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Families dodge legal action over flats' no-pets policy

PUBLISHED: 10:35 25 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 25 January 2020

Clevedon House, Cromer, residents Esme Gubbins, 57, with her daughter, Salima, 14, and their pet dog, Eddy. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Clevedon House, Cromer, residents Esme Gubbins, 57, with her daughter, Salima, 14, and their pet dog, Eddy. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Archant

People living in a block of flats who were told they would have to give up their pets or face legal action within 28 days are sill living with their four-legged friends, almost a year on.

A copy of the letter sent to residents of Clevedon House, Cromer, demanding they remove their pets. Picture: STUART ANDERSONA copy of the letter sent to residents of Clevedon House, Cromer, demanding they remove their pets. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

The demand was sent to people living at Clevedon House in Prince of Wales Road, Cromer, on February 28 last year by Watsons Block Services, the agents of the freeholder of the property, but was then not acted upon.

The letter left residents including Esme Gubbins, 57, who lives with her 14-year-old daughter, Salima, facing the difficult choice of whether to give up their beloved pet or move out all together.

Miss Gubbins said it was a decision they had thankfully not yet had to face, but she criticised Watsons for not keeping them informed.

She said: "They just went completely quiet on it without saying what their decision was.

Clevedon House in Prince of Wales Road, Cromer, where residents have been told they have to give up their pets within 28 days. Picture: STUART ANDERSONClevedon House in Prince of Wales Road, Cromer, where residents have been told they have to give up their pets within 28 days. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

"We are lucky to be able to keep our pets but disgusted that they didn't have the courtesy to inform us of any new decision."

Miss Gubbins and Salima have an English toy terrier called Eddy, who they feared they would have to give up because the dog helped with Salima's anxiety issues.

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Clevedon House is home to a number of residents who rent their flats from landlords, and others who own their own homes. But the freehold for the whole block is owned separately, and the freeholder can set rules of occupancy.

There is a clause in the lease with the freeholder - which the owners of the individual flats signed - saying: "No bird, dog or other animal shall be kept in the premises without the written consent of the lessor which may be withdrawn at any time."

But the clause has not been enforced.

But Alison Crawford, head of business operations at Watsons, did not say the freeholder's position had changed.

She said: "We continue to work with our client - the freeholder, and the leaseholders of the building.

"The position of the freeholder was confirmed in the letter dated February 28, 2019.

"Leaseholders have been referred to the terms of their lease."

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