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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18741
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Just moved into sheltered housing due to health issues and

Customer Question

Just moved into sheltered housing due to health issues and asked permission for my small dog as disability aid...this has been refused, unreasonably i feel and i need my dog as he greatly alleviates my severe anxiety. Please advise how i can appeal the decision legally due to my disabilities
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: sheffield
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: just requested permission but was denied....i asked to now appeal
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: have severe anxiety, alopecia and anorexia....heartbroke without my companion....had from pup
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

were you told you couldnt bring your dog before you moved in?
and how long have you had the dog?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
was in desperate need of sheltered housing and did not mention dog for fear of not getting housing i needed. I have had dog 2 and a half years he was 8 weeks old when i got him
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
sorry on benefits cost me a lot to move cannot afford phone call sorry
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 days ago.

The offer of a telephone call comes out automatically.  It’s optional.  You can just ignore it or request it later.

We can continue on here.

The new government guidance from the beginning of this year is the people renting property cannot be excluded from having pets.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-standard-tenancy-agreement-to-help-renters-with-well-behaved-pets#:~:text=Under%20the%20new%20Model%20Tenancy,issue%20blanket%20bans%20on%20pets.&text=In%20some%20cases%2C%20this%20has,up%20their%20pets%20all%20together.

However even though it’s been announced, it’s not yet law.

As it says here in this newspaper article, “the model tenancy agreement acts as a guideline on a template and is not legally binding”.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/law-change-means-landlords-can-23407724

As it is at present, landlords are not able to exclude recognised assistance dogs because that would be a breach of the Equality Act.  You need to argue with the landlord that this is an unreasonable refusal and that if they will not allow this, then you will make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/residents/make-a-complaint/

if you are diagnosed with severe anxiety, you can put forward that this is an assistance dog although legally speaking, it isn’t.

This article https://www.normangalloway.co.uk/news/can-landlords-refuse-pets-uk

Does mention however that a blanket ban on pets is probably unreasonable under the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and therefore unenforceable.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
can i be evicted if i bring him to live with me before permission granted ?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 days ago.

They could try to evict you but under the Corona Virus Act they have to give you 6 months notice.

I can’t guarantee it in view of the government guidelines and the Consumer Rights Act commentary that this is inherently unfair and therefore unenforceable, and particularly (surprisingly) if the judge is an animal lover, he may not have a lot of sympathy with the housing association.

However I cannot guarantee any of that, if you appreciate.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for your expert legal opinion....i have requested their refusal letter in order to challenge their decision as I am doctor diagnosed with severe anxiety alongside alopecia and anorexia.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 days ago.

No problem at all.  I am glad to help.  Please come back to me at any time if anything needs clarification.  Kind regards.