While many condominium corporations allow pets in the condominium, pet owners who fail to familiarize themselves with the condominium’s restrictions on pets, or who blatantly ignore these restrictions, do so at the risk of having a court order that their pet be permanently removed from the property. Although condominium ownership allows one to own a portion of a larger piece of property, the unit owner does not have the same freedoms with respect to that property as would be had in the case of a detached, freehold residential dwelling.
Provisions regarding pet ownership are found in various places, from the Condominium Act, to the documents created by the condominium corporation itself: its declaration, by-laws and rules.
A condominium corporation’s declaration sets its framework; it is the equivalent of its constitution. It may also specify other restrictions and obligations on the corporation and unit owners – this is the basis under which declarations contain provisions prohibiting or restricting pets. If a blanket “no pets” provision is appropriate, such a provision must be included in the declaration. A less restrictive provision, which is borne of reasonable considerations, may be included in the rules or the declaration.
The Condominium Act allows a corporation to make rules to promote the safety, security or welfare of the unit owners and the property and assets of the corporation, or to prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the common elements, the units or the assets of the corporation. A condominium unit owner is required to abide by these rules. Enjoyment of one’s own unit is not to be at the expense of interfering with the use and enjoyment of the other owners in the condominium community.