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P.E.I. government votes not to give tenants the legal right to pets in rentals

The provincial authorities has voted down an modification to the province’s Residential Tenancies Act that will have given tenants the authorized proper to have animals of their rental houses. 

Earlier than the vote, Inexperienced MLA Karla Bernard stated if the federal government handed the modification, it could present they perceive what tenants are going by way of on the subject of making an attempt to maintain their animals with them. 

“That is about folks’s well-being. And we all know very effectively that animals are a part of the household. And we additionally perceive there’s two sides to this story,” stated Bernard. 

Housing and Social Growth Minister Matthew MacKay voted towards the modification however stated he would help regardless of the meeting’s majority selected. 

“I do not need to power a landlord to do one thing that they don’t seem to be comfy with doing,” MacKay stated earlier than the vote. 

In the intervening time, it is at a landlord’s discretion whether or not or to not permit pets of their leases. 

‘Pets, we all know, are extra than simply animals, they’re family members, they’re a part of a household and so they supply large emotional helps for folks,’ says Inexperienced MLA Karla Bernard. (Ken Linton/CBC)

The P.E.I. Humane Society has seen a 134 per cent enhance within the variety of animal surrenders this 12 months. 

“Daily, we see animals surrendered to our shelter as a result of pet homeowners are compelled to decide on between with the ability to maintain a roof over their heads or maintain a pet they love dearly,” the society’s Ashley Travis wrote in an e-mail following the vote. 

“Right this moment’s resolution means extra of the identical for us shifting ahead and for years to come back,” wrote Travis. 

Minister Matthew MacKay says he voted towards the modification as a result of he did not need to power landlords to do one thing they don’t seem to be comfy with. (Ken Linton/CBC)

In an interview earlier this week, Bernard stated she was advocating for the change on social media. 

“We have heard from so many people who find themselves in conditions proper now which have led to housing insecurity as a result of they weren’t in a position to have their pets,” Bernard stated. 

“We hear it more and more, and it shocked me really how many individuals are selecting to dwell of their vehicles, dwell of their tents as a result of that is the place they’ll have their pets.”

The P.E.I. Humane Society stated beforehand that it wish to see a provision within the P.E.I. Residential Tenancy Act much like what Ontario launched in 2006 — which prevents landlords from disallowing tenants to have pets

“Pets, we all know, are extra than simply animals, they’re family members, they’re a part of a household and so they supply large emotional helps for folks,” Bernard stated. “Who would not need that?”

‘I am actually battling this one’

Earlier this week, Housing and Social Growth Minister Matthew MacKay stated he sees each the tenants’ and landlords’ arguments. 

“I am actually battling this one, since you’ll have somebody who has their lifelong buddy as a pet that wishes to take with them and you then’ll have one other person that has seven canine,” MacKay stated. “Each scenario is totally different and that is the place I am actually struggling on this one as a result of there’s not a simple path ahead on this.”

MacKay stated different issues to contemplate are the injury a pet might trigger to a unit, different tenants’ allergy symptoms, what kind of animals could be thought-about pets — MacKay stated he is been requested about potbelly pigs — in addition to individuals who could also be afraid of canine.

“There’s an entire bunch of points, there’s not a simple path and we’re making an attempt to work by way of them,” he stated.

“That is the place I believe the landlords have to have a number of the discretion, that is their items. Actually in the event that they really feel that they are comfy with permitting pets of their residence, I am going to definitely help that, I simply do not suppose I needs to be the one forcing them and telling them to take action.”

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