Pet-­Friendly Rentals

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.

Learn more about Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter.

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.

Click here for more information about the SafePet Program.

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