Flats Development 'No Pets' Policy Passes High Court Test

If your tenancy agreement contains a 'no pets' policy, the fact that your pet does not cause any issues for other tenants will not prevent your landlord from enforcing its removal.

In a recent case, the High Court ruled that a couple had been lawfully forbidden from keeping a dog in their apartment.

A covenant in the couple's 200-year lease forbade them from keeping dogs, cats, reptiles, birds or other animals on the premises without the written consent of the resident-owned company that managed the development. This is a relatively common leasehold covenant.

After learning that they were keeping a terrier in their flat, the company took legal action and was granted an injunction requiring the dog's removal. The couple's arguments that the dog was causing no nuisance to other residents and that the company had been inflexible and failed in its obligation to reasonably consider their request to keep him were rejected.

In dismissing the couple's appeal, the Court noted that a majority of the development's residents were in favour of the no pets policy. The company had operated a reasonable process in considering the couple's request and there had been no illegitimate predetermination.