Leasehold property and pets

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    Leasehold property and pets

    I am currently buying a lease hold property. In the lease it states 6.Not to keep in the premises any animal bird of reptile to which the lessor has reasonably objected. We then got the Recent AGM come through and it states no pets, how come there are two separate things? Can I get around it? We have a little dachshund who we would like to bring with us but if he has to stay at my parents house until we can afford a bigger place then that’ll have to be. Surely they have to give me a reasonable objection?

    What is the role of the company that has had an AGM?

    A blanket ban on pets does not seem to comply with the "reasonably reject" clause. However, even poodles can generate an awful lot of noise and can "attack" strangers, even though not causing physical injury. They could have had bad experiences with dogs, so a ban on dogs might be reasonable.

    It would be up to the FTT to decide whether the ban was reasonable, in your case, and, if you lost, you would have to pay their fees and have to dispose of the dog at short notice.

    Challenging the rule as a newcomer would start your relationship with, what I guess is a resident run company, on a poor footing. Generally you want to start on your best behaviour then stretch the limits.


      The AGM cannot overrule the terms of the lease which seems to be clear that there must be a reasonable objection. A total ban on all dogs would also be unreasonable. I am sure that there are dog lovers on Tribunals who would take exception to some of the comments expressed in #2.


        Ok so I definitely don’t want to start on a bad foot! How do I approach the situation? Do I leave it for some time and then raise the enquire as to why my lease says one thing and the AGM says another? And if the dog ever comes round for a day do i just say it’s my mums and I’m looking after it? It says on the AGM paper work that this rule was brought in 2016, only existing animals before the rule can stay but i still don’t understand why the lease document says somthing different!


          I think that you have a situation where the leaseholders are self managing. One of the big problems with such arrangements is that they assume that decisions made by meetings of the leaseholders can override the requirements in the lease. That means they end up operating the lease that they thought they should have had, rather than the lease they actually have. You may well find lots of other ways in which they have deviated from the lease. There is a good chance that none of the directors are familiar with the lease, and almost certain that most of the AGM attendees have never read it.

          In such circumstances, it can be very difficult to convince them that they are in the wrong. At the least, it is likely to require a solicitor's letter, and it may require an FTT decision. Any test case is probably better done on something like a single goldfish, where there is no impact on other residents.

          In principle, an AGM has almost no more power than the board of directors, and the board of directors has no more power than a landlord who is unconnected with the leaseholders. The meeting is basically acting as the freeholder, so can make a decision as to whether a particular pet is acceptable, but not a blanket decision.

          Some leases provide for the freeholder to make additional regulations, but I can't see that it woudl be acceptable to make such a regulation that conflicts with the lease.



            I would start off as you mean to go on, keep the dog and if anyone objects explain that it is well behaved and that you have been advised that the lease allows you to keep it at the property. Also explain that your doctor has advised you that you need to keep a dog for therapeutic purposes and they really do not want to see you if you do not receive your therapy.

            How many people actually attend the AGMs?


              You are entitled to rely on the wording of the lease. You do not need to ask for permission to keep a dog. You can keep it until the landlord makes a reasonable objection. It is impossible to say in advance what is reasonable, but I suggest the following would be reasonable grounds to require you not to keep any particular dog:

              · It barks excessively
              · It fouls the grounds
              · It digs up plants in the grounds or does some other damage
              · It behaves agressively towards residents or visitors
              · The landlord produces evidence that the premises are unsuitable for the dog

              You can cover the last point by getting the RSPCA to confirm the premises are suitable.

              The following are not reasonable grounds:

              · Dogs have caused problems in the past
              · One or more of the residents dislikes or has a fear of dogs
              · A consensus of the tenants (however reached) that no dogs should be kept

              I would recommend that when entering or leaving the flat you keep the dog on a short leash or carry it (Can you carry dachshunds?). Also make sure that you clear up after the dog does its business. In short, do your best not to give anyone the slightest excuse to call for the dog to be banned.


                Your problem will be that whoever dislikes dogs will find an excuse to complain to the freeholder. What is considered to be excessive barking to someone who dislikes dogs is quite different to a dog lover who may not notice a dog barking. You should be prepared to exercise the dog some distance away from the premises otherwise I can imagine residents following you with a camera at the ready. You should be ready to counter any complaint by starting your own petition from residents stating that the dog is well behaved and causes no disturbance to them.


                  He’s not aggressive at all, he’s a tiny little guy who always wants to be in my arms! More like a rabbit then a dog haha! we back straight onto a field so we’ve got miles of walking area to get away! Luckily my mum lives around the corner and he will be at hers all day when I’m working Monday- Friday 6.30am -5.30pm, so there won’t be any noise for people to get annoyed over l! And the weekends I usually try to go out and do things with him and other local dog walking groups! I’m very aware the non dog people will do all they can to rid of him! As far as I’m aware there were only a handful of people who even attended the AGM! Hopefully next one I can attend and put my views across on the rule.


                    Hello JR Hick

                    If I were you I would bring your dog with you and not raise the issue at the AGM. See Lawcruncher's post. If an issue regarding your little dog is raised that will be the time to address the point. The lease is the contract and according to your original post the landlord would need to object and the objection would need to be on a reasonable basis. Clauses such as this are 'noise [or other] nuisance' clauses.

                    If you raise the point you may draw attention to the issue.

                    In your case at least you know if there is a problem your dog can live with your mum BUT until then he can stay with you!


                      Originally posted by J R HICK View Post
                      I am currently buying a lease hold property. In the lease it states 6.Not to keep in the premises any animal bird of reptile to which the lessor has reasonably objected. We then got the Recent AGM come through and it states no pets, how come there are two separate things? Can I get around it? We have a little dachshund who we would like to bring with us but if he has to stay at my parents house until we can afford a bigger place then that’ll have to be. Surely they have to give me a reasonable objection?

                      Is there any other pet at the property? Are you a shareholder? Were they aware when you were buying the property that you had a pet? If you made them aware previously and were transparent and the dog is not barking like mad or causing a nuisance then carry on. If you did not make them aware then let them know and carry on as long as it's not a nuisance, it is unreasonable behavior otherwise on their part.


                        You should concentrate on the wording of the lease “not to keep in the premises any (dog) to which the lessor has reasonably objected.”

                        There was a similar previous thread in which “keep” was considered. The lessor cannot reasonably object to a dog visiting you. So a total ban on all dogs is outside the terms of the lease.
                        You may be able to stretch the meaning of “not to keep” by keeping a dog temporarily whilst your parents are away and as in the previous thread whilst a dog is being rehomed (which took at least 12 months and was ongoing if I recall correctly).

                        If the lessor does object to you keeping a dog, you may be able to argue that he has not “reasonably objected” and you could apply to a Tribunal to decide if you cannot agree. That in itself can take several months. A letter to the lessor stating that unless he withdraws his objection you are going to apply to a Tribunal may be sufficient for him to reconsider his decision.


                          Can the management company change the rules to no dogs without changing what the lease says?


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