The quietest victims of Montreal’s low vacancy rate: abandoned pets

MONTREAL — They’re the quietest victims of Montreal’s historically low vacancy rates. The SPCA is readying for many pets to be dropped off during tomorrow’s Moving Day after a flood of calls from their owners.

There will likely be more than usual, the organization says. With such tough competition finding any apartment right now, it’s that much harder to find a pet-friendly one.

“We’ve been receiving phone calls for the past three months from people looking for apartments that accept animals and not finding them,” says Elise Desaulniers of the Montreal SPCA.

“We know the occupancy rate is very low.”

Given the ability to pick and choose whether they’ll accept tenants with pets, many landlords opt for pet-free renters. It’s often because they’ve been burned by irresponsible pet-owners in the past, says the Quebec Landlords’ Association.

“We always have the same comments from property owners, who say because of bad experiences in the past, we will no longer accept tenants who have a pet,” said Hans Brouillette of the association.

The landlords’ group says 71 per cent of its members accept cats, but only 24 per cent would rent to a dog owner.

By law, however, landlords can’t refuse someone with a service dog.

The SPCA says it wishes Quebec would force landlords to accept all pets. Landlords, meanwhile, say they could be open to that idea—if they got a security deposit in exchange, which is not currently legal in Quebec.

Right now, however, many tenants are in a tough dilemma. The SPCA says they’re expecting Moving Day to be a painful time full of teary-eyed people dropping off their pets in exchange for a roof over their heads.

  

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