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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69783
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Me and my wife recently moved to a new flat and took our

Customer Question

Hi, me and my wife recently moved to a new flat and took our dog with us. The tenancy agreement specifically said "Not to keep any animals or birds in the property without prior consent of the landlord or the agency" but we decided not to say anything as our dog is just 2.3 kg and thought it should not be a problem as long as we pay the landlord for any damages. Unfortunately, a neighbor has complained to the management company and the landlord has contacted us to clarify the situation.
-What would you recommend we do in this situation? My initial thought is to try and solve the issue by talking to the neighbor and the landlord.
-Does our Landlord or the management company have the right to evict us for this issue?
Thanks
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
is the neighbour reasonable?Do you know who it is?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't know who has complained. I was thinking of talking to all neighbors there is only 13 flats in the building
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Are you in the UK? I notice the incorrect spelling of neighbour? It might be the auto spell check but I can't help if you are in the States.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes I'm in London. It was the autocorrect
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Ok. is this an AST?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I believe so. I'ts at 3 years contract with a break clause after 24 months. Let me know if you need me to attache the agreement
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
If this helps. All the below applyA tenancy can be an AST if all of the following apply:-Its a private landlord
-the tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
-the property is our main accommodation
-the landlord does not live in the property
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Ok. It depends what you want to achieve here really. The reality is that this is a breach. There is no way around it. You needed permission and you don't have it. It is quite unlikely they would get you evicted for a breach of this kind but they could try. I suppose one option though is for you to just go without complaint if the landlord asks. It might be that you can negotiate with the landlord. The AST does say that you need permission not that you cannot have a dog at all. He might be willing to allow it. It depends really what the complaints are from other neighbours. I'm not sure there is much point in approaching other neighbours. Apart from anything else that could be misconstrued as threatening. The landlord is the person who gives or refuses permission and it is with him you should be negotiating. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Well, the goal here is to be able to stay in the flat for the duration of the agreement as well as keep the landlord and neighbors as happy as possible. The complaints are about our dog barking though and that's a tricky one as we cannot always control that.I have a few more questions:- What do you mean to go without complain if the Landlord asks? He has already asked us to clarify the situation...
- The idea of approaching the neighbors is just to say sorry for the inconvenience and find out how we can make them happy. Can this be misconstrued as threatening?
- Would you agree telling our landlord the truth and asking for his permission is the best course of action here?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
If your dog is barking then that does rack up the risks. Then he might legitimately refuse permission. On the topic of misconstruction, you always have to examine things for two views. If your version of events is accepted then that is not threatening. However, there are people who do react hysterically and tell lies and, in my opinion, those people are disproportionately to be found amongst the community who don't have anything better to do with their days than sit at home and moan that their neighbour's dog has the occasional bark. People who are busy don't care. Yes, you can only tell the truth.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69783
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you very much for your help.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry, just one more. Is there anything you can think of that we can use to negotiate with the Landlord. I'm thinking of us offering any kind of legal assurance that we'll cover the costs of any legal action due to the management company or the neighbours complaints?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Suggest a bark collar?you might want to try to convince him that the complaints will come to an end
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thanks a lot.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
No problem.All the best.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Jo,
I need your advice again.I spoke over the phone to the landlady today and explained the situation. She was understanding and is willing to ask for an exception if we get consent from all neighbours. However, if the management company enforces the clause on the lease agreement she will do the same with us and will ask us to leave the property and make good on all the costs associated with breaking the lease. We are going to seek permission from all neighbors and ask them to sign a petition, if we manage to get all of them on board our landlady will ask the management company for an exception.Here are my questions:- What responsibilities do Landlords have in this situations? What penalties would our landlord face if we do not leave/get rid of the dog?
- How do we calculate the total amount we may be asked to pay? Is it just what's on clause 19.2 (see agreement attached). Is the "Fix Term" 3 years or 24 months (break clause)
- How can we reduce the costs of breaking the lease? Is there any solution other than finding a tenant that replaces us?
- What would happen if we decide not to leave nor to get read of the dog?
- What would happen if the landlord enforces the agreement and we do not leave nor get rid of the dogThanks

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