Updated: October 5, 2021 12:20:22 pm
Residents, current and former, of IFS Apartments in East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar are frazzled by the enforcement of a decade-old society rule against pets in the apartment.
An affidavit that is required to be signed by prospective tenants, states that residents, including owners, are not permitted to bring in new pets since a decision of the society in April 2011. Residents who have had pets from before April 2011 have been permitted to keep them, but renting of flats by tenants who insist on bringing in pets will not be allowed. The rules and regulations for the maintenance of IFS apartments’ also state that residents are not allowed to bring in new pets.
Pet owners at the apartments have been up in arms against the rule, which they say is both arbitrary and illegal. Tenants, faced with pressure from the landlord and the society, have had to vacate their flat on account of a pet in their house.
Ritika Jain, who rented a flat at the apartment for three years, chose to move out to Noida in June this year. The society did not approve of a cat that she took in during the lockdown last year, she said. “I don’t know why they keep saying no pets. Repeatedly, we were being asked what we are going to do with the pet – this was very infuriating. We didn’t want to part with the cat, so we decided to shift,” she said.
Azmat Amanullah, another resident who moved out, said, “My mother owned a flat in the society, so we did not have to sign a tripartite agreement, which is what a tenant has to sign. The tripartite agreement is between the tenant, landlord and managing committee of the RWA. This agreement contains certain stipulations that say pets cannot be kept in society. This is against the law,” he said.
Though Amanullah didn’t have to sign the agreement, he was asked about his cats. “When the president of the managing committee found out we had cats, I was told how can you keep a cat? It’s not allowed. It became very hostile. I kept giving representations saying they can’t do this, but it fell on deaf ears,” he said. He had been living in the flat since 2019.
Another current resident and flat owner, who asked not to be identified, said, “Tenants are forced to sign this affidavit that says pets are not allowed. Whenever the lease is renewed, the tripartite agreement needs to be signed. The society will not sign the tripartite agreement till the tenant agrees to the ‘no pets’ rule. The rule is applicable to landlords as well, but they can’t throw the flat owners out. The tenant is harassed because the society or the landlord can say they will not renew the lease or sign the tripartite agreement,” she said. They haven’t overturned the rule yet, she added.
There are 210 flats in five blocks in the society.
A member of the managing committee of the society, who asked not to be identified, however, said that the issue was being “misrepresented”.
“This is for a logistical reason. A few years ago, there were instances of dogs jumping on elderly people and urinating in lifts. To my knowledge, nobody here has had to shift because of this. The society has not asked anybody to leave. There are people who still have pets here. People are trying to misrepresent it,” he said.
The Animal Welfare Board of India issued a circular in 2014 that specified what RWAs, cooperative housing societies and apartment owners’ associations cannot ban residents from owning pets. “Even by obtaining consensus or even if the majority of the residents want it, you cannot legally introduce any sort of ‘ban’ on the keeping of pet dogs by residents. Even by amending bye-laws or regulations or otherwise, such a ‘ban’ cannot be put into place since it is illegal and does not have the sanction of law,” the circular stated.
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