Two weeks to get rid of your pets
Tenants facing lonely Christmas after landlord letter
HEARTBROKEN tenants say they could be facing a lonely Christmas without their pets after being told to get rid of them.
Social landlord Contour Homes has written to people living in Sutton Gar- dens on the Weston estate, giving them two weeks to rehome their animals.
But residents in the 49-flat block said they are “heartbroken” at the thought of losing their pets and had called on Macclesfield MP David Rutley to intervene.
However, after being contacted by the Express, Contour Homes has now agreed to meet with tenants before deciding whether to enforce the policy or allow tenants to keep their pets.
Joan Prince, a retired nurse, said she is willing to risk eviction to keep her English Bulldog, Oscar.
She said: “He is a wonderful companion.”
Tina Walton, 59, who lives with her cat Buster, said: “As I live alone he is my baby.” Contour Homes said it had a no-pets policy at schemes with communal areas and had received complaints.
TENANTS say they could be facing Christmas without their pets after being told they have just two weeks to get rid of them.
Residents at Sutton Gardens on the Weston estate, have received letters from Landlord Contour Homes giving them until November 30 to rehome the animals.
But people living in the 49-flat block said they are “heartbroken” at the thought of losing their pets, and called on Macclesfield MP David Rutley to intervene.
However, after being contacted by the Express, the group has now agreed to meet with tenants before making a final decision.
They say that it usually has a ‘no pets’ policy at schemes with communal gardens and that they had received complaints over noise and fouling.
But Joan Prince, a retired nurse, said she is willing to risk eviction to keep her English Bulldog, Oscar.
She said: “Oscar is something of a celebrity around here, everyone knows him. He is a wonderful companion.
“I can see why they have raised the issue after complaints of noise, but they should be tackling the issues of individuals not punishing us all.
“As for the fouling, everyone knows cats don’t go to the toilet in their own back yard, so to suggest that from an entire neighbourhood our pets are to blame for that is bonkers.
“We have done nothing wrong. I am willing to face eviction to keep Oscar.”
Tina Walton, 59, has been told to rehome her cat Buster.
She said: “For two years I have been the model tenant. My cat uses a litter tray and is no trouble to anyone. To take him away after two years is cruel.
“As I live alone he is my baby. He brightens up my days. Buster is my world and it would break my heart if I had to lose him. I have no one else.”
Alan Smith, 61, a former Falklands veteran, said his cats Betsy and Rocky helped with his depression. He said: “All my family – my parents, my brothers and sisters – have died. I am on my own. They are like my babies. It has been very stressful. I have not slept or ate properly with worry.”
Sonia Thompson, partnerships and neighbourhood manager at Contour Homes, told tenants in a letter that they had 14 days to rehome the animals.
But after being contacted by the Express, she said: “We usually have a no-pets policy at schemes with communal areas like Sutton Gardens. However some residents have been keeping animals in their homes on an informal basis.
“The letter was sent as a result of complaints we have received from customers about pets causing noise disturbance, and cat and dog fouling in the grounds.
“Whilst we appreciate the value that pets can bring, we have a duty to ensure that our tenants can live peacefully in clean, pleasant surroundings.
“However, as a result of feedback to the letter, I’m writing to all residents inviting them to meet me in the communal lounge next Wednesday (December 2) to have their say.
“Depending on the views of all customers, we will then decide whether a local pet agreement might be appropriate for Sutton Gardens. If introduced, this would mean tenants who want to keep pets would have to agree to conditions so that their animals do not affect other residents’ quality of life.”
Responding to the potential u-turn Alan Smith, said: “I am pleased Contour will meet us face to face and may even allow us to keep our pets, but I am still worried as they have given no guarantees.”
●● Tenants Alan Smith and Tina Walton
●● Joan Prince (front), Alan Smith and Tina Walton are horrified at the thought of having to give up their pets