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justcumbria
30-01-2010, 16:23 PM
Hi

When my tenant and I signed the tenancy agreement back in November we agreed on a clause stating that they could bring their dog with them but any additional pets were only allowed with my written consent. I have just found out that they now have 2 cats as well as the agreed dog.
I am also concerned about the general state they are keeping my property in.

The agreement states :
"The Tenant will keep the Property in good repair and condition and in good decorative order"

Where do I stand on both counts and what are my best options?

Regards

Snorkerz
30-01-2010, 17:32 PM
3 choices -

Accept the cats and deduct any damages from deposit at end of tenancy
Serve s8 notice under ground 12
Serve s21 notice to expire at end of fixed term (min 2 months)

For option 2, the judge would have to make a decision about the fairness of evicting someone because they had a couple of cats too many.

justcumbria
30-01-2010, 17:50 PM
thanks for that. What is ground 12 and how long would they have to vacate under S8 ground 12?

Thank you

Snorkerz
30-01-2010, 18:15 PM
thanks for that. What is ground 12 and how long would they have to vacate under S8 ground 12?

Thank you

Ground 12 is...

Any obligation of the tenancy (other than one related to the payment of rent) has been broken or not performed.

You need to give 14 days notice on a s8 notice, and then you can try and claim possession via the pcol website - cost £100.

Hearing will be in 4/6 weeks and, in the unlikely event that the judge thinks eviction is appropriate, he will give tenants a minimum of 14 days to go.

Of course, just issuing the s8 notice (free) may be sufficient to prompt tenants into re-homing the cats - but people do get very attached to their pets.

asquithea
30-01-2010, 18:16 PM
Seriously? You're seriously considering evicting someone over two cats?

:eek:

I believe they could be required to vacate within 14 days, IF you could convince a judge to grant possession.

Snorkerz
30-01-2010, 18:28 PM
IF you could convince a judge to grant possession.Not likely though, is it!

westminster
30-01-2010, 21:20 PM
If the tenant pays the rent on time and is working, i.e. able to pay for any damage to the property, then I wouldn't dream of evicting.

I would just claim costs for damage/professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy (and if T disputed it I would refuse deposit scheme adjudication and resolve via the courts).

justcumbria
31-01-2010, 08:44 AM
Thanks for your replies
Asquithea - I was only wanting to know what my options were. It's always better to be approaching something with the correct information. I'll talk to the tenant and hopefully we can resolve.

Thank you

Lawcruncher
31-01-2010, 09:03 AM
Whilst some premises are clearly unsuitable for some pets and no one wants a constantly barking dog or a family of cats, I have to express surprise at the number of landlords who want to exclude pets. I mean it is not as if keeping pets is something anti-social and many perfectly respectable people keep pets. The average pet is not known to be a house destroyer.

Snorkerz
31-01-2010, 11:51 AM
Whilst some premises are clearly unsuitable for some pets and no one wants a constantly barking dog or a family of cats, I have to express surprise at the number of landlords who want to exclude pets. I mean it is not as if keeping pets is something anti-social and many perfectly respectable people keep pets. The average pet is not known to be a house destroyer.As a pet owner myself, I kind of agree, but there are circumstances where extra precautions might be wise. Cats and dogs can have 'accidents' which are almost impossible to effectively clean once soaked in. I recently had some LHA enants do this, and the downstairs carpets needed replacing and the upstairs ones cleaned/de-flea-d. No rent paid for last month, so deposit was useless and the chances of recovering/enforcing the carpet & cleaning costs through the court next to nil.

A declared (non caged) pet or a smoker, doubles the deposit requirement for me - although I did have one applicant who tried to convince me his Staffy would be permenantly caged!

jeffrey
31-01-2010, 16:19 PM
I can think of one very strong reason for banning all pets: if it's a flat, L's own long-leasehold's covenants might ban every leaseholder from keeping pets. L's sub-lets must too; or else L could find his/her long-lease being threatened (by the freehold reversioner of the block of flats) with forfeiture.

Paul_f
31-01-2010, 16:31 PM
I can think of one very strong reason for banning all pets:An outright ban is contrary to UTCCR guidelines. I agree though that a medium to large dog kept in a fifteenth floor flat is unreasonable. I think the OP had the right idea by inserting a special conditions clause in the AST to cover this.

mind the gap
31-01-2010, 16:34 PM
I can think of one very strong reason for banning all pets: if it's a flat, L's own long-leasehold's covenants might ban every leaseholder from keeping pets. L's sub-lets must too; or else L could find his/her long-lease being threatened (by the freehold reversioner of the block of flats) with forfeiture.
That may well be the case and there may or may not be a sensible reason for the prohibition. I suppose many flats are not suitable for pets (ease of access to outside/lack of garden/noise, etc).

However Lawcruncher's point was about the general reluctance on the part of LLs to allow pets, including in houses where the premises are suitable.

I think that part of the problem is that whilst many dog and cat owners are responsible, a significant minority of of them seem to be under the illusion that their particular little Sweetheart-Poochykins or Fluffy-Kitty-Kissball can do no wrong, and they are apparently unable to see or smell the damage an untrained pet can inflict on carpets, furniture, etc. An example of this is the general inability of dog owners (tenants or otherwise) to realise that their houses smell of dog. Everyone else can smell it, but they cannot. Point out the scratches on the door and they'll say 'Oh but that's just his way of telling us he needs a wee. He's very intelligent'.

Add to this disabling of the senses, the fact that on average people do tend to take more care with their own possessions than with someone else's, and you begin to understand why LLs can be a bit reluctant.

Having said that, the longer the Ts propose to stay, the less reasonable it seems to ban them from having a pet.

jeffrey
31-01-2010, 16:37 PM
An outright ban is contrary to UTCCR guidelines.
1. There are no guidelines in the Regulations.
2. The guidelines are those of OFT.
3. They are not legally-binding; in fact, they have no effect at all, other than in terrorem.
4. The lease clause would have been individually-negotiated and so it would be binding no matter how supposedly 'unfair'.

Lawcruncher
31-01-2010, 22:11 PM
Even if not individually negotiated I cannot see how a prohibition on keeping pets is covered by any of the "indicative and non-exhaustive list of terms which may be regarded as unfair" set out in schedule 2 to the UTCCR or is otherwise covered by them.

remyrobson
01-02-2010, 12:09 PM
That may well be the case and there may or may not be a sensible reason for the prohibition. I suppose many flats are not suitable for pets (ease of access to outside/lack of garden/noise, etc).

However Lawcruncher's point was about the general reluctance on the part of LLs to allow pets, including in houses where the premises are suitable.

I think that part of the problem is that whilst many dog and cat owners are responsible, a significant minority of of them seem to be under the illusion that their particular little Sweetheart-Poochykins or Fluffy-Kitty-Kissball can do no wrong, and they are apparently unable to see or smell the damage an untrained pet can inflict on carpets, furniture, etc. An example of this is the general inability of dog owners (tenants or otherwise) to realise that their houses smell of dog. Everyone else can smell it, but they cannot. Point out the scratches on the door and they'll say 'Oh but that's just his way of telling us he needs a wee. He's very intelligent'.

Add to this disabling of the senses, the fact that on average people do tend to take more care with their own possessions than with someone else's, and you begin to understand why LLs can be a bit reluctant.

Having said that, the longer the Ts propose to stay, the less reasonable it seems to ban them from having a pet.

As a dog owner myself I can see why landlords are reluctant to have pets in their properties. My 'little darling' means about 3 times the amount of cleaning is required than if I did not have him. Next time I'm having a non-shedding pet!
Recently a tenant in a HMO of 6 professionals asked if she could have a cat. They don't even vacuum or put rubbish out as it is. She told me the rest of the tenants had agreed, until I had an email from one of them saying that she and another girl were allergic to cats... In a property that is let as individual rooms, pets drastically reduce the number of potential tenants out there and had I taken cat girls word, I would have lost 2 of my current tenants.

Mars Mug
01-02-2010, 12:14 PM
..... and had I taken cat girls word, I would have lost 2 of my current tenants.

Never trust Cat-woman, Batman didn’t.

lesleyann
01-02-2010, 12:28 PM
As a T with a Dog. You just have to look at how you have seen your house since yourT's moved in and the condition its in before you act upon anything really, If your T's seem like very clean and tidy people and when ever you have been round the place is clean then fingers crossed you will be fine.

Our LL said to start no dogs but then allowed us to on the condition we would pay for any damage which we would do anyway,Our 8month old dog is also crate trained and untill 100% accident free is not allowed into rooms with carpets. If my dog did however Pee on the carpet i would expect the LL to want the carpets fully cleaned by Pro's at a cost to me/us the pet owner/s.

Maybe next time or all LL's that allow pets should ask for a £100/£150 Pet deposit for damages made jusy by said pet and mainly only people who take care of the house/flat would be willing to pay the extra to keep there family pet/pets.