According to the Landlord and Tenant Board website, landlords are allowed to refuse to rent to someone with a pet. However, a “no pets” clause in a lease is void. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord can’t evict you for having a pet. They can evict you if your pet is causing property damage, a noise disturbance, or an allergic reaction (or if the pet is dangerous).
Tips for finding pet-friendly housing:
● Give yourself as much time as possible to search for new housing.
● Spay/neuter your cat to reduce odour and undesirable behaviour.
● Provide references from prior landlords that confirm you have always looked after your pet and that you also took good care of the property while you lived there.
● Provide a cat resume emphasizing traits that make the pet a “good tenant”
● Let potential landlords know you’re willing to put down a security deposit for your pet.
● Commit to indoor only cats to avoid conflicts with neighbours and keep animals safe.
● Pledge to keep pets healthy, free of fleas, groomed and clean.
● Offer to sign a Pet Agreement.
Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter
Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter (Caledonia and Lawrence) is the only pet-friendly shelter in Toronto. Bethlehem United Shelter is a joint project of Fred Victor, Bethlehem United Church (Apostolic) and the City of Toronto. It is spacious, wheelchair accessible and maintains 60 beds for women, men, transgendered people, couples and dogs or cats.
Emergency Sheltering OVMA SafePet Program
Many women at risk of domestic abuse are reluctant to leave their home and seek help at a women’s shelter if it means leaving their pet behind with the abuser. SafePet helps women leave abusive partners by providing temporary housing and care for their pets.
If you’re a woman seeking safety, call the Assaulted Women’s Help Line at 1-866-863-0511 (TTY 1-866-863-7868) or call a local women’s shelter who will help to place your pet.