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View Full Version : Cats, nothing on contract. Advice please?



little_englander
22-02-2007, 14:08 PM
Hi all,

Looking for a bit of advice please.

My partner and I have just moved into a holiday home, classed as a short term let (3 months) which suits our circumstances. Its basically a 1 bed barn conversion.

There is nothing on the contract which mentions pets and the landlord has not verbally asks us about pets either.

Does anyone know where we stand on having 2 cats in the house?

Best Wishes

Shaun

Worldlife
22-02-2007, 15:53 PM
Does anyone know where we stand on having 2 cats in the house?

Shaun

What steps are you taking to minimise the risks of your cats getting fleas and causing the house to be infested?

Whilst you are living there with the cats the fleas will tend to bite the cats.

The problem arises if new people move in without pets. Eggs remain in the carpets and furnishings and areas used by your cats and are inactive when the house in empty. As soon as new people move in the eggs will hatch and if there are no pets available the fleas will bite humans.

In giving consent to keep cats I would need to obtain a certificate, at the end of the tenancy, that the flat has been inspected and treated by a reputable specialist pest contractor. This would minimise the risk of claims from a new tenant.

I am not sure how the new tenancy deposit scheme would affect the delayed return of a deposit to cover the need for retreatment should eggs continue to hatch and a follow up treatment needed.

If you decide not to consult the landlord on this issue, even if there are no tenancy conditions that you need to do so, there could be circumstantial evidence linking you to an insect infestation and potential financial consequences.

Other members of the forum may feel I am being too tough here. However in my professional experience I have run across the problems of animal fleas in houses where there are no animals. In most cases the distress and inconvenience that has been caused could probably be attributed to a previous occupier who had pets.

islandgirl
22-02-2007, 16:08 PM
Well, the question was where do they stand? OK, Worldlife - we get the message that you don't like pets but it does not answer the posters question! It is the tenant posting, not the LL. From info I have read on previous posts and my own experience the LL cannot stop you having pets even if there is a clause in your AST. LL will not be happy if you do not consult of course...(nor would I)

Paragon
22-02-2007, 16:20 PM
Well, the question was where do they stand? OK, Worldlife - we get the message that you don't like pets but it does not answer the posters question! It is the tenant posting, not the LL. From info I have read on previous posts and my own experience the LL cannot stop you having pets even if there is a clause in your AST. LL will not be happy if you do not consult of course...(nor would I)

Why can't a LL stop a tenant from having a pet? I agree, a tenant can bring in a pet without the knowledge of the LL, but he then would be in breach of his contract should the LL find out about it. The tenant will then more than likely have to deal with the usual consequences.

MrShed
22-02-2007, 17:04 PM
He is not in breach, as it is not stated in the contract.

The reason they cant NECCESSARILY stop a tenant having a pet is it has been defined as an unfair term by the OFT to have a blanket ban on pets - whether fair or not, this is the way it is!

nick..
22-02-2007, 17:14 PM
Well, the question was where do they stand? OK, Worldlife - we get the message that you don't like pets but it does not answer the posters question! It is the tenant posting, not the LL. From info I have read on previous posts and my own experience the LL cannot stop you having pets even if there is a clause in your AST. LL will not be happy if you do not consult of course...(nor would I)

So long as you clean up after yourself, I wouldn't worry about it. They won't stop you having noisy kids that piss the neighbours off and draw all over the walls, so a cat would be no trouble, thats just common sense

Paragon
22-02-2007, 17:22 PM
He is not in breach, as it is not stated in the contract.

The reason they cant NECCESSARILY stop a tenant having a pet is it has been defined as an unfair term by the OFT to have a blanket ban on pets - whether fair or not, this is the way it is!

Yet again. While we welcome your comments, they should be related to the posts you are referring to. You continually give half baked responses which have no relation to the discussion. The last couple of posts was not referring to the OP contract, but contracts in general.

The OFT has NOT defined as an unfair term a ban on pets. It is under the general terms listed as GUIDELINES. It is further listed under the heading POTENTIALLY UNFAIR TERMS. What part of potential do you not understand?

You must be the only person in the world who defines unfair as illegal. You also must be the only person in the world who believes that the OFT has taken over parliament's job of creating statutes. Even the OFT state these terms have not been tested in court.

MrShed
22-02-2007, 17:39 PM
Paragon, please re-read my post. Respond like that to me again and I shall be reporting to the mods - I take serious offence at your tone and manner of reply, especially as you seem to be commenting on areas I have not even mentioned in my post.

PS If you cannot accept debate, discussion, or other peoples comments other than your own personal view, without then personally attacking that person, I would suggest that a public forum is the wrong place for you.

Worldlife
22-02-2007, 18:15 PM
Agree that the landlord should not unreasonably withold permission for pets and that's in my AST contracts. The permission however can have reasonable conditions.

Obviously a tenant that cannot tell me what precautions they are taking to prevent the pets - particularly cats - from creating a flea infestation in my property is probably not the kind of person I would want as tenants.

Good tenants will recognise this serious risk and discuss proposals to avoid the situation developing and costs of clearing up.

Good tenants will want to ensure they don't cause a nuisance to the following tenants because of the way they have kept their animals.

Perhaps therefore Shawn - the OP - could tell us what precautions he takes to ensure his cats remain free of fleas and to minimise risk of flea infestation of the landlord's property.

islandgirl
22-02-2007, 18:35 PM
paragon - what potential consequences will the tenant have to deal with if the LL finds out they have a pet????? In the real world (try it, it's outside your door!) you cannot evict someone because they "breach" your no pets term. That's the way it is. The LL can issue a S21 at the end of the fixed term. That's it.
Mr Shed has helped hundreds of people (including me) and is an extremely well respected member of this board. I suggest you listen to him. An apology to him would also be nice.
Nick - I allow pets and agree that kids can be worse. Thing is a bad tenant is a bad tenant who will allow the house to become flea infested but who will also wreck the place in a million other ways. A good tenant will keep the house clean and ensure the pet is heathly and flea free. I speak as "mum" to a border collie and 4 lovely 4 week old black and white pups...

Worldlife
22-02-2007, 18:40 PM
.... and I speak as a former breeder of Papillons who had to reprimand a breeder who was a Breed Judge for selling puppies infested with lice. :D

islandgirl
22-02-2007, 18:48 PM
precisely my point, Worldlife - good people will look after their pets and the houses they live in. Bad ones won't. The breeder you mention is just the type who would leave a rented house flea infested and filthy.

MrShed
22-02-2007, 18:49 PM
Thanks islandgirl, appreciate that. Just to clarify though, the time/posts I have contributed to the forum do not even matter - every member of this forum has an equal right to contribute their views without someone being disrespectful about their contribution, whether their 1st or 1000th. I accept, and welcome, constructive criticism - yes I am often wrong! But the post in question was not constructive, relative to what I said, and with reference to other "debates" had with the member in question, there is an element of arrogance to the posts, in that there can never be any acceptance of another point of view. Which is fine, each to their own, but at least keep it constructive and above all, respectful!

Anyway, I think I've made my point - I'm not going to get dragged into some kind of slagging match on here, not the place, so I will say no more on the matter. Suffice to say however, the post is against the spirit of these forums, and anything further to me or others and I will be contacting the mods - I do not want to see the good natured atmosphere on this forum soured!

lorenzo
22-02-2007, 19:11 PM
Mr Shed,

Quite right; and thanks for taking the time to post here.

Et Al,

FWIW here is a more "organic" approach to flea control:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Livestock-and-Farming/1985-05-01/Natural-Flea-Control.aspx

I can attest that it works pretty damned well. We use no chemical flea products at all and would challenge anyone to find fleas in our house/pets.

Also regarding the "dog smell". It is a lot to do with diet. Commercial dog food makes dogs stink. Our spoiled mutts live on only fresh, good quality, (organic or game if available) food and people remark how our dogs don't smell.

The little barstewards still molt however and am making notes re non-molting breed(s) mentioned by OP for future reference. :)

Paragon
22-02-2007, 19:34 PM
Well, where do I start?

Mr. Shed: My response to you was a culmination of anger over the continuing reliance on the Office of Fair Trading Guidlines of Sept 2005 by several posters on this forum and the Housing, Buying, renting and Selling Forum of Martin Lewis Money Saving Website, which has over 500,000 users.

In particular, I get incensed over the No Pet policy. Everyone, to a person, forgets to point out to tenants that these are GUIDELINES only. More importantly, the one on pets is listed under POTENTIALLY UNFAIR TERMS. The OFT provide what they think is an acceptable terminology which we all know about. This misinformation, by not telling the tenants that it is a potentially unfair term, is leading tenants to believe that no matter what a LL has written into his contract, which the tenant has agreed to, allows the tenant to do what he likes. This, in turn, is creating more animosity between tenants and landlords than one would normally expect. Tenants are suddently thinking that if the OFT says it is unfair, then it must also be illegal.

The dangers of this animosity inevitably leads to a break down in communication and the ultimate threats of legal action by both parties.

My contracts read No pets allowed without the written permission of the landlord. I don't use the legal verbiage "which cannot be withheld unreasonably" because by saying "without the written permission of the landlord", I have indicated that I may give permission if it is reasonable. A legal case of what is reasonable is beyond the scope of a public forum and will only be decided by a third party.

Mr. Shed - the choice of my words "half baked" was bad terminology and was misused. It should read "half of the information". The rest of my post was generally accurate, except for my statement "What part of potentially do you not understand?" I agree, that was unnecessary and was a reaction to having to repeat myself over and over on other forums about the OFT guidelines.

Paragon
22-02-2007, 19:43 PM
By the way, I spend a lot of my time going to and competing in Obedience Shows (not to successfully), Breed Shows (somewhat successfully), and Companion Shows (very successfully). We have also now started taking our Cockers to Agility training, which they love.

So, I am an animal lover, but my properties are my properties and I will sit with a potential tenant to discuss the contracts. After discussion and he still wants to sign the contract, then I expect him to adhere to it. They are educated and professional people and there is no chance that they have been misinformed or misunderstood.

MrShed
22-02-2007, 19:44 PM
Your point may or may not have been valid - that is not really the point. I freely admit I do not get everything(or perhaps even the majority of things) right- part of the reason I am on this forum, to learn. If I am wron,g I completely welcome correction, in a constructive manner. But the manner of your correction was bang out of order to my mind. However, you appear to have at least partly recognised this, so let it be an end to the matter. In future, if you want to correct me, go ahead - but dont assume I am some kind of imbecile because in your opinion I got something wrong - we are all human at the end of the day.

MrShed
22-02-2007, 19:53 PM
Out of curiousity - has anyone ever heard of, from either tenant or LL point of view, of someone getting evicted because of pets? By this I mean under section 8 rathr than S21 - I just wondered if there has been a successful eviction on this basis!

islandgirl
22-02-2007, 20:04 PM
Mr Shed - I asked exactly that same question a couple of days ago on another thread and did not get an answer - I wonder why?

Paragon
22-02-2007, 20:07 PM
Out of curiousity - has anyone ever heard of, from either tenant or LL point of view, of someone getting evicted because of pets? By this I mean under section 8 rathr than S21 - I just wondered if there has been a successful eviction on this basis!

I would be interested as well. I would expect that it would be a rare find to locate a precedent case on this subject. Generally, it is easier to locate an appeal case because it goes to a higher court. I know about the one in France or Germany, but don't know the background.

Paragon
22-02-2007, 20:11 PM
Your point may or may not have been valid - that is not really the point. I freely admit I do not get everything(or perhaps even the majority of things) right- part of the reason I am on this forum, to learn. If I am wron,g I completely welcome correction, in a constructive manner. But the manner of your correction was bang out of order to my mind. However, you appear to have at least partly recognised this, so let it be an end to the matter. In future, if you want to correct me, go ahead - but dont assume I am some kind of imbecile because in your opinion I got something wrong - we are all human at the end of the day.

I never assumed you were an imbecile, quite the contrary. I make it a habit of never underestimating any potential foe, especially when it comes to legal cases.

Gumboot
23-02-2007, 17:43 PM
Out of curiousity - has anyone ever heard of, from either tenant or LL point of view, of someone getting evicted because of pets? By this I mean under section 8 rathr than S21 - I just wondered if there has been a successful eviction on this basis!

This doesn't exactly fit your criteria, but thought I would share this. The fact that my tenant had a cat was the final straw; it didn't help that he had drug fuelled orgies that annoyed the neighbours either. The agent served a section 8, and he went like a lamb. No need for court. If only all tenants were that easy.