NEWS

Vancouver aims to help renters keep their pets

06/13/2013 10:45 EDT | Updated 08/13/2013 05:12 EDT
The City of Vancouver approved a motion late yesterday afternoon to help renters keep their pets — but it might not have the authority to affect such a change.

The city says more than half of Vancouverites are renters, and under the current rules pets can be banned from rental properties.

- Is requiring landlords to let tenants have pets impossible?

Coun. Tim Stevenson says the city wants to come up with a way pets, renters and landlords can all get along.

“Maybe they'll pay a higher fee to enter into the apartment building, but you know they've had this in place for ... 23 years in Ontario,” Stevenson said.

Geoff Urton with the B.C. SPCA says owners often give up their beloved pets for a place to live.

“Just in our Vancouver animal shelter, more than 100 pets a year are surrendered to us for that reason,” he said. “It's the number one reason animals are surrendered to us."

Pet owner Andrew Simmons says his landlord tried to evict him and his two cats, Muffin and Tigger.

He complained to the Rental Tenancy Branch and was able to keep them, but doesn't want others to have to fight the same battle.

"I had permission from the previous owners to have pets. I just never had it in writing,” he said.

“When the building was sold and we had new landlords, then they tried to evict me. I think it's a start because it's always good to have dialogue. "

But the motion approved by the city might be moot. The Residential Tenancy Act is under provincial jurisdiction, and the government says it has no plans to change the current rules.

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