The phrase 'in the opinion of the Lessor' - any evidence required?

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    #31
    I wonder if it would be worth circulating a photostat of this letter to all your neighbours, asking if anyone finds your dogs a nuisance to tick boxes, yes or no, and leave in your letterbox?

    At least then, if everyone ticks no, you have evidence that the freeholder is just being an a***hole.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #32
      I think the following reply should do to start with:

      Dear Sirs,

      Thank you for your letter of…which I have discussed with a landlord and tenant specialist lawyer.

      The lease does not prohibit the keeping of dogs as such. Clause X only prohibits the keeping of dogs which in the opinion of the Lessor may cause annoyance to any other lessee or occupiers of the other flats in the building, which is not the same thing at all. To date the landlord has not communicated his opinion to me. When he does it is axiomatic that the opinion must be reasonably formed. There is no factual basis for the landlord to form the opinion that my dogs are causing annoyance to anyone.

      As to clause Y, it is well established that in a formal document “nuisance” means a legal nuisance, that is some action which interferes substantially and unreasonably with the enjoyment of property. My dogs do not do anything which amounts to a legal nuisance.

      My position is that I am not in breach of any covenants in the lease.

      Your faithfully,


      *

      Let us know what they say in reply. As to that please note that I am away from home for a fortnight from Monday and will not be looking at a computer every day. In the meantime, see if you can find a copy of Words and Phrases Legally Defined.

      Comment


        #33
        Lawcruncher,

        I don't mind admitting that both me and my partner teared up a little when we read that. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

        Enjoy your time away and I will try to get a copy of this book. I would also like to discuss hiring you professionally if possible. Thank you!

        Comment


          #34
          The book is 4 or 5 volumes and will set you back over £700 if you buy it - hence my suggestion to see if your local library has a copy. The library may also have a copy of any one of the following (also very expensive) books on leasehold law: Woodfall; Hill & Redman; Aldridge. They are all intended for lawyers and pretty daunting, but are worth dipping into the index.

          I do not take on paid work as I live in Spain and have no indemnity insurance.

          Comment


            #35
            In that case I'll check the library this week. Thank you again. The knot in my stomach has lifted enough that I can think about this rationally again. You have my gratitude.

            Comment


              #36
              If the legal profession used plain English, us mere mortals would not have to go in search of expensive books to translate.
              I thought Axiomatic had a good game for Serbia the other day.

              Comment


                #37
                I am surprised that the proposed reply does not deny their statement that “several correspondences have been issued to you upon the matter” and it does not ask them to remove the unreasonable charge from your account.

                It would assist if you let us know exactly what the managing agent said in their email 6 months ago.

                Please also consider Lawcruncher’s earlier comment
                "There is though no saying that a court would find that the landlord has to be reasonable.
                "

                For the record, I do not claim to be an expert and any comments I place on here are intended as a genuine attempt to assist by indicating what I would do in your position. Please feel free to make up your own mind.

                Comment


                  #38
                  I'm afraid court or tribunal is the only thing a***holes like this take notice of. I fear Benzo is on a hiding to nothing in telling freeholder they are being unreasonable. I suspect freeholder knows they are being unreasonable. Just thinks (knows) Benzo has not the time or inclination to go to a tribunal.
                  To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                    I am surprised that the proposed reply does not deny their statement that “several correspondences have been issued to you upon the matter” and it does not ask them to remove the unreasonable charge from your account.

                    It would assist if you let us know exactly what the managing agent said in their email 6 months ago.
                    Thanks for your reply. I'll add a sentence denying the 'several correspondences' and one requesting removal of the charge.

                    The exact wording from the management company was as follows:

                    Pets – I am not aware of any flats that have pets at present. I did see two dogs at your flat but your partner assured me they were only visiting for the day. Just so you are aware Pets are not allowed on site as stipulated by the lease.
                    My partner actually said we were looking after them - she didn't say they were visiting for the day. So I replied:

                    Dogs staying at our place are fosters - we’re looking after them until they get a forever home – so they’ll be gone in a week or two. Rest assured they’re not causing a nuisance (we stay with them 100% of the time – you can’t leave a foster alone) but if you do get any complaints from other residents please shout and I’ll expedite the process. All my immediate neighbours love them and keep inventing reasons to visit, so I think we’re OK short term. I’m not aware of anyone else with pets either but again, this isn’t something that bothers me, as long as they’re not causing a nuisance to other residents – I think our lease is sensible there.


                    The dogs are still fosters as a matter of fact. Unfortunately they're of a breed which is very common where I live, and finding a forever home has been much harder than expected - we've had exactly one offer of adoption, which pulled out. Plus we'd like to adopt in future, so it's important to me that we establish a right (or otherwise) - from a reasonable third party if necessary.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      There is no need to add what I said. Never say more than you need to say even if it looks harmless. If you follow that rule you avoid giving a hostage to fortune.

                      The issue is whether there is a breach of covenant. That is all that needs to be addressed at this stage.

                      Of course we do not know what the reaction will be, but a reply is required. The solicitor may say to the landlord: "The tenant is not going to roll over and has taken legal advice. Forget it." Whether he does or not the landlord may still want to press the matter. We do not know. One thing at a time. Send the letter and await a reponse.

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Lawcruncher,

                        When you say it, it makes total sense. I will send as written. Thank you.

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Judging by your comments, you have a very good idea how the freeholder is likely to respond and you know the freeholder better than I or anyone else on here.
                          I disagree slightly with Lawcruncher, the issue is not whether or not there is a breach of covenant, it is whether or not you admit to a breach of the terms of the lease.
                          It is your letter and you should decide whether or not there is anything to be gained by asking the freeholder to see reason.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            I think that's maybe one of the things that's swaying me. I've written two emails to the Freeholder, with significant evidence, asking him to do something about our security gate. The first one was detailing that child had run through the open security gate into traffic and was put in hospital for several days - this was in the newspaper. The second one was detailing the level of antisocial behaviour residents had to deal with on a regular basis as a result of the failure to repair said gate - it included videos of public urination, arguments, criminal activity, and antisocial behaviour, all taken from a single night. I received no response to either email, or any activity to resolve the issues from the managing agent. So I believe reason is not something this guy is interested in. This is punishment for going RTM and beating him in court.

                            Really do appreciate your replies, they're helping me see things more clearly.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Forget the child. Assuming that the fact that the gate is defective was obvious, most of the blame will lie with the parents for inadequate supervision.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                                Judging by your comments, you have a very good idea how the freeholder is likely to respond and you know the freeholder better than I or anyone else on here.
                                That may be true, but whatever the likely outcome the first step is to respond to the letter.

                                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                                I disagree slightly with Lawcruncher, the issue is not whether or not there is a breach of covenant, it is whether or not you admit to a breach of the terms of the lease.
                                They more or less amount to the same thing.

                                Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                                It is your letter and you should decide whether or not there is anything to be gained by asking the freeholder to see reason.
                                It is important to sort out what is important and what is not. Lawyers are often faced with clients saying things like: "I want it got over that he swore at my wife." The issue to be addressed at this stage is whether there is or is not a breach of covenant. Keep it firm and simple. Bring the landlord's possible motives and reasonableness into it later if need be.

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