New two-pets-only rule for Leeds council tenants

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ANIMAL loving council tenants in Leeds are to be limited to keeping no more than two pets.

Housing Bosses say the new tougher rules are fairer and more consistent, and have been drawn up after consultation with animal welfare groups.

Tenants will also need to seek written permission to keep a pet, and may only keep a maximum of two cats or dogs in one property. Tougher enforcement action will be taken on those breaching the new regulations.

However concerns have been expressed about what will happen to the extra pets of those people who already have more than two animals.

Councillor Barry Anderson, Leeds city council’s shadow spokesman for housing, said: “Broadly speaking, I welcome this new pet policy.

“It is encouraging to see that the council will refuse permission for a tenant to keep a pet if the property is considered unsuitable. Such properties will include those with a shared communal entrance including high rise accommodation and low rise flats. The policy also clearly sets out the enforcement action that the council will take if tenants breach the new rules.

“I do have some concerns about what will happen to tenants and their pets if they currently have more than the permissible number of pets in a property.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “These changes have been specifically drawn up in response to concerns raised by tenants and in conjunction with animal welfare groups.

“Limiting the number of pets permitted in our properties will enable us to ensure a consistent policy across the city which is fair to tenants both with and without animals and allows everyone to live in an environment in which they feel happy, safe and comfortable.

“Any new policy approved by the council would automatically apply to new tenants. However, we know how important pets can be and in cases where existing tenants already have more than two pets, we would adopt a common sense approach and deal with each individual on a case-by-case basis.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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