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

Vancouver reviews no-pet policy for renters

Vancouver City Council is pushing for new rules to stop B.C. landlords from excluding tenants with pets.

Councillor Tim Stevenson says more than half the people in the city are renters, but there's little opportunity to find a place that allows animals, and existing rules are too arbitrary.

"I have a building with 100 suites in it, but I don't want anybody to have a cat or a dog. Next door, it may be different, but that guy sells his apartment and now everybody that has a cat or dog has to go," said Stevenson.

Stevenson is putting forward a motion next week, calling on rental associations to come up with pragmatic changes to current legislation.

Amy Spencer, president of the Rental Housing Council, says requiring landlords to allow tenants to have animals is unworkable.

"Most landlords are people that own homes, and so if they own a basement suite, then they also have to live with a pet," said Spencer.

Stevenson says other cities, like Toronto, don't allow people to discriminate against pet owners.

"They've been doing it for over 20 years and nobody is trying to dismantle it, and it seems to have worked well for all sides," he said.

However, in B.C., the city doesn't actually have jurisdiction over rental guidelines. Ultimately, any change in the law would be up to the provincial government.