A couple must choose between giving up their beloved pet dog or going homeless after the death of a relative they cared for. 

Adam Rheinlander, 26, and his partner Hayley Boyd, also 26, had for the last five years been living with Miss Boyd’s grandmother, Marjorie Bennett, at her home in Parkview Drive, Mitcham, managed by Wandle Housing Association (WHA).

When Mrs Bennett died in February, the couple were told they must vacate the property which is specially designed for disabled use.

The pair, who are unable to have children of their own, said they would be happy to leave the home, but were dismayed when told available properties would not cater for their five-year-old dog Marley. 

Mr Rheinlander said: "We haven’t been able to have children ourselves so we have had a dog.

"He’s just part of the family and we couldn’t bear to move without him.

"We would accept anything to be able to keep our dog.

"We are not bothered about moving but if we can’t take our dog it’s going to be hell for us."

"They have said it is this or basically be made homeless."

Mr Rheinlander they had been unable to find an affordable privately rented property - many of which do not allow pets.

Sue Daniels, customer services director at WHA, said: "We have to re-house Mrs Bennett’s granddaughter, Miss Hayley Boyd, and her partner, to ensure we can support those residents with a disability to live in suitable properties adapted to meet their specific needs.

"We have located a suitable one-bedroom property for Miss Boyd and her partner; however, this is on the third floor of an apartment block.

"Unfortunately we have had to inform them that we do not generally allow dogs in blocks of flats unless tenants have exclusive use of a rear garden, which in this case they will not.

"We do understand our residents often deal with difficult circumstances, so we try to ensure our limited supply of social housing is used in the most suitable way."