Ashtown couple say: ‘We’re discriminated against with dog rule’

by Sylvia Pownall

A couple who rent an apartment from a housing association in West Dublin have described its ‘no pets’ policy as a form of discrimination.

Philip and Grainne McCabe are long-term tenants living at Laburnum Square in Pelletstown, Ashtown – an affordable housing scheme run by Cluid.

But they say strict rules around keeping pets are making their lives a misery as both are out of work on health grounds, and would love a small dog for company.

Philip told Dublin Gazette: “We do feel we’ve been discriminated against. We have spoken to the housing officer on numerous occasions about this.

“We are nearly 13 years living here, and the annoying thing is that it’s a very strict policy, but Cluid do not enforce it. We know of several people who keep pets.

“But we don’t want to do it against the rules. We would hate to bring an animal in here as a pet and then have to give them up. That would not be fair on them.”

Philip said he and his wife, both 53, would like to keep a small dog, and would have no trouble looking after it or cleaning up after it.

He added: “Our doctor says it would be good for our health, and that’s why I think it’s very unfair.

“I myself suffer from stress and depression at times.

“A pet has been proven to combat this type of thing. It’s company to get you out and about. There’s a lot of benefits, but Cluid don’t seem to see this.

“I was even willing to pay extra money for the privilege, but they will not agree to it.

“It’s a form of discrimination; a little pet is not going to cause any problem where I live.

“I’m a responsible human being, and I think it’s terrible.”

A spokesman for Cluid told Dublin Gazette that while they accept it is an “emotionally difficult” situation, the rule of no pets is common practice, and they have a duty to enforce the tenancy agreement.

He added: “We take appropriate actions where complaints of unauthorised pets are received. We 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 if others in the same scheme have unauthorised pets.”

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