One does not prohibit animals at will

September 19, 2016 - A Toronto co-ownership is currently in turmoil. The co-owners and tenants living there could be denied the presence of animals in the immovable.

A proposal to amend the By-law would allow present animal owners to keep their pets, but any new animal would be prohibited, with the exception of service animals weighting less than 25 pounds.

Is such a radical change really enforceable? Nothing is less certain. Ontario courts have ruled that certain prohibitions concerning animal in a co-ownership may be valid, but not a complete prohibition. Furthermore, establishing a weight limit could be considered a human rights violation.

A By-law limiting the number of animals may be acceptable, and also prohibiting their presence on nuisance grounds in respect of co-owners, or to ensure their safety and even protecting them from   loss of enjoyment of common or private portions.

This being said, the co-owners of the said immovable have circulated a petition, to prevent the animal ban. In Ontario to amend a By-law, the Condominium Act provides that a minimum of 15% of co-owners must call a General Meeting in writing, and that the proposed amendments be approved by at least 51% of co-owners present or represented.

Amending the declaration of co-ownership to prohibit the presence of animals in the immovable will be much more difficult. It will be necessary to obtain the written consent of co-owners representing at least 80% of the apartments. This means that if an immovable is predominantly inhabited by tenants who have no votes concerning decisions taken in the immovable, those aimed at restricting the presence of animals will be taken by co-owners who do not live there.

For more information about the presence of animals in Quebec co-ownership, the website Réalité Animale (Animal Reality) has addressed this issue in one of its articles.

 

Montreal, September 19, 2016

Source: Lash / Co-ownership Law