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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello can I appeal against a housing association on keeping

Customer Question

Hello can I appeal against a housing association on keeping a pet, that I have already had for 4 years?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Is it against your tenancy agreement please?

JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

I am actually seeking advice on this for a good friend of mine. And yes, she is with a housing association (London and Quadrant) and lives in a one bedroom flat in Leyton, East London and was not really allowed to have animals. However, she did adopt a dog at one stage and appealed to them to let her keep him, but they refused (this was in 2009), so she did at that time give him away. One of their main reasons at that time for not allowing this, was that she did not have use of a sole garden (being in a flat). However, her argument was that there is a park immediately opposite where she lives, where she could take the dog out, but they still refused it. However, a year or so later, she decided to get a very small dog (chihuahua) thinking this would be easier to keep (as the other dog had been a much bigger dog, but did in fact end up getting two of the puppies from the litter. Having said that, she has now had these dogs for over 4 years with no problem at all. All of the tenants in her block are aware of this and have no problem with it and they do not cause any problems, although may bark occasionally. She was therefore, devastated to learn today after receiving a letter, that they are now threatening her with legal action if she does not get rid of the dogs within 30 days! My friend is a complete animal lover and has had animals all of her life and lives on her own and after having these dogs for 4 years is extremely attached to them, as they are her constant companions. She is at a complete loss at to what she can do...as she does not want to lose her pets and companions or her home?! This is why I am seeking your advice to try and help her to find a way legally that she can at least try to appeal against this or to at least know what her legal options are? Should you need any other further information, then please let me know. I look forward to any advice you can give on this matter. Kind regards, Tracie

Alex Watts :

What does the tenancy agreement say please about keeping animals?

Alex Watts :

Do other tenants keep animals?

JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

Hi Alex, As far as I know she was not allowed to keep dogs/pets in her tenancy agreement. However, there are other tenants in the other blocks that have pets.

Alex Watts : How many, for how long and do the association know?
JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

She has two very small dogs (chihuahua's) and she has had them now for 4 years. I do not think the association knew about this, but someone must have informed them of this now.

Alex Watts : What are they saying they will do if she does not get rid of it please?
JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

They are saying that they will take legal action.

Alex Watts :

Well they need to be consistent.

Alex Watts :

Therefore if they are treating all tenants the same, all well and good.

Alex Watts :

But as you have said other tenants have pets and it is not an issue

Alex Watts :

Therefore in that respect she can appeal.

Alex Watts :

She should write to the Chief Executive of the Association and make a formal complaint

Alex Watts :

They will investigate the complaint in full

Alex Watts :

If you are not happy with the outcome then you can complain to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They are free and offer an independent review of your complaint

Alex Watts :

Their website is:

Alex Watts :

http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

Hello Alex, Thank you for your advice on this before, but I now have further questions on this. We wrote a letter to the housing association and my friend admitted having two small dogs. I am going to attach a copy of the letter here for you to read.

Full Size Image
. I hope you are able to read this, as not sure as this as an attachment? My friend's condition is progressively worsening as she seems to be suffering from severe depression and her doctor has now put her forward for counselling sessions, although this has only just started. The housing association have now responded to her letter, which advised as follows ' 'Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your various persona issues you have been experiencing over the last few years however, as explained in my letter dated 24th April 2014, the Trust did not grant you permission when you originally requested to have the dogs in 2009 (this was in fact a separate incident whereby my friend took in a homeless dog and did request permission to keep it, which they refused, whereupon she then had to give this dog away...so this is NOT relating to the two dogs she has now). Please be advised that the Trust cannot change this decision and that you are still required to re-house the dogs. The only criteria where the Trust would offer discretion would be if the dogs were guide dogs. I can confirm that you also stated that you were aware of L&Q's policy of NO PETS however, you failed to adhere to this and I can confirm that you are currently in breach of the terms and conditions of your tenancy. I can also confirm that your previous Neighbourhood Services Officer and I have witnessed the dogs barking on a frequent basis which further supports the allegations that the dogs are causing a noise nuisance within the block. The Trust has not been made aware of any other residents in the block owning dogs but if you wish you can provide me with the addresses so I can also advise them that dogs are not permitted within flats. The dogs will need to be re-housed however, in the circumstances I have extended the dates from 24th May 2014 to 23rd June 2014. If it is found that you have failed to remove the dogs by that date L&Q will serve you with a Notice of Seeking Possession of the above property as well as applying for an injunction to have the dogs permanently removed'. As you can imagine, my friend who is already in a very low and depressive state, is absolutely devastated by this! Furthermore, it does not state anywhere on their website regarding their pets policy, that the only pets that can be allowed are guide dogs. In fact, my friend enquired with another neighbour from a neighbouring block who has a dog that she keeps in a flat also if she had managed to gain permission and apparently she had! So again, as you advised before, they do not seem to be being consistent in their stance on this. I would really appreciate your further advice on this and what my friend can possibly do, to still appeal against this? I look forward to hearing from you asap. Many thanks. Tracie

JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

please can you get back to me on this asap. Thank you. Tracie

JACUSTOMER-daxilb7g- :

Please could you get back to me on this, as my friend has a meeting with a Line Manager this Wednesday, 4th June 2014, so it would be good to get your feedback before this. Thanks. Tracie

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