Pensioner allowed to keep cat
Robyn Nielsen will get to keep her cat and her flat.
Porirua City Council, which owns the Moana Courts complex in Titahi Bay, where Nielsen lives, has asked property manager Wellington City Council to make an exception for the pensioner and her moggy, called Me.
‘‘The council rang me yesterday and told me I can keep my cat, and it feels like all my stress is gone,’’ the 66-year-old said.
‘‘I’m not just happy, I’m bloody over the moon.’’
In September, Nielsen received a letter from Wellington City Council telling her she had to rehome Me or risk losing her Porirua flat, because of the no-pets clause in her tenancy agreement.
She was told about the policy before she moved in, but said she was confused when she saw other tenants owned cats.
After the Wellington council took over management of the flats in 2013, it banned pets for new tenants, but allowed existing ones to keep them.
Nielsen asked to be made an exception, but earlier this month the council rejected her request.
Porirua city councillor Ross Leggett took up Nielsen’s cause because he thought it was ‘‘commonsense’’ that she be allowed to keep Me.
‘‘In cases like this, it should be the landlord who sets the policy, not the manager,’’ Leggett said.
‘‘I absolutely thought it wasn’t fair.’’
Porirua City Council chief executive Wendy Walker said that, after considering the specific circumstances of the case, she asked Wellington City Council to make an exception for Nielsen.
Factors included the nature of the property, which has direct garden access, the small number of properties in the Porirua council portfolio, and Nielsen’s circumstances.
Walker said it didn’t mean the rule had changed for all tenants. ‘‘Any other exceptions would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.’’
A Wellington City Council spokeswoman said there would be no change in the rules for the 2000 or more properties in its portfolio.
The no-pets clause was due to the potential costs of repairing damage to properties, she said.
Robyn Nielsen is ‘over the moon’ her beloved cat, Me, will be allowed to stay in her Moana Court flat in Titahi Bay.