Is Having Pets in Condos Legal?

You’re buying a new home and just assumed having pets in condos is no big deal. 

Not necessarily. Whether you can house pets in condos depends on where you buy and when.

Pesky barking, messy litter in the garbage room, pythons on the loose — condo corporations have their reasons for banning pets in condos.  

Quick Read

Are pets allowed in condominiums?

Is a ban on pets in condos legal?

Where to find pet policies

What to do about nuisance pets in condos. 

Pets around then condominiums

Pets in Condos — Canada Laws You Should Know About

Pets in condos are commonplace. 

But can a condo say “no pets” in Ontario or ban pets in Toronto? Yes, pets other than service animals like guide dogs for blind owners or trauma support animals.

How much power does a condo board have? Only the power to make bylaws, rules, and declarations that affect condo owners’ enjoyment of personal and common or shared property. 

That includes:

  • if pets are allowed at all
  • when a new no pets rule takes effect (your pet may be “grandfathered” in)
  • how the condo board treats nuisance pets
  • and when owners can be asked to evict a pet. For instance, your pet may be able to stay if a condo board neglects to act sooner rather than later. 

Mediate or arbitrate a dispute with a condo board. When to sue a condo corporation in Ontario. Taking legal action against condo boards

Why Bans on Pets Are Legal

Two Ontario legal rulings set the standard for restricting pets in condos:

  • Pet bans have been a regular feature of condominium declarations since the 1975 York Condominium Corp. No. 42 v Melanson court ruling. The decision invalidates restrictions on pets in condos in building by-laws or regulations, while allowing condominium declarations to ban pets.  
  • Dogs were disallowed in an Ontario condo in a 2022 Condominium Authority Tribunal decision, Decoste v Halton Condominium Corporation No. 134. The tribunal prevented a condo owner from declaring “legacy status” for a dog she made a deposit on before a no dogs rule was adopted. 

If the rulings sound contradictory, they aren’t. The Decoste decision didn’t question if condo corporations could have rules stating no pets in condos. It strictly dealt with the rights of a dog 

bought before the rule was made. 

You see, the Halton Condominium Corporation no dogs rule exempted pets already living in the building before Feb. 1, 2022. The owner took possession of her new dog in June. She was out of luck, but you may not be if you follow Ontario law on service animals and guide dogs

Locate Policies on Pets in Condos

Where that leaves you is this: verify independently if pets in condos are permitted before you invest, buy, or adopt a new friend. Realtor duties to clients include informing you of no pets in condos policies. But that only applies if you make it clear you already have or plan to bring pets. Find an Ontario realtor

If your real estate agent doesn’t know the answer, ask to see the condo corporation’s declaration to find out if buildings you plan to invest in ban pets. The declaration explains what owners’ rights and obligations, and what types of pets (if any) you or your tenants can have. 

It’s worth knowing before you assume your precious pets are welcome.

Check your realtor’s status with the Real Estate Association of Ontario. 

Talking to a real estate lawyer

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Before you buy an Ontario condo that may restrict pets in condos, bring your agreement of purchase and sale to Axess Law. Our professional real estate lawyers can review your agreement, and condo corporation declaration, and amend the offer to purchase as needed. What’s in your offer to purchase.  

Axess Law reviews condo declarations for red flags condo owners should know about. We refer you to trusted legal partners to resolve disputes with a condo corporation where you live or invest. Red flags when buying a condo in Ontario. 

Our licenced real estate lawyers explain terms and conditions in legally binding purchase or rental agreements. We advise if renters will be able to bring pets, and if your agreement of purchase and sale gives you the right to withdraw by mutual consent.

Axess Law searches title to your new condo for covenants and financial claims that can prevent the title transfer from going through by completion date. We liaise with the seller’s lawyer to have claims on title lifted, and register your investment or personal property in your name. What an Ontario real estate lawyer can do for you. 

Care for precious pets after you are gone. Axess Law drafts Wills appointing a legal executor for individual or family estates.   

Use Remote Lawyers From Home or Office

Sign real estate documents without leaving your home when you use an Axess Law virtual real estate lawyer. Our licensed legal team discusses and witnesses legal documents you need for the purchase or sale of an Ontario home or land via virtual video conference. You can use any compatible home computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to complete real estate transactions remotely. 

Using a virtual real estate lawyer in Ontario. 

Affordable Real Estate Lawyers, Anywhere You Are

Access lawyers for less in Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, or anywhere in Ontario  when you buy, sell, or transfer property. Axess Law’s flat fee real estate lawyers are affordable, and our rates are all inclusive (excluding taxes, disbursements, and third-party charges). Axess Law offers you only the legal services you absolutely need. Your final invoice includes no surprises or hidden charges. Your itemized statement of adjustments is explained when we deliver it, and we answer any questions you have about it.

Find a real estate lawyer near you. 

Book Appointments Online or By Phone 

Making online appointments is the easy way to schedule dates and times that work for you. Our quick online booking form takes the work out of making legal appointments. To speak to a live operator, dial our 647-479-0118 lawyer line in Toronto or toll free to 1-877-402-4277. You can meet your real estate lawyer in person at any of our conveniently located Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa law offices, or go online with a virtual Axess Law lawyer. 

Axess Law has onsite parking and transit access nearby.