Pet Restrictions – Are my pets welcome in my building?

Your pets are important members of your family and it is extremely important to check if they are welcome in your building.

Many strata corporations have pet bylaws that can limit the number or type of pets or prohibit pets.  There are a few exceptions, one being strata bylaws prohibiting or limiting pets do not apply to certified guide dogs and service dogs.

Pet Bylaws

Strata corporations can restrict owners, tenants and other occupants from keeping pets or certain kinds of pets through the bylaws of the strata corporation. The bylaws might do any of the following:

  • ban pets
  • limit the number of pets that can be kept
  • provide restrictions on keeping pets, such as leashing them in common areas
  • limit the kind of pets that can be kept, such as no dogs, or no dogs over 20 lbs.
  • require pets to be registered with the strata council

Pet bylaws banning or limiting the number or type of pets cannot apply to certified guide or service dogs.

The Standard Bylaws and Pet Restrictions

Many strata corporations use the Standard Bylaws issued by the provincial government.  Standard Bylaw 3(4) provides that an owner, tenant or occupant must not keep any pets on a strata lot other than one or more of the following:

  • a reasonable number of fish or other small aquarium animals
  • a reasonable number of small caged mammals
  • up to two caged birds
  • one dog or one cat

The Standard Bylaws also require owners, tenants, occupants and visitors to ensure that all animals are leashed or otherwise secured when on the common property or on land that is a common asset.

Strata corporations can amend or repeal Standard Bylaw Section 3(4) at any time by passing their own bylaw that deals with pets and filing the bylaw in the Land Title Office.

“Grandfathering” – Exempting Current Pets

If a strata corporation creates a new pet bylaw that restricts the keeping of pets, current pets that are living in a strata lot with an owner, tenant or occupant at the time that the bylaw is passed may continue to live in that strata lot.

The pets may not be replaced unless the new pet meets the requirements of the pet bylaw.

How can Eli help?

When looking at buying into a building, be sure to understand all the restrictions relating to pets.  These will be contained in the Strata Bylaws & Rules, and subsequent amendment documents to the by-laws – all of which are important.

Talk to your Realtor about getting an Eli Report to help double check if your pet loved ones are welcome in your building!

Read more on Strata Pet Bylaws on the Government of British Columbia’s website.