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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have asked permission to keep a small dog in my flat

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have asked permission to keep a small dog in my flat (I am a leaseholder) and permission has been denied as it would allow other flats to also own pets, however at least 2 other flats in my block have pets (a dog and a cat). All neighbours in my block support me having a pet and are willing to write letters to vouch. Can they deny permission based on this untrue point?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is the exact wording of the clause please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not to keep pets or animals on the premises with the consent of the lessor and such consent may be withrawn in the case of any pet or animal casying a nuisance or annoyance to the other residents in the block

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
It does not say such consent not to be unreasonably withheld?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, this is not stated
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
What was the reason given please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I must advise you that we cannot give consent for you to keep the pet in your property as it would set precedent for others to do likewise
However as I stated, at least 2 other flats in my building have permission and keep pets already
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Did you tell them this when you applied? Do those 2 people have permission?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know for certain one has permission (to keep 2 dogs, they currently own one) the other I haven't spoken with. We have mentioned this in our request for permission
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Does it say anything about appealing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not that I am aware of. How can their reason be justified though if others are permitted already to have pets
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Well this is a difficult one, as long as they are not discriminating on the grounds of sex, race, colour, disability, religion, age etc then sadly you cant do anything.
This is because the clause does not say it can be reasonably withheld, then you may have a claim. But they can only me made to allow it if they are discriminating on the above grounds, that would make it unlawful.
If you went to Court it would be a breach of contract issue - the Judge would look at the terms of the contract and see whether they are able to refuse - sadly they are.
Just because they allow others does not automatically mean they have to allow you sadly.
You could threaten and try and take it to Court but because the terms do not say about consent being unreasonably withheld then you may struggle.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just a final point: can we just dispute the reasons why they permission was declined:
1). They claim we will set a precedent: this is not the case as other pets are already in the property.
2). The nuisance case: we have the backing of all the other tenants. It does say permission will be retracted if the pet is a nuisance in the lease. This leads to me to believe that reason for not withholding permission to allow a pet should be mainly due to noise. If all the tenants backs that he is not a nuisance.
If we can prove their reason to decline the permission are not valid do we have a case?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
1) Indeed
2) Indeed
I dont think so because its a matter of contract. The lease allows them to refuse. You can try but you need to be aware its an uphill struggle because of the wording of the contract.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does this not apply in any way: unreasonable prohibitions stated by the office of fair trading - exclusion of pets without consideration of all circumstances
This was taken from the office of fair trading
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
It possibly comes under the Unfair Contract Terms Act. That generally applies to short lease, rather than long lease.
As I said you can bring a claim, but it may come down to construction.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Following on from our previous conversation, you stated it is illegal for them to discriminate against race, health, sex etc. if I have proof that I suffer from anxiety and depression and proof of my father also suffering, do we have legal right to keep a pet for health reasons as keeping pets is recommended to anxiety and depression sufferers as studies show that animals can reduce tension and improve mood
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If you have a disability as per the Equality Act then yes you do have a claim.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes thank you for your help. I will contact you if I have any further questions. Thank you again
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex