Local residents have called on voluntary housing body, Cluid Housing to abandon its hardline “small pet-eviction” policy in their Belarmine apartments in Stepaside.

“In November, I was approached by a group of shocked residents from Belarmine Hall. They told me that Cluid notified them that all pets should be removed by Christmas Eve,” says local Sinn Fein councillor Chris Curran.

“Needless to say, the residents were extremely upset. I couldn’t believe Cluid’s insensitivity.”

Cluid Housing does have a no-pet policy in their tenancies. However, residents have said that this policy has not been enforced for 11 years and thus, they began to bring pets into their homes.

Curran says that Cluid Housing brought some residents to the Residential Tenancy Board to discuss the matter.

“During the mediation process no agreement was reached in mediation. In fact, I found Cluid to become entrenched in their position,” he says.

“The residents even offered a compromise. They asked if the pets could stay and that if their pets passed away, they would agree not to replace them – Cluid rejected this.”

In a comment made to Dublin Gazette, Cluid Housing said: “We accept this is an emotionally difficult situation for tenants especially those who have had a pet for many years, nevertheless we have a duty to enforce the signed tenancy agreement and respond to other residents who complain about noise and nuisance from pets.

“We also have a duty to treat all our residents equally, some applicants have to give up their family pet in order to accept an apartment and it is unfair to new tenants that others in the same scheme have unauthorised pets,” Cluid say.

“A rule of no pets is common practice in the vast majority of apartment complexes and not just those managed by Cluid.”

“As I understand it, Cluid Housing are in breach of the Housing Acts, as pet ownership cannot be used in an offer to grant or deny accommodation,” says Curran.

On Saturday, 20 April, a group of residents at Belarmine Hall protested the proposed eviction of their pets.