Landlords have certain responsibilities and liabilities when it comes to animals kept by tenants on their rental property. These responsibilities are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and other relevant laws. Here are some key points regarding the liability of landlords for animals of tenants:
No-Pet Clauses: Some landlords include a “no-pet” clause in the lease agreement, which prohibits tenants from having pets on the property. If such a clause is included in the lease, tenants are generally obligated to comply with it. Landlords can refuse to rent to tenants with pets or take legal action if tenants breach the lease by having pets.
Service Animals: The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, makes an exception for service animals. Landlords are required to accommodate tenants with disabilities who use service animals. This means that even if there is a “no-pet” clause in the lease, tenants with disabilities who require service animals are generally allowed to have them on the property.
Liability for Tenant’s Pets: Landlords are generally not held liable for any damage or injury caused by a tenant’s pet on the property. However, if the landlord is aware of a dangerous animal or a specific threat posed by a pet and fails to take reasonable steps to address the situation, they may be held partially responsible.
Tenant’s Responsibility: Tenants are typically responsible for the behavior of their pets and any damage or harm they cause. This includes property damage and injuries to other tenants or individuals on the property.
Pet Deposits or Fees: Some landlords may charge pet deposits or fees as part of the lease agreement. These fees are meant to cover potential damages caused by pets. However, Ontario law limits the amount a landlord can charge as a deposit.
Tenant’s Insurance: Landlords may require tenants to have liability insurance that covers any damages or injuries caused by their pets. While this is not required by law, it can provide protection for both the tenant and the landlord.
It’s important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding pets in rental properties. Landlords should ensure that any “no-pet” clauses in their lease agreements are clear and enforceable, while tenants should understand the rules and regulations related to pets in their rental units.
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