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Reader's letter: Time to reconsider pets policy

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It's disappointing that the Trustees for St Leonard’s Hospital Trust Alms Houses on London Road currently have quite an inflexible attitude towards allowing responsible dog owners to rent one of their properties.

I acknowledge that the Trustees have a responsibility to ensure the properties are well maintained and are not unduly damaged, however, the application process for renting alms house in Newark is very robust.

Potential candidates are well vetted, and the properties regularly checked. Couldn’t it be plausible to consider responsible pet owners on a one-to-one basis to be allowed to have their beloved dog live with them?

A governing clause could be added to the tenancy agreement to ensure the cost is covered for any potential necessary refurbishment, and a nominated person included to help with pet care if the renter becomes ill.

It is well documented that pets provide many benefits to people living alone.

A recent survey of residents at the London Road alms houses found that only one resident would rather not have a dog on site and one wasn’t sure ­— so 92% were in favour.

A white paper, Renters Reform Bill, is progressing through Parliament and one of the clauses gives tenants the right to ask their landlord for permission to keep a cat or dog.

The landlord would not be able to refuse the request without a good reason. Alms houses are not covered by this Bill, but it states that it is hoped that Trustees will take on board the spirit of the Bill.

I have a friend who has experienced increased pain and deterioration in her mobility. A ground-level bungalow close to town is essential for her well-being.

She is a lovely Christian person, respectful, honest, caring, capable, reliable and a responsible dog owner. She has rented property from the same landlord for over 13 years and has always been a friendly, neat and creditable tenant and neighbour.

She recently had a successful application for a London Road alms house rescinded because she needed to have with her, her little dog.

We would just like to appeal to the Trustees to reconsider on a one-to-one basis their no pets policy. ­— L. BENNETT, via email.

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