Many strata corporations have pet bylaws that can limit the number or type of pets or prohibit pets. Strata bylaws prohibiting or limiting pets do not apply to certified guide dogs and service dogs.
Strata corporations can restrict owners, tenants and other occupants from keeping pets or certain kinds of pets through the bylaws of the strata corporation. The bylaws might do any of the following:
- ban pets
- limit the number of pets that can be kept
- provide restrictions on keeping pets, such as leashing them in common areas
- limit the kind of pets that can be kept, such as no dogs, or no dogs over 20 kilograms
- require pets to be registered with the strata council
The Standard Bylaws and Pet Restrictions
Many strata corporations use the Standard Bylaws issued by the provincial government. Standard Bylaw 3(4) provides that an owner, tenant or occupant must not keep any pets on a strata lot other than one or more of the following:
- a reasonable number of fish or other small aquarium animals
- a reasonable number of small caged mammals
- up to two caged birds
- one dog or one cat
The Standard Bylaws also require owners, tenants, occupants and visitors to ensure that all animals are leashed or otherwise secured when on the common property or on land that is a common asset.
Strata corporations can amend or repeal Standard Bylaw Section 3(4) at any time by passing their own bylaw that deals with pets and filing the bylaw in the Land Title Office. Learn more in creating and changing bylaws and rules.
"Grandfathering ": Exempting Current Pets
If a strata corporation creates a new pet bylaw that restricts the keeping of pets, pets that are living in a strata lot with an owner, tenant or occupant at the time that the bylaw is passed (i.e., not the date when the bylaw is filed in the Land Title Office) may continue to live in that strata lot.
The pets may not be replaced unless the new pet meets the requirements of the pet bylaw.
Guide Dogs and Service Dogs
B.C.'s new Guide Dog and Service Dog Act and supporting changes to the Strata Property Act come into effect January 18, 2016. (The Guide Dog and Service Dog Act repeals and replaces the outdated Guide Animal Act.)
Strata owners, occupants, tenants and visitors will be able to have their certified guide dog or service dog on strata premises, regardless of strata bylaws restricting or banning pets or tenancy agreements.
Owners, occupants and tenants will also be able to keep their certified retired guide dog or service dog with them, even if a new dog has been certified to take over its duties.
- Certified guide dogs and service dogs will not be 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 – strata corporations may wish to get legal advice specific to their situations.
Learn more about these changes and the new certification process for guide and service dogs, at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015JAG0296-002012 or visit www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/guideanimal/index.htm.
The information on this website about strata housing is provided for the user’s convenience as a basic starting point; it is not a substitute for getting legal advice. Learn more about the site’s purpose and limits. The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: December 3, 2015.