A new rental development that has implemented a “8 legs” pet policy — allowing tenants to have two dogs or two cats — is being applauded by housing advocates, who say there’s a serious shortage of pet-friendly rentals in the region.
The BC SPCA says 1,774 animals were surrendered to their shelters because of “no pets” restrictions in 2016 alone. That’s five per day, on average, and the number rises each year.
The Westminster by Wesgroup Properties, located at the Sapperton SkyTrain Station in New Westminster, is a new rental project that lets tenants have two pets in each unit.
The brand-new 187-unit rental project, made up of 1, 2 & 3 bedroom units, implemented the policy in hopes of attracting new renters due to this rare offering of welcoming pets with open arms.
“We recognize that it’s already hard enough to find a rental home, and if you have a pet, its even harder. Pets are a part of the family too, so we offered an entirely pet-friendly rental property,” says Ryan Thé, Vice President of Development, Wesgroup Properties.
The property also has pet-specific amenities including an enclosed dog park, a dog wash facility, as well as being located near parks and trails.
PetsOK BC is an initiative aimed at striking down laws in BC that allow property owners to impose “no pets” policies on tenants in rental housing.
“It’s a step in the right direction. I think when you start to have restrictions on the size, the breed, the species, as some places do, thats’s when it starts to be a problem,” says Erin Filtness from PetsOK BC.
“I hope that other rental properties will follow suit,” says Filtness.
According to Thé, The Westminster’s policy has been extremely popular with renters, and they do not have any restrictions on pet sizes — all are welcome.
Thé says so far the plan has been very successful.
“We’ve seen around 50% of our building with renters with pets.”
Prices for the rental units start at $1,850 for a one-bedroom, $2,400 for a two-bedroom, and $2,750 for a three-bedroom.