I live in a block of 10 flats and we all own a 1/10th share of the management company.
One of my neighbours recently got a dog, there is no clause in the lease forbidding her from keeping animals.
One of the other neighbours is kicking up a fuss, as she has been letting her dog out in the communal gardens. She has been cleaning all the dog mess up.
The person making the fuss insists that the gardens should be a 'dog free zone', and that she will be putting the matter to a vote at the next meeting.
My opinion is that since it is not forbidden by the lease, and since the dog mess is getting cleaned up, that it is beyond the remit of the company to make up any rules about this.
I sent my neighbour the following email:
I think it is arguable to say that no one has the right to forbid you from taking your dog in there, even if all 9 other votes went against you.
It isn't a breach of the lease to have the dog, and there is no mention in the lease about usage of the communal garden spaces, so I'm pretty sure that even if a resolution was passed at a meeting saying that you couldn't do it under any circumstances it would have no basis in law whatsoever.
If such a ruling were to have any legal clout, surely it would require a variance in the terms of the lease itself? As things stand it is in my opinion outside of the remit of the management company to even be considering this matter, essentially it is a dispute between 2 neighbours, yourself and Jenny.
There's a possible danger of setting a precedent where the decisions made in the meetings go above and beyond what they are legally mandated to do, although to be fair I think this has probably already happened anyway in the past. The company is meant to be concerned solely with discharging it's responsibilities as set out in the lease, I don't see any provision for making up new rules and regulations, bearing in mind that there are a legally prescribed set of rules and obligations in the lease already.
As a slightly silly analogy consider this: if it were decided by vote that people weren't allowed to walk in the car park barefoot that wouldn't be enforceable as the lease does not forbid it. So why should it be the case that you should be forced to even entertain the possibility that you might be banned from taking your dog into the garden? The lease does not forbid it, end of story.
Too many decisions are being made off the cuff without any consideration being given as to whether or not we (the management company) even have the right to take them in the first place. A lot of decisions are being made without the correct procedure being used, e.g. putting it to the vote, by way of example if one person objects to something very vocally at the meetings it seems as if the whole idea just gets shelved rather than taking the majority decision of the 10 shareholders. It seems a shame that whoever shouts loudest gets their way.
Does this sound correct?