Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)

Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

One Saanich councillor wants to make it easier for pet owners to find a place to call home.

As the housing crisis in British Columbia persists, renters with pets struggle that much more due to “no pets” clauses found in lease agreements, says Coun. Zac de Vries, who advocates for reducing barriers to rental housing.

De Vries proposed a UBCM motion (June 14) that would call on the provincial government to amend stipulations in lease agreements against pet ownership in rental suites. Instead, de Vries believes that the implementation of responsible ownership rules would be a much better solution.

“I heard in response that people were concerned about the landlord’s property, and it’s very much like having a child. If your child is to damage the property, the tenant is responsible and there are processes to make sure the landlord is being made whole.”

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He said that voiding no-pet clauses through legislation is not a new idea and that it has been done in other jurisdictions across Canada, such as Ontario. “This simple legislative change would reduce the barriers to accessing safe and secure housing disproportionately faced by renters who own pets,” said de Vries in a report on the issue.

He emphasized that loneliness, anxiety, isolation, and depression are issues that British Columbians are grappling with – issues that are often greatly eased by pets.

The motion was not supported by the council in a vote of 5-4, with a strong indication that the topic will be brought back to the table sometime next year.

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