Can landlords evict a tenant for possessing a firearm?

A landlord-tenant dispute in Pennsylvania last week resulted in one tenant being shot in the buttocks by his landlord. Another tenant, this one in Minnesota, was evicted by his landlord for keeping a loaded gun in the room he rents at a house with other tenants.

While the right to possess firearms is provided for in the U.S.’s Second Amendment, such a right is not spelled out in Canada’s Constitution, which begs the question: Do landlords have the right to penalize tenants for possessing a firearm?

“From my experience as a police officer and a landlord, a landlord has no rights to dictate if a person can have a firearm in their residence,” said Corry van Iersel, an investor and agent with The Vancor Group, Re/Max Real Estate Centre.  

“Landlords can only enforce landlord and tenant legislation, and while I'm not a lawyer or paralegal, I'm confident there's nothing a landlord can do to prevent a tenant from having a firearm, if they are doing it in accordance with the criminal code regulations.”  

A few years ago, Canada made it mandatory to have a gun safe in the home for storing firearms, which was on top of the trigger locks that had been previously mandated. “There are rules and regulations on how to keep firearm secured in your home,” added Todor Yordanov, an investor and sales representative at Right at Home Realty.

“I have never heard this to be a question or condition on rental properties or to be included in a lease. It is not something that a tenant must disclose. I do believe that most people who own firearms are responsible and take proper care of them.”

Like all potential bumps in the landlord-tenant relationship, if a tenant breaks the law then they can be evicted, added Van Iersel, “whether it be a firearm or drugs, or anything really.”

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  • by wg 2015-02-26 4:19:07 PM

    a little research goes a long way, especially if your reporting and you want people to believe what you are saying.

    a safe is not a requirement, non restricted firearms can be in a safe OR trigger/action locked, you can wall hang/display these firearms long as they are locked or disabled

  • by Noir 2015-02-26 5:37:15 PM

    you are exactly right in Ontario a Landlord does not have the right to evict a tenant for LEGALLY possessing a firearm

  • by Mike Michl 2015-03-02 4:56:51 PM

    "CRIME FREE HOUSING" form I've been using for some 12 years now with all my tenants having to sign @ lease signing.
    Residential Tenancy Agreement Addendum for Crime Free Housing : -
    In consideration of the execution or renewal of a Residential Agreement of the residential property identified in the Residential Tenancy Agreement, landlord and tenant agree as follows:
    1. The tenant(s), any member of the tenant(s) household, and any persons invited onto the residential property or residential premises by the tenant(s) or any member of the tenant(s) family shall not engage in any criminal activity on the premises or property including, but not limited to:
    (a) any drug related criminal activity
    (b) solicitation (pimps, prostitution activity)
    (c) street gang activity
    (d) assault or threatened assault
    (e) unlawful use of a firearm
    (f) any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety or welfare of the landlord, other tenants or persons on the residential property or residential premises.
    2. A single violation of any of the provisions of this added addendum shall be deemed a serious violation and material non-compliance with the Residential Tenancy Agreement. It is understood and agreed that a single violation shall be good cause for a notice to end a Residential Tenancy Agreement. Unless otherwise provided by law, proof of violation shall not require criminal conviction, but shall be predominant of the evidence.
    3. In case of conflict between the provisions if this addendum and any other provisions of the Residential Tenancy Agreement, the provisions of this addendum shall govern.
    4. This Residential Tenancy Agreement addendum is incorporated into the Residential Tenancy Agreement executed or renewed this day between landlord and tenant.

    ---------------------------------- --------------------------
    Tenant Signature Date
    ---------------------------------- --------------- --------------------------
    Landlord Property

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