Montreal, 4th april 2022 --- The Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ) notes that once again the filing of a petition concerning the clause prohibiting animals in rental dwellings misses its target and overall vision of the situation.
This new petition, which comes up regularly in the demands of tenants, wants to “Prohibit clauses prohibiting pets in a rental housing”.*
In fact, it would be unfair and inappropriate for such a decision, which has significant financial consequences for rental housing owners, to be imposed on them without the possibility of demanding a security deposit.
The owner has an obligation to maintain his building and dwellings in good condition and he must guarantee the peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
However, if the owners so often ban animals in their rental housings it is due to a lack of legislative support in situations of letting go of these animals by their tenant masters.
“We can think here of dwellings whose floors have been destroyed by the marks the animals’ claws or foul odours. But there is also the excrement not collected in the courtyards, on the sidewalks, in the dwellings or in common areas of the building.”
The petition hopes that “Quebec would follow the example of other jurisdictions, such as France and Ontario, which consider the clauses prohibiting animals in rental housing null and void”. But the tenants and their representatives fail to specify that in France and Ontario the security deposit is allowed!
Who will assume the financial losses when the tenant refuses to pay for torn carpets, striped floors or encrusted urine?
And here is another aspect not described by the petition: the peaceful enjoyment of the premises. Many animals will howl or bark when they are alone in their housing. The owner must ensure the peaceful enjoyment of all and how to deal with barking animals because they are left unattended by their owners?
There has been an increase noticed in the presence of animals in rental dwellings. The APQ therefore fears that with telework coming to an end, this will be an additional problem for tenants and landlords alike.
Instead, we rather invited the tenants’ associations and those who support this petition to partner with the Association des Propriétaires du Québec (APQ) to make the security deposit legal. The argument for not setting up the security deposit is that it would penalize low-income people who cannot pay more than their rent. But if the petition’s instigators compare with rights accorded in France and Ontario, then they should also support the security deposit that is legal there.
Elsewhere in the world, the security deposit is common practice and legal.
So, if the deposit is possible elsewhere, why not take inspiration from what exists and allow to maintain rental housing in good condition.
Because we must not forget that it is not just the owner of the premises who is in a problematic situation with unclean rental housing, but it is also the tenant who is supposed to move in the same day and who will not be able to do so.