Problems with Pets

When a problem occurs with a pet in a tenancy, both the landlord and the tenant must follow the proper steps to resolve the issue.

Damage Caused by a Pet

Tenants are responsible for all damage caused by pets. If a pet damages a rental unit and the landlord requests repairs, the tenant must make the repairs or the landlord may apply for dispute resolution.

After giving proper notice, landlords can regularly inspect the rental unit. If pet damage is found, the landlord may ask the tenant in writing to repair the damage. A reasonable amount of time should be given to the tenant to make the repairs.

A landlord can serve a One Month Notice to End Tenancy if a tenant’s pet has:

  • Caused extraordinary damage to the property
  • Caused damage and the tenant refuses to repair the damage within a reasonable period of time after being asked by the landlord

The tenant may lose all or part of their pet damage deposit if the repairs are not completed before the tenancy ends. A landlord can request an order for the tenant to pay additional costs if the amount of the pet damage deposit isn’t enough to cover the damage.

Pets that Disturb Others

Tenants must make sure they and their pets don’t unreasonably disturb others. The landlord must take action if there’s any complaints about a tenant’s pet. For example, they may need to speak to a tenant about pet noise that’s bothering other tenants.

After speaking to a tenant, the landlord should follow up with a “breach letter” that explains the problem, the reasonable amount of time allowed to resolve the problem, and what will happen if the problem persists.

If the problem continues, a landlord can serve a One Month Notice to End Tenancy if a tenant’s pet:

  • Is unreasonably disturbing other people, or
  • Seriously interferes with the safety or other lawful right of the landlord or other tenants

Dispute Resolution Hearings

If an arbitrator in a dispute resolution hearing finds that a notice to end tenancy is justified, the arbitrator may issue an Order of Possession that requires the tenant to move out.

If a tenant disputes a notice to end tenancy, arbitrators will also consider:

  • Whether the term restricting pets was a material term or an ordinary term
  • What steps the landlord took to have the tenant correct the problem
  • If the landlord is being fair in applying rules about pets consistently for all tenancies that have restrictions on pets
  • If the landlord knew the tenant had a pet but didn’t take action right away

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: September 23, 2017.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch