Q&As

Where a long lease of a flat contains an absolute prohibition on keeping pets is to be assigned to a blind person who requires a guide dog, is the prohibition lawful under the Equality Act 2010 or unfair contract terms legislation? Can a landlord agree a deed of variation if all leases contain the prohibition and mutual enforceability provisions?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 01/03/2019

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a long lease of a flat contains an absolute prohibition on keeping pets is to be assigned to a blind person who requires a guide dog, is the prohibition lawful under the Equality Act 2010 or unfair contract terms legislation? Can a landlord agree a deed of variation if all leases contain the prohibition and mutual enforceability provisions?

The question is, can a landlord refuse to permit a tenant to keep a guide dog, or other assistance dog, in a flat, the lease of which contains an absolute prohibition on keeping pets? The short answer is no for several reasons. The first is that guide dogs, and other assistance dogs, such as hearing dogs for the deaf, are working animals, not pets, and are relied on by their owners for independence and mobility. The training that these dogs receive and the monitoring of their health and wellbeing means that they are unlikely to be a problem to the landlord or other tenants. They are under the close supervision and control of their owner at all times. They are trained not to bother other people, not t

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