Pet by-law bites

QUESTION: My building has just passed a new by-law that says all tenants must have the written permission of their landlords before they can have a pet.  However it also says the Executive Committee can’t unreasonably refuse to give permission.

I think it’s unreasonable of them to ask me to get permission from the landlord when I didn’t need it before. I’m on a continuing tenancy but I’m worried that the landlord could use this to get me out of the apartment so they can put the rent up. Can I use the “unreasonable” clause as a way of not having to choose between my cat and my flat? – Mr Jinks, Kings Cross.

ANSWER: Are you sure you didn’t need permission from your landlord?  Most standard leases either forbid animals or have a clause restricting the animals you can have, subject to written permission. But if there was no such restriction on your lease, you could argue that it’s the equivalent of written permission (even if it’s because there’s nothing in writing).

Meanwhile, I’d be tempted to wait and see if there’s a complaint and argue your case then.  What the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve.

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