The Challenges of Finding a Rental

Can a Landlord refuse a tenant because they have a pet? Can they insist on a tenant paying additional months of rent in advance? Do I have to pay the pet security deposit? There are rules and then reality; here's how to navigate the two.

The residential rental market continues to be competitive. As a result, I frequently stumble across articles and catch social posts about frustrated tenants who cannot secure a property. People looking to rent real estate complain about landlords asking for additional payments up-front, Landlords discriminating against people with pets, and insisting on pet deposits.  The common questions being, are they allowed to do this? And, how does one handle it?

There is an unbelievable amount of information out there; some accurate, some inaccurate, and some from people not immersed in the industry, on the street, speaking with landlords and tenants… enter, me.

a quick search of your name on social and we often find pics of applicants with their 150-pound Cane Corso.

Can I be refused as a tenant because I have a pet?

YES – A landlord can choose not to accept you as a tenant because you own a cuddly fur baby.

Pets and tenancy is a touchy subject; some will argue whether or not a Landlord has the right to ask if you have pets, but as of right now, they can, and they do.  Even if they didn’t, a quick search of your name on social and we often find pics of applicants with their 150-pound Cane Corso.

A landlord cannot evict you after you’ve moved in simply because you have a pet –although there are exceptions where the pet is a threat or a nuisance.  Also, something that supersedes the Residential Tenancy Act is a condominium’s by-laws. If condo by-laws prevent occupants from having a particular pet(s), the pet can be forced to leave.

Can a Landlord require a pet deposit?

No, technically, a landlord can’t request a deposit beyond last month’s rent. If you refuse, the landlord will decline your application and claim they had last-minute reservations about your application. But, in reality, if they are open to accepting you as a tenant, as long as you do provide one, we would suggest you seriously consider it and consult with your Realtor.

Can a Tenant be required to pay rent in advance?

No, but if you don’t, you may not get the house;  that’s the reality of the situation. If you’re being asked to provide additional deposits, it’s because you have bad credit, no credit, no job or income that’s not verifiable.  When none of those applies to you, and payments are still required up-front, run! The landlord may be far too cautious, or they could be scamming you.  Understandably, landlords who’ve had a bad experience may be wary. Do your due diligence and ask the right questions to find out.

Finding a good realtor to help with securing a rental as a tenant can be challenging.  Compensation for real estate agents who help tenants is low. Many won’t help, and some of the Realtors who will, may not put forth their best effort.  Check out some tips to finding a good Realtor, or save yourself the time and call us; a quick DM on Insta works excellent.



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