In the midst of the housing crisis and while the question of a security deposit for rentals is hotly debated, the questioning of the possibility of banning pets in rental accommodation is still arousing passions. This issue thus topped the very first provincial electoral debate organized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA Montreal), which invited candidates from the main parties to debate and engage on various social issues related to animals.
Posted at 6:00 a.m.
The possibility for a landlord to prohibit the presence of pets in a rental unit puts a stick in the legs of some aspiring tenants seeking to stay in the company of their proteges. While the scarcity of housing has increased, more Quebec households than ever have pets (the proportion has recently reached one in two households), which leads to debates on the questioning of this right to refusal, the owners fearing to see themselves imposing the management of possible damage or having to regulate conflicts between tenants.
The FRAPRU (Popular Action Front in Urban Redevelopment) says it has witnessed the difficulties of tenants to find accommodation with their animal, even when it has an assistance function.
“We are very concerned about this issue,” said Véronique Laflamme, spokesperson for this housing rights activist organization.
With the scarcity of rental housing, this is an additional obstacle to access to housing. Tenants often have very little choice and sometimes have to part with their animal.
Véronique Laflamme, FRAPRU spokesperson
Ontario, where it is “prohibited to prohibit” animals in homes, is also often cited as an example. But Marc-André Plante, spokesman for the Corporation of Real Estate Owners of Quebec (CORPIQ), points out a not insignificant element: unlike Quebec, this province authorizes the security deposit, a surety which makes it possible to absorb any costs in case of damage to a dwelling.
Under these conditions, CORPIQ’s position is clear: “We cannot support a proposal that would impose the right of all tenants to have an animal in a dwelling, because we believe that this is detrimental to landlords. , but also to other tenants. We prefer that there is rather awareness, the search for compromise ”, decided Mr. Plante, who recalls that 25% of Quebec owners currently authorize, to varying degrees, animals in housing. He also points out that the presence of animals can be a source of conflict between tenants (allergies, noise, security, etc.) — the current law making it possible to arbitrate, on a case-by-case basis, between the right to have an animal and the right to neighboring tenants, current or future, not to suffer the consequences.
Opinions of all kinds
It is among other things on this question as thorny as a hedgehog that the participants in the debate of the SPCA Montreal expressed themselves, this week. In turn, representatives of parties currently having at least one member in the Assembly — only the CAQ did not respond to the invitation — made commitments and presented their points of view.
The candidate of the Parti Québécois (PQ) in Saint-François, Sylvie Tanguay, opened the ball, judging “unacceptable” the existence of the law allowing this ban. “At the Parti Québécois, we are committed to modifying this law on the Civil Code at the level of leases”, affirmed this assistant-head nurse in pediatrics, who also fully assumes her joke of “mad about cats” attached by her entourage. She also said that she had previously owned an income building and allowed her tenants to house animals there.
It was then the turn of Claude Lefrançois, candidate for Québec solidaire (QS) in Laporte, a veterinarian for 42 years, to underline the commitment of his party. “Manon Massé had sponsored a petition [à ce sujet] which had collected more than 40,000 signatures,” the latter said.
Animals included in leases have been in our platform for at least three years. I am thinking, among other things, of the elderly who have to leave their homes to go to a residence [et se séparer de leur animal].
Claude Lefrançois, candidate for QS and veterinarian specializing in small animals
Elements of the plan, including the legalization of a security deposit in Quebec, were then proposed by Konstantinos Merakos, candidate for the Conservative Party of Quebec (PCQ) in Chomedey: “I see a lot of reluctance on the part of the owners. Personally, I find that it is an opportunity to use this clause to change the status and include respect for the dignity of the animal and increase [son] degree of sensitivity. Once this is done, it will be much easier to include them in the accommodations, ”said this lawyer, owner of Whisky, a dog adopted from the SPCA.
Finally, Jonathan Marleau, candidate for the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) in Maurice-Richard, wants to spare the goat and the cabbage, between the concerns of the owners and the needs of the tenants. “We must improve the situation, but we want to be sure to do it well,” said the director of a financial institution. “We want to look at the best practices in the world, to seek a balance between the concerns of all the parties involved, but also of the animals, to ensure that we can meet their natural imperatives in a dwelling. »
Six issues addressed
The debate organized by the SPCA focused on six other burning issues: chained dogs, fur farms (all four participating parties have pledged to ban them), the welfare of food animals , fire protection standards in livestock buildings, responsible wildlife management and the food transition making more room for vegetarianism. It is possible to view the resumption of the entire exchange.