06/13/2013 01:27 EDT | Updated 08/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Petition seeks to change no-pets clause in Quebec leases

As the July 1 moving day approaches, online advertising boards in Quebec are filling up with pleas from pet owners looking for solutions to the no-pet clause many renters have in their leases.

But an ongoing online petition filed with the province’s national assembly and sponsored by Parti Québécois MNA Denise Beaudoin is looking to change that.

Alana Devine, director of animal advocacy with the Montreal SPCA, said the number of animals surrendered by their owners doubles around moving day.

About half of all Quebec families own pets, but just three per cent of landlords expressly allow their tenants to keep dogs in their apartments, according to the SPCA.

And it’s for good reason, said Hans Brouillette of the Quebec Landlord Association.

“Bad experiences have led people to have a no-pet clause in their lease,” he said.

He said it’s the choice of the landlord whether to allow pets or not, and for some, it’s not worth the effort.

If a tenant complains to the landlord about barking or other domestic animal-related noise, it’s up to the landlord to come up with a solution, he said.

And if one can’t be found, the landlord can go to the Régie de logement to file a formal complaint — but it can take up to a year before the case is heard, Brouillette said.

Devine of the SPCA said preventing people from taking their pets, which are legally considered possessions, with them when they move is “problematic.”

She also said municipal bylaws on noise that are currently in place work faster than the Régie at addressing nuisance issues.

The petition, which has been filed with the Quebec national assembly, currently has about 8,000 signatures.