord.
The number of dogs and cats a resident is allowed to have is regulated by your municipal bylaws. Contact your municipality in order to find out what is the maximum number of pets allowed in a rental unit such as the one where the tenant currently resides.
My unit is very dirty and has a foul odour because of my tenant’s pets. How can I force my tenant to clean the rental unit and get rid of the foul odour?
If the behaviour of an animal has interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the residential complex by the landlord and/or other tenants, you may issue a notice of early termination of the tenancy. You can issue Form N5 – Notice to End your Tenancy for Interfering with Others, Damage or Overcrowding. This notice needs to have details about the issues such as the unclean state and foul odour in the rental unit. The tenant will then have seven days to rectify the problems. Form N7 may be given to the tenant instead of the N5 where the landlord and the tenant live in the same residential complex and the landlord has less than 3 residential units.