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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Can the freeholder of a new development in London have a blanket

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Can the freeholder of a new development in London have a blanket ban on leaseholders keeping pets?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask in which year the leases were granted please - presumably very recently?
Is there a covenant in the lease prohibiting pets? If so what does it say?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Joshua,

I'm afraid I don't have the exact year the leases were granted as I haven't actually seen it yet but it wouldn't be more than about 2 years old. Again I haven't seen the clause on pets but have been told by the freeholder's representative that pets are not permitted. Will the actual wording of the text make a difference?

Thanks. As the lease was granted after 1999 it is now considered that the unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations 1999 would apply to the same. This has not yet been tested to my knowledge in the courts though a recent decision has confirmed that they apply to tenancy agreements (Peabody Trust v Michael Reeve [2008] WLR (D) 181) the decision makes it reasonably clear that providing the lease was not individually negotiated by you that the regulations would also apply to a long lease.

The UTCCR provide that an absolute prohibition on pets would be considered to be an unfair term but that a requirement to seek consent which consent is not to be unreasonably withheld would not.

Accordingly if the landlord (through his agent) is unreasonably withholding consent in order to keep a pet then this can amount to an unfair contract term and unenforceable. It may however be reasonable for a landlord to withold consent for good reason, e.g. noise, smell etc.

Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua,

The Peabody Trust link doesn't seem to be working. Also I'm not sure if I made clear that I am buying a property from the freeholder, I'm not a tenant, does the above still apply?

My apologies - the site has changed its address. Here is a useful summary of the case which is lighter reading that the above link:

I note you are proposing to purchase the flat and understood this in preparing the above. You would be a long leaseholder if you purchae the flat. Confusingly leaseholders are also referred to as tenants (a leaseholder has a long lease tenancy). Therefore the above is wholly relevant.

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

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