Whether you have found a pet-friendly place to rent or looking for one, here is some information and questions to ask yourself. Be in the know and avoid the pitfalls that can happen with furry family members.

cat sleeping in a pet-friendly apartment

The property I am interested in says no pets allowed. Is this legal?

Yes. In Alberta landlords have the option to decide if their property is pet-friendly or not. Never assume pets are allowed at the apartment or condo complex you are looking to rent in. Renting with pets means taking extra steps to ensure pets are allowed and if so, what restrictions are imposed.

If you currently rent and thinking about getting a pet, check your lease and talk with your landlord. Getting a pet after you have moved in could result in your eviction if the property is not pet-friendly.

What kind of restrictions can landlords place on renters with pets?

Landlords have the right to restrict the type of pet allowed to live with you. While the property may be pet-friendly, there might be a size restriction on dogs, for example no dogs over 15 kilos are allowed. Some landlords restrict renters in Calgary and Edmonton from having certain breeds.
Your prospective landlord may also restrict how many and what kind of pets are allowed. For instance, having a large boa constrictor snake in your apartment might not be approved. Or perhaps you’re running into problems where pet-friendly rentals are not approving your seven cats.
Other obligations pet-friendly apartments may impose is proof your pet is licensed with your local municipality. As well, even though you are in a pet-friendly apartment, visiting pets may not be allowed.

Can my landlord charge me a pet-fee?

Yes, they can. But there is no specific amount that can be charged, except it should be reasonable. Some fees are refundable and some are not, and may be in addition to pet-rent. 

Can my landlord charge me pet-rent?

Yes. In addition to a pet-fee, your pet can be charged rent in many pet-friendly rentals in Edmonton and Calgary. Make sure you ask before renting your 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartment or condo.

dog lounging in a pet-friendly rental

When I viewed a prospective rental, I saw people with pets even though the property is not pet-friendly. I may get a pet. Would this be allowed? 

It could be the property was pet-friendly but the policy has changed. In this case what often happens is, current renters with pets can keep their furry friends, but new renters cannot bring a pet with them. Some properties may not have a pet policy and look at each renter situation differently. Exercise caution here and try to get pet-friendly in writing so you don’t encounter problems later on.  

The place I’m renting was sold, and now my landlord wants me to give up my pet? Can they do this? 

No. Your new landlord must honour your lease agreement. However, if your new landlord is transitioning from a pet-friendly rental to no pets, then you will not be able to get a new pet.

My lease prohibits dogs and cats so I want to get a guinea pig? Can I do that? 

You should check with your landlord first. It may be only dogs and cats are prohibited, and other small pets would be fine. However, this is a grey area and you should make sure your new pet is allowed.  

How can I help my pet make a good impression on my prospective landlord?

Landlords are looking for well-behaved pets that won’t cause concerns, especially with your neighbours. If you have a pet-friendly rental in mind, here are some of the ways your pet can make a good impression on your landlord.

  • Proof they are spayed or neutered

  • Licensed with your local municipality

  • If your dog or cat breed is considered to be hypoallergenic, let your prospective landlord know as they might be worried about other tenants who may have allergies

  • Proof they have completed obedience training, or other special training

  • Introduce your pet to the landlord either while viewing your 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom apartment or soon after

  • Listen carefully to concerns from the landlord and make sure you understand the rules and regulations 

I have a service dog. Will I still be refused renting if the prospective property is not pet-friendly?

You should carefully read the Service Dogs Act. The Act states that Albertans with disabilities have the right to bring their qualified service dog with them into any public place where people are normally allowed. Talk to your landlord about this.  

I have moved into my pet-friendly rental and want to ensure my pet is a good neighbour. What should I keep in mind?

Your pets may take a little time to adjust to their new home. Pets are neighbours too and need a little help to be good ones. While people with pets flock together some pets may not take kindly to their furry neighbours, therefore keeping them leashed amounts to safety for everyone.

On the property and common areas:

  • Do not let your pet trample, poop, or urinate on bushes, greenery, sidewalks or in any common areas.

  • Pick up your pet’s waste.

  • Ensure they are always on leash.

dog being walked on a leash

‚ÄčIn your suite:

  • Do not let your pet scratch, bite or chew any apartment fixtures like flooring, doors, countertops, door handles, etc.

  • Please ensure your pet is secure in a room with the door closed when maintenance or community staff must enter your suite.

  • Do not let your pet wander in common areas like your hallway.

Many pet-friendly rentals in Calgary and Edmonton are near recreation and off-leash areas your pet will love.

Are you looking for 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rental properties in Calgary or Edmonton. Visit www.fsresidentialrentals.com or a list of pet-friendly rentals in Alberta.


Monday August 29, 2022