In the tenancy agreement, a landlord can indicate whether or not pets are allowed at the rental property. If they are allowed, landlords can also:
- Restrict the size, kind and number of pets or include reasonable pet-related rules in the tenancy agreement (these can be negotiated to suit both parties)
- Require a pet damage deposit
Tenants are responsible for cleaning up after their pets and repairing any damage they cause – even if the pet is a guide animal.
Landlords should remember that pet clauses in the tenancy agreement must comply with any strata property bylaws (e.g. a condominium), if applicable.
Certified guide and service dogs are legally allowed to live in rental properties – landlords cannot require a pet damage deposit for these animals.
In fact, landlords cannot refuse to rent a property to someone because they have a disability or they plan to keep a certified guide or service dog.
- Tenants and visitors may have their certified guide dog or service dog on rental premises, regardless of tenancy agreements that prohibit or restrict pets
- Certified retired guide dog or service dog can remain living with handlers in rental properties, even if a new dog has been certified to take over its duties
- Dogs being trained by a school that is accredited by Assistance Dogs International (External Link) or the International Guide Dog Federation (External Link) are eligible for dog-in-training certification. This allows access to public places for training purposes, when the dog is accompanied by a certified dog trainer. Please note that rental terms that prohibit or restrict pets apply to dogs in training
- Certified guide dogs and service dogs are not a specific breed or size – the focus of certification is on the dog’s training to support public safety
- Protections under the Human Rights Code may still apply to uncertified dog and handler teams – landlords may wish to seek legal advice specific to their situations
Learn more on the Ministry of Justice's webpages on guide and service dogs which has detailed information on:
- certification for service and guide dogs, retired service and guide dogs, and dogs-in-training
- legislation and policy
- fees, forms and processes
- questions and answers
The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: November 17, 2016.