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southmartin

Leasehold contracts re Dogs

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HI. Posting for a friend to try and get some info - appreciate anyone who's had similar

My friend lives in a block of 8 flats (she owns one) that also owns the freehold. In essence each of the flat owners owns 1/8th of the freehold. 

The leasehold agreements states that people are not allowed to have pets, and my friend regularly looks after dogs for others (she is paid for this, so is arguably working from home). The new management company has been contacted by other residents trying to enforce this clause (it's worth nothing that she is not making any noise, or any sort of nuisance, though she is the only one in that block who is not retired with far too much time on their hands!) Frankly she is hardly ever there as she's out dog-sitting in other people's homes while they are away.

However, one of the other leaseholders also has a dog - but the management company are saying that her dog was a special exclusion agreed (at the time) by the other 7.. and that it doesn't set a precedent... The other owners are not enforcing the clause against this person

So my questions:

  1. How can it be legal for a rule to be enforced on some people, but not others?
  2. if this went to court would a decent judge simply throw it out?
  3. in reality what can the other 7 flat owners do of she ignores them?
  4. what should her next move be? (Note I am thinking that she writes back saying she has taken legal advice, that the allowance of a pet does set a precedent, and that she is prepared to defend herself in court and make a petition for costs once successful).

Supplemental:

It seems that this is a vexatious claim, especially when considered that one of the owners owes over £7k in service fees going back years, but they're all too scared of the person to do anything about it...

If they continue to do this (and they have more money than her to proceed along there legal route) could she move out an rent the flat to some students who like loud music between 8am-8pm every day...?

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Re this bit:

53 minutes ago, southmartin said:

The leasehold agreements states that people are not allowed to have pets, and my friend regularly looks after dogs for others (she is paid for this, so is arguably working from home). The new management company has been contacted by other residents trying to enforce this clause (it's worth nothing that she is not making any noise, or any sort of nuisance, though she is the only one in that block who is not retired with far too much time on their hands!) Frankly she is hardly ever there as she's out dog-sitting in other people's homes while they are away.

'Pet clauses' don't say 'not allowed pets', they'll say something more like:  not allowed pets or animals of any description on the premises

 

Now, the situation is interesting, as 'no pets clauses' comes under the trouble of the 'unfair terms regulations' that came along in 2015, so it might be that the wording of the prohibition is unfair in law.

However, your friend isn't after a nice pet (could well be 'unfair terms'), but running a business, which likely wouldn't come under the unfair terms regs.  So, if she decided to get a few small dogs, then that might be something that she could do (if she contested the terms and won), but the same number of dogs as 'looking after' wouldn't.  Funny, huh.

 

 

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In most countries in the world you can have a pet even if you are just renting. In our country most rental agreements prohibit pets and I'm not surprised they are starting to prohibit even homeowners from having pets through such management service agreements. It's ridiculous.

What next, you can't have a pet unless you own at least a semi-detached house or larger? Perhaps they will say you can't own a pet unless you have a garden of your own.

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So, your friend is running a dog minding business from her flat?

Neighbours have complained?

So surely the matter should stop there - if she wants to be a good neighbour.

It also appears to be against the terms of the lease.

 

 

 

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Some people don't own a dog, they don't feed the dog, don't pay the vet fees of the dog, can go on holiday without paying to house the dog......but they walk the dog, are sometimes paid to walk the dog, the dog knows them and loves them because they walk them ...... they sometimes they might look after the dog on their terms and sometimes get paid for looking after the dog......win win.;)

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She's looking after a few dogs each week as supplemental - I guess it does class as 'running a business' but not in the same way leasehold clauses were invented for e.g. opening a shop and trading/manufacturing from there. 

Plus there's already another person there who has a dog, and that was deemed acceptable. It seems to me to be a bit of a witch hunt of the retired Vs the only one still working.

But as mentioned, it's a bought property and she owns a share of the leasehold (rather than renting). So I'm keen to understand if these things have any teeth (forgive the pun!)

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So she's got several dogs in there?

25 minutes ago, southmartin said:

She's looking after a few dogs each week

That's a bit different from having one dog - at the agreement of others in the building,isn't it.

27 minutes ago, southmartin said:

It seems to me to be a bit of a witch hunt

No it isn't, the neighbours are doing the right thing here. She's not done the right thing by starting a dog minding business in her flat, in a small community, with no regard for them.

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35 minutes ago, southmartin said:

She's looking after a few dogs each week as supplemental - I guess it does class as 'running a business' but not in the same way leasehold clauses were invented for e.g. opening a shop and trading/manufacturing from there. 

Plus there's already another person there who has a dog, and that was deemed acceptable. It seems to me to be a bit of a witch hunt of the retired Vs the only one still working.

But as mentioned, it's a bought property and she owns a share of the leasehold (rather than renting). So I'm keen to understand if these things have any teeth (forgive the pun!)

I have no idea about the legal issues.

I can see how though there may be good reasons for the no pets clauses. For example maybe the barking of the dogs will disturb people. 

I guess the owner knew that there was a no pets clause in place when she bought the place, so why did she buy it if she wanted to keep pets ?

Trying to have some empathy, I can imagine that if I had a flat and the next door flat had a load of barking dogs in it that went on all hours I can imagine I would not be too happy with that. Maybe you wouldn't be either if it were your next door neighbour. You may say that its only one dog and only one day a week, but then that turns into two days and spirals from there. At what point does it become unacceptable ?

I don't think you would find many people (even dog lovers) that would think it appropriate to run a dog kenneling business from a flat.

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