22 August 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Apartments for rent in Winnipeg that allow pets: On the rise?

Finding apartments for rent in Winnipeg can be a nightmare if you have a pet, especially a dog. Most landlords and rental agencies have strict policies that deny renters the love and affection of a furry little friend. Even worse, many of the ones who do allow pets are “cat only”. But thankfully with the help, petitioning and rallies of the lovely people at the Winnipeg Humane Society, and their thousands of supporters, there are new laws that are slowly but surely making Manitoba a pet friendly province.

In January 2010, Manitoba Liberal leader Jon Gerrard introduced Bill 218, The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act (more fondly referred to as Fluffy’s Law) which recognizes the health and social benefits pet ownership provides Manitobans, specifically seniors. Over the past year this new law has been encouraging pet-friendly changes to rental agreements for many apartments in Winnipeg.

Apartments for rent in Winnipeg

George the Boston Terrier lives happily in a Winnipeg apartment

What is Fluffy’s Law?

  • Prohibits the use of “no pet” clauses in tenancy agreements and house rules
  • Allows landlords to establish and enforce house rules on cleanliness and standards of pet behaviour in the complex
  • Allows the Residential Tenancy Board to consider whether a pet causes serious allergic reactions or if its behavior interferes with the tenant’s enjoyment of the complex

Has Fluffy’s Law made a difference?

While Fluffy’s Law is somewhat “old news”, it’s worth discussing how it has affected Winnipeg’s four legged citizens since it was put into place. Has there been an increase in apartments for rent in Winnipeg that allow pets? After a whole lot of searching, we found it nearly impossible to find hard numbers from any of the rental agencies.

Although we did stumble upon one vague update. The June 2011 Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch newsletter states, “For years, tenants with pets have had a hard time finding landlords willing to rent to them. But times are changing, and more and more landlords are beginning to see the  benefits of pet-friendly apartments. Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in 2010 may be partly responsible for the change”.

Hopefully their next newsletter will report some actual figures. Or at least a list of apartments who are now accepting pets, who in the past were not.

Which Winnipeg Apartments allow pets?

Across a number of online directories, we found that every single website posted different information on which apartments allow pets. With so many discrepancies, renters are forced to just “phone around”. Although a few of the pet shelter websites were helpful so if you’re looking for apartments for rent in Winnipeg that allow pets try checking out the directories we found here and here.

Landlords: The benefits of renting to pet owners

By accepting pets, you can:

  • Increase demand for your property. Since not all rental properties on the market accept tenants with pets, yours will be in high demand
  • Attract more long-term tenants. It is hard to find apartments in Winnipeg that allow pets, so tenants with pets are likely to stay longer than tenants with no pets. This could reduce turnover in your building(s).
  • Attract responsible tenants. Responsible pet owners often make the most responsible tenants. Because few rental properties allow pets, these tenants are less likely to do anything to put their tenancy at risk.

Tenants: How to find a Winnipeg Rental that allows pets

  • Get a reference letter from a previous landlord or veterinarian.
  • Give your potential landlord a brief description and history of your pet(s). Give details on vaccinations, proof of licensing and contact information of someone who can care for your pet in the event of an emergency.
  • Don’t wait til the last minute to start your search for a pet-friendly rental. Start at least 6-8 weeks before your move date.
  • Be flexible. Consider new neighbourhoods and property types.
  • Introduce your pet to your potential landlord
  • Don’t sneak your pet without permission. This will only lead to future problems and potential evictions.
  • Make sure to have written permission to from the landlord. Ask them to add a clause to your tenancy agreement.
  • Be prepared to pay a pet damage deposit.

More than a year after Fluffy’s Law passed, the Manitoba government is continuing to take steps to educate all Manitobans of the benefits of allowing pets in rental properties. Hopefully the amount of information available will change the minds of landlords, and make it even easier to find a place to rent for you and your furry friends.

Do you have a story about pet-friendly apartments for rent in Winnipeg? Let us know in the comments.

2 Responses to “Apartments for rent in Winnipeg that allow pets: On the rise?”

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