Reply To: Temporary Accommodation and charge for pets


Just a little bit of info to throw into the mix as this will probably come up again in some of our LAs:

Emotional support dogs for people with anxiety are not recognised as Service/assistance dogs in the UK.

Service/Assistance dogs are fully protected under the Equality Act 2010 and are allowed into public places.
They are described as: dogs that are trained to guide a blind person, trained to assist a deaf person guide a blind person, trained by a prescribed charity to assist someone who has a disability such as epilepsy that affects mobility

The ADUK (Assistance dogs UK) website states that:

“Under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law for service providers, including landlords, rental agencies and housing associations to treat disabled people less favourably because of their disability, or because they rely on an assistance dog or guide dog.

Landlords, rental agencies and other housing providers must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who use assistance dogs.

A landlord may be required to make changes to any policies or practices they have which may disadvantage a tenant because of their disability. This includes making changes to a tenancy agreement. For example, saying pets are not allowed in the property should be changed to allow a disabled person to have their assistance dog.

A landlord cannot increase rent or charge additional cleaning fees to assistance dog or guide dog owners, even if a contract states they charge extra for pet fees. An assistance dog should not be treated as a pet in this context. Charges for actual damage caused by the dog can be made.”

So whilst the accommodation provider may make a charge for Pets, it is debatable what this charge is actually for. Damage deposits are usually charged and paid up front, damage caused by the pet is a rechargeable direct to the claimant and should not be included in HBen

I personally cannot see how a service dog could be provided as part of the service provided to individual claimants in supported housing because service dogs are specifically trained to the individual needs of the people they are caring for so it would not be a “rent a property and by the way it comes with a service dog”.

RNIB cover almost all the charges associated with their service dogs. Other charities would cover some of the charges. Vets bills may well be covered by PDSA and food – I would expect the owner to pay for this.