Property management company’s dog breed policy irritates dog owners



Summit’s “prohibited dog breeds” have angered dog-owning renters, who say it’s hard enough to find a rental.

Dog owners have complained to a property management company about a policy that appears to ban certain breeds from its rental properties.

Tracey, who asked that her full name not be used because she feared speaking out would make it harder to find a rental, posted on Facebook after spotting the listing on the Summit Property Management website.

Breeds included Dobermans, Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, and all dogs required by dog ​​control law to wear a muzzle.

“I couldn’t believe it; it’s discrimination,” Tracey said. “They’re not dangerous breeds; it’s all about the owner, not the breed.

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After a number of dog owners complained, the company acknowledged its policy was outdated and said it would be replaced with a case-by-case assessment.

Tracey said her mastiff cross has been a constant companion since she had him as a puppy nine years ago.

She lived alone and her dog was both protection and companionship, she said. “He is very friendly but barks and runs to see who is at the door.”

With her current rental up for sale, Tracey was looking for a home. However, after weeks of searching, she hadn’t found a home and feared she and her dog would be left homeless.

Tracey’s social media posts have touched a nerve with other dog owners, some of whom have contacted Summit to express their displeasure.

Summit removed the list of "prohibited breeds" and instead offers advice to dog-owning tenants looking for a rental.

Getty Images

Summit has removed the “prohibited breeds” list and instead offers advice for dog-owning tenants looking for a rental.

Summit managing director Stewart Henry admitted that finding a rental with a dog was difficult in times of property shortages.

The policy was outdated, drawn up about 10 years ago with the aim of keeping staff safe, he said.

“We had a few staff attacked by dogs, they were quite badly injured.

“We go in and out of many houses every day. Occasionally [tenants] tie up their dogs, sometimes they don’t. It’s a lucky dive.


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Working with advice from Marlborough and Nelson, the company had looked at ‘what kind of dogs we should be looking out for’.

“These are the races that mainly cause attacks on strangers.”

He agreed that owners usually dictate dog behavior. “But we don’t know the owner of the dog very well.”

After a number of complaints, Summit staff were removing the policy, Stewart said.

Instead, property managers would make calls on a case-by-case basis, reviewing the suitability of the property and whether the landlord allowed pets, he said.

They also planned to offer advice on their website to potential renters with dogs, including making sure your dog was registered and getting references from previous owners.

“We’re not dog trainers or veterinarians, we’re just normal people trying to do a job without hurting themselves,” Stewart said.


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