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Fourth Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 218

THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES AMENDMENT ACT (PROTECTING TENANTS WHO OWN PETS)


Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS Manitobans will benefit from landlord and tenant legislation that promotes the keeping of pets;

AND WHEREAS landlords will benefit from having guidelines and house rules about reasonable pet control and behaviour;

AND WHEREAS tenants who have pets are more socially connected and are in better health, less depressed, and more physically fit;

AND WHEREAS pets provide companionship to Manitobans, especially Manitoba's seniors, many of whom are tenants;

AND WHEREAS mentally and physically healthy Manitobans lessen the strain on an overburdened health care system;

AND WHEREAS encouraging pet ownership alleviates the strain on animal welfare organizations;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. R119 amended

1           The Residential Tenancies Act is amended by this Act.

2           The following is added after subsection 7(6):

"No pet" provisions void

7(7)        A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of pets in or about a rental unit or residential complex is void.

Pet control and behaviour provisions must be reasonable

7(8)        A provision in a tenancy agreement about the control and behaviour of pets in or about a rental unit or residential complex must be reasonable in all the circumstances.

3           The following is added after subsection 11(2):

"No pet" house rules void

11(2.1)     House rules may not prohibit the presence of pets in or about the rental unit or residential complex.

House rules re pets

11(2.2)     In addition to the obligations set out in a tenancy agreement and the house rules referred to in subsection (2), a landlord may establish and enforce rules about

(a) the tenant's maintenance of the rental unit or residential complex when a pet is kept by the tenant, including standards of cleanliness; and

(b) the tenant's control of a pet in or about the unit or complex, including standards of pet behaviour;

if the rules are in writing, and are made known to the tenant, and are reasonable in all the circumstances.

4           The following is added after subsection 143(1):

Guidelines for determinations involving pets

143(1.1)    Under the authority of the minister, the director may also make guidelines about which animals make reasonable pets and which animals are inherently dangerous. The director may request submissions from any person prior to doing so.

5           The following is added after subsection 154(1):

"No pet" provisions not to be considered

154(1.0.1   ) The director must not consider

(a) the provisions of a tenancy agreement respecting the presence of pets;

(b) the provisions of a tenancy agreement about the control or behaviour of pets that are not reasonable in all the circumstances; or

(c) the provisions of similar agreements to which other tenants are parties;

in determining, for the purpose of clause (1)(b), whether a tenant has contravened section 73 (duty not to disturb others) or 74 (impairment of safety by tenant).

Decisions and orders involving pet owners

154(1.0.2)  No order or decision under paragraphs 1 to 8, 9, 9.1 or 12 of subsection (1) may be made by the director against a tenant based on a tenancy agreement respecting the presence, control or behaviour of a pet in or about the rental unit or residential complex unless the director is satisfied that the tenant is keeping a pet and that

(a) the past behaviour of an animal of that species has substantially interfered with the reasonable enjoyment of the unit or complex for all usual purposes by the landlord or the other tenants;

(b) the presence of an animal of that species has caused the landlord or another tenant to suffer a serious allergic reaction; or

(c) the presence of an animal of that species or breed is inherently dangerous to the safety of the landlord or other tenants.

Further matters for the director to consider

154(1.0.3)  Even if satisfied that the tenant is keeping a pet and that the criterion set out in clause (1.0.2)(a) or the one set out in clause (1.0.2)(b) has been met, the director must not make an order or decision if he or she is also satisfied

(a) in the case of a finding under clause (1.0.2)(a), that the pet did not cause or contribute to the substantial interference;

(b) in the case of a finding under clause (1.0.2)(b), that the pet did not cause or contribute to the allergic reaction.

6           The following is added after subsection 170(1):

Decisions involving pet owners

170(1.1)    Subsections 154(1.0.1) to (1.0.3) apply, with necessary changes, to the commission in making a decision or order under subsection (1).

7           Section 178 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 178(1) and adding the following as subsection 178(2):

Decisions involving pet owners

178(2)      Subsections 154(1.0.1) to (1.0.3) apply, with necessary changes, to the Court of Appeal in making a decision or order under subsection (1).

S.M. 2009, c. 10 (unproclaimed) amended

8(1)        This section amends provisions of The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, S.M. 2009, c. 10, that are not yet in force.

8(2)        Subsections 29.1(1) and (2), as enacted by S.M. 2009, c. 10, section 17, are amended by striking out "with the landlord's permission".

8(3)        Subsection 29.1(4), as enacted by S.M. 2009, c. 10, section 17, is amended

(a) by striking out "or" at the end of paragraph 2(a) and repealing paragraph 2(b); and

(b) in paragraph 5, by striking out "the landlord agrees".

8(4)        Section 29.2, as enacted by S.M. 2009, c. 10, section 17, is amended by striking out "11(2) and (3)" and substituting "11(2), (2.1), (2.2) and (3)".

8(5)        Clause 39(1)(c), as enacted by S.M. 2009, c. 10, subsection 33(1), is amended by striking out "the landlord permits the tenant to keep a pet" and substituting "the tenant keeps a pet".

8(6)        Clause 39(2)(c), as enacted by S.M. 2009, c. 10, subsection 33(2), is amended by striking out "the landlord permits the tenant to keep" and substituting "the tenant keeps".

Coming into force

9            This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill prohibits "no pet" clauses in tenancy agreements and house rules. Any clauses about the control or behaviour of pets must be reasonable.

This Bill also prohibits the Director of Residential Tenancies, the Residential Tenancies Commission and the Court of Appeal on an appeal, from considering clauses in a tenancy agreement about the presence of pets when deciding whether a tenant has breached the duty not to disturb others or the duty not to impair other tenants' safety. Orders and decisions under The Residential Tenancies Act about tenants and their pets may only be made in certain circumstances.