Pets - isn't this the answer?

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Chris White
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In March 2011 the Equality and Human Rights Commission published guidance for social housing providers (so presumably councils and housing associations) on human rights at home. Here's a key extract:

"Example: Another provider’s tenancy conditions provide that no animal is to be kept in or on the premises. The tenant wishes to keep a dog as a companion. There is no human right to keep a pet or to have an animal companion. The provider would be required to allow tenants to keep guide dogs or hearing dogs in the property, as a reasonable adjustment to this policy, to avoid breaching Article 14. In contrast, if residents already have pets and the provider introduces a new ‘no pets’ policy requiring existing pets to be removed, that might demonstrate an interference with the resident’s right to ‘respect’ for their home, which the social housing provider would have to show was a proportionate way of achieving one of the aims in Article 8."

This seems to me to be clear and reasonable - no human right to keep a pet if the tenancy agreement doesn't allow it but subject to possible infringment of human rights if a guide dog is needed or landlord doesn't state no pets at the outset but then tries to ban them part way through the tenancy.

I see no reason why this EHRC policy for social housing landlords wouldn't equally apply in the private sector.

Comments welcome!

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21/04/2012 00:00

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