Though one in two Quebec households in 2020 has a companion animal, only 4.2% of landlords accept tenants with dogs according to a survey conducted by the Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec in 2015.

This mainly affects low-income families, who face more limited housing choices. The situation is devastating, not only for the families but also for the animals themselves. The problem is primarily due to the absence of legislation in Quebec regarding the presence of animals in rental units.

Faced with a similar problem, the Ontario government responded by enacting legislation invalidating no-pet clauses in leases in the 1990’s. The Montreal SPCA believes it is time for Quebec to follow suit. In March 2015, we launched a provincial petition sponsored by MNA Manon Massé to invalidate no-pet clauses in residential leases. Though the petition received overwhelming public support, collecting over 22,000 signatures in three months, the provincial government refused to take action.

Despite this disappointing turn of events, the Montreal SPCA will continue to work to make no-pet clauses a thing of the past. In the meantime, we are providing the public with tools to assist in finding pet-friendly housing, as well as some tips on how to deal with a problematic landlord or syndicate of co-owners.

6 suggestions to facilitate your search for an apartment


  1. Examine all possibilities: If you already live in an apartment that accepts pets, before deciding to move, examine all possibilities and make sure you absolutely need to leave. It is not always simple to find another one that will welcome your companion.


  1. Plan your search in advance: Don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search. Start looking for a pet-friendly unit as soon as possible – preferably six months before your planned moving date – through sites such as Timbercreek, Appartmap, Kijiji, Kangalou and Appartogo.


  1. Provide references: One or more letters from previous landlords are the best references for you and your pet. They can testify that you are responsible and that your pet is well behaved and didn’t create any problems. You can also ask your vet to write you a reference letter.


  1. Present your pet: When visiting apartments, bring photos of your pet and your current home to show the landlord that your companion didn’t cause any damages. You can also ask him/her if he/she wants to meet your pet. This can be beneficial, especially for dogs, to demonstrate that yours is calm and well behaved. If you have completed courses in dog training with your pet, you can also show the landlord the certificate of completion.


  1. Talk beforehand: If you have pets, we recommend that you speak with your landlord before signing the lease to avoid future problems. If the landlord accepts your pet, ask that he specifically adds this to your lease in writing.


  1. Be flexible: Visit several neighborhoods, places and different types of properties. This will improve your chances of finding a suitable place to live with your pet. The less restrictive you are in your requirements (other than being pet friendly), the easier it will be to find a new apartment.


Other useful resources

  • The Régie du logement
  • Jean Turgeon, Esq’s text (Faculty of Law – Université Laval) in which you will find more information regarding your rights and recourses in reference to pet ownership (house, condo or rental unit) – text available in French only.

During the crisis, let’s ask landlords to rent to families with animals

Sign the petition addressed to the Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ).

Learn more

The Montreal SPCA provides the public with tools to assist in finding pet-friendly housing, as well as some tips on how to deal with a problematic landlord or syndicate of co-owners.


Please note that the information on this page is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion of any kind, nor does its provision form the basis of a lawyer-client relationship. The Montreal SPCA recommends obtaining independent legal counsel regarding any specific legal issues. While the Montreal SPCA has made reasonable efforts to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, it does not guarantee the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the material.