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.
Hello Tracie - yes I remember. How can I help today?
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.
Additionally, my friend is also going to see a Line Manager at London and Quadrant this Wednesday, so it would be very helpful to get your feedback on all of this. She also now has a letter that has been given to her by the counselling pyschologist stating that she is suffering from severe depression.
OK - how many other people have dogs in the block(s)?
No one else in her particular block, but there are other dogs in neighbouring blocks, one of which she has been advised was given permission by the Housing Association to keep and she also lives in a flat without a garden.
Addiitonally, the dog is NOT a guide dog.
Ok - so the same circumstances?
And they dont appear to address that in the response?
We have tried to approach this from the angle (if you have read the letter sent to them) that her dogs are 'emotional support' and that it would be extremely detrimental should she have to try and re-house them, especially for her own mental well being. Plus her mental well being is further being affected by now the possible threat of eviction!
No they have not addressed the issue that there is at least one other tenant in a neighbouring block that was given permission to keep a dog.
In fact the Neighbourhood Officer has only stressed that they allow this only should the dog be a guide dog, although it does not state this on their website.
What does their website say about pets?
I will try and copy and paste the wording for you now. Just a minute.
Do they have a policy document relating to this, or just on the website?
Plus we are now doing a letter to all the tenants to ask if they can confirm that they are happy for the dogs to reside in the block and that they are not a noise nuisance or any type of nuisance to the residents, staff or visitors to the block.
No this is just what is stated on their website.
Have you asked for a copy of their policy?
No not as yet.
Here is the wording within their secured tenancy agreement:
f) Pets1. If you live in a house or property with its own garden you may keep a cat or a dog without getting our permission.2. If you live in a flat or maisonette or other home without its own garden you will need our written permission to keep a cat or a dog unless it is a guide or hearing dog.3. You may keep other small pets e.g. small caged animals and birds or fish at the property without getting our permission.4. You, your family, or anyone living with you or visiting your home must not do any of the following:– Keep any animal in the property which requires our written permission without first getting that permission;– Keep any animals for commercial breeding purposes;– Allow any animal you keep at the property to cause a nuisance to anyone in the local area, including our staff, agents or contractors;– Allow any animal you keep at the property to foul in your home or in the shared areas or outside the property on, for example, roads, footpaths or play areas in the local area;– Keep livestock such as chickens, ducks, geese, or goats without our permission.– Keep any unsuitable or dangerous animals.
But do they have a policy document?
I am not aware of one or where we would find this?
Ok - you need to ask for one
This sets out what they would and would not consider with a request
OK will ask my friend to ask the Line Manager for this on Wednesday? Is there anything else you can recommend?
If they have not complied with their own policy then it can be challanged.
Now there are 2 choices here:
The Association will seek possession based on the pets
So she can do several things
1) Wait and defend it on the basis others have pets and it is not an issue
2) Seek a Judicial Review of this proposal and fight off any possession before it even enters court
This option - she waits until proceedings are issued, lodges a defence, then a Judge will hear a trial as to why possession should be given and then for her, as to why it should not
Judicial Review is where a High Court Judge considers the Association decision and decides whether it is a legal and resonable
A Judge would take into account any policy document
The Judge can agree with the decision or remit it back for further consideration
She may get legal aid for these options, depending on the circumstances
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
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/