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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Looking for legal advice on new pet consent conditions

Customer Question

Looking for legal advice on new pet consent conditions issued by management company
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Could you please explain your situation a little more?
Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi There and thank you for respondingI live / own a flat in a block of 12. The management company is run by two people living here although we also use a professional management company who take instructions from the resident Directors. One of the Directors recently had a child, until then everyone turned a blind eye to us keeping pets. i.e. no formal permission was requested. I have had 4 rescue dogs here during the last 10 years. They have now issued a pet consent form , the letter, not the form we have to sign outlining new conditions, also stated that dogs are not permitted in the gardens. The conditions talks about not causing a "nuisance or annoyance to the owners or occupiers of adjoining premises or foul the gardens or footpaths or any internal or external communal areas. It also talks about being supervised at all times withdrawing consent if the pet causes a nuisance paying all sums as a result of keeping a pet and removing it if the pet causes nuisance or damage within 7 days or legal proceedings will instituted. It doesn't make it clear what "nuisance" means and doesn't state that dogs arnt allowed in the gardens, in fact it states that the "pet doesn't foul the gardens"? not sure how they will enforce this with the cats
Its a small development and we have always used common sense and consensus. I believe through discussion that since the Director has had a baby, shes naturally concerned . She said her 13 month child was at an age where he was putting grass in her mouth. I suggested a ban on dogs and owners using the gardens was a tad heavy handed and as ots the pet owners that mostly use the gardens, and that its a large garden , hardly ever used by her or anyone else other than dog owners that we section an area off. In the meantime I and another pet owner have received this letter and consent to keep a pet - subject to conditions form. There is another resident/leaseholder who has a cat for over a year. Its worth mentioning that I dont have a dog at the moment but I do have visitors with dogs. As far as I can see from the lease and these new conditions, it doesnt cover visitors with pets. I was thinking of writing and suggesting the conditions are not reasonable ( to not allow our pets in our garden) that we have had dogs here for ten years and sectioning off an area would be a good compromise.This all seems very personally opinion driven, the directors husband sent an email to the dog owner saying he want happy about the marks on the grass - we dont maintain our lawn, only have it cut and both probably only sit out 6 times a year.The issue really is that although the lease states that "not to permit any animals on to the premises save that with the landlords consent the usual domestic pets can be kept provided that such consent can be withdrawn if any nuisance is caused to the development" we rightly or wrongly haven't had need for consent as we have managed ourselves and there haven't been any complaints. It also states the "landlords" consent but we haven't dealt with the landlord on anything as far as I'm aware whilst Ive been here for 13 yearsThis is being driven by one person , or possibly 2 including her husband but he isnt a director, because of her concerns around her child and the garden. There are cats , squirrels, birds, snails that use the garden all of which cant be controlled in the way a dog can and her approach is upsetting and we believe unreasonableCan they do this ?This is a company / people whos obligations include redecorating of the communal hallways every 7 years and only now 15 years later are there plans in place to redecorate !
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
sorry I was busy typing and didn't see the telephone offer message !
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Thats ok - we can speak online or I can call if you prefer?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Online is OK I think but appreciate its late so whatever you prefer
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Does it say anything about consent not being unreasonably withheld?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Unfortunately not in relation to the section on Pets. I have seen that term or that wording used a few times elsewhere in the lease, i.e. under letting and car parking but not regarding pets
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Ok then no they can't do this. They have known for ten years about having pets and done nothing about it.

Therefore even if you did breach the terms they have allowed and agreed to this for ten years. This means they have agreed with the breach and given the length of time, they can't do anything about it.

Therefore given the length of time they can't now turn around and say no.

Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks Alex, I dont think thy are strictly saying No , but instead attaching conditions that are just not practical as an owner i.e. dogs cant use the garden or consent is personal to the pet and fresh consent required for another pet or that we have to pay for any specific works necessitated as a result of keeping the pet and such sums treated as additional service charge is this reasonable?
Having to go outside on the street every time to take the dog out or the fact the potential charges are so ambiguousNew Condition
"The pet does not cause a nuisance or annoyance to the owners or occupiers of adjoining premises, nor foul the gardens or footpaths surrounding the property or any other internal or external communal area " .......firstly every decent owner picks up however they have included "footpaths surrounding the property" . (arnt footpaths public)New Condition
To pay forthwith ll sums that may be expended as a result of any specific work that may be necessitated in or on the communal areas of the estate as a result of the pet, including but not limited to : the cost of repair cleaning and fumigating and in this particular respect the decision of the management company shall be final and binding ( I think this is unreasonable and too ambiguous to agree to , they could come at us for anything they deemed OK i.e. a mark on the lawn ?)So I think they are not saying No, just making it so difficult for us and not being able to enjoy and use the garden isn't practical.
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

They can't, they never previously. This is new so they can't just add conditions.

Does that clairfy? Alex

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It does thank you very very much
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank YOU Alex. Rated 5 star and reviewed
May I say a special thanks for your response outside normal working hours, Ive sent a small tip, just enough for a glass of champagne ( 2 if your up North like me ) I know it isn't over yet with these unreasonable folks but Im quietly confident . I will still suggest I'd be OK if we sectioned off either a children or dog area and take the high road instead of their heavy handed, personally driven approach.
Thanks again , have a lovely weekend
Adele
Expert:  Ash replied 7 months ago.

Thanks Adele, you too

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