This year’s moving season is shaping up to be disastrous. Not only has the housing shortage reached historic levels worsened by construction delays, the pandemic has caused income loss for many Quebecers. Finding a rental unit in the present context is extremely difficult, and even more so for families with companion animals. This is why the Montreal SPCA, in an April 21 statement, launched a campaign calling for Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ) members to show solidarity and leniency with families, by permitting them to bring their companion animals along into their new homes. Without landlords’ open-mindedness, a new catastrophe will very soon strike many families and animal shelters.
Urgently adapting to an extraordinary situation
According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), only 1.8% of rental units are available in Quebec and 1.5% in Montreal. These are the lowest vacancy rates since 2004. With fewer housing options to choose from, low-income families with an animal are all the more penalized. Refusing to rent to families with an animal often imposes a heart-wrenching decision: abandoning their companion, whom they consider to be a member of the family.
“Since animal shelters are currently operating with reduced services and staff, a new disaster will soon be upon us if landlords do not heed this call. Without landlords’ leniency, shelters will soon experience a real catastrophe,” warns Élise Desaulniers, executive director at the Montreal SPCA. “Landlords hold the key to preventing a disaster. They can keep families together through the crisis,” she adds.
With or without an animal, all tenants have the same obligations
The SPCA reminds landlords that the obligations of all tenants, whether or not they have an animal, remain the same. Renters have the legal responsibility to keep their dwelling in good condition and ensure others’ peaceful enjoyment of the premises.
“In these difficult times, let’s keep families together and avoid disastrous animal abandonment in our shelters,” Desaulniers asks Quebecers. “Please, join the movement by signing and sharing our petition to the CORPIQ asking landlords to show leniency towards animal lovers.”
— Montreal SPCA