Pet Restrictions & Pet Damage Deposit

How can I restrict my tenant’s ability to keep pets in the rental unit?

BC Landlord Guide- Pet Restrictions & Pet Damage Deposit
How can I restrict my tenant’s ability to keep pets in the rental unit?

A landlord may wish to either restrict the size, kind or number of pets kept by the tenant or prohibit all together the keeping of pets. In all cases, they are entitled to do so unless that pet is recognized as a guide or service dog. A landlord may also establish specific rules when it comes to keeping a pet in the rental unit.

Requesting a Pet Damage Deposit

If a landlord does allow pets, they may require a pet damage deposit from their tenant either upon entering into a tenancy agreement or, if a tenant acquires a pet during the tenancy, when they give the tenant permission to keep the pet on the property. They may not, however, require more than one pet deposit regardless of how many pets are allowed to be kept by the tenant.

If a condition inspection was not done with a tenant upon move-in and if a landlord allows their tenant to keep a pet after the start of the tenancy, the landlord and the tenant must inspect the condition of the rental unit.

Maximum Allowable Pet Damage Deposit

As is the case with a security deposit, a pet deposit cannot exceed the equivalent of one half (½) of one month’s rent payable under the tenancy agreement. In case of overpayment, the tenant may deduct the difference from their rent or may otherwise seek recovery. Also, any clause in the agreement that allows the landlord to automatically keep all of part of the pet deposit at the end of the tenancy is unenforceable.

Last revised: October 13, 2018

This article explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada and is not a substitute for legal advice specific to your situation.