Visitors pets overnight stay

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    Visitors pets overnight stay

    We are a small block of 21 flats, each having a share in the freehold, which is self-managed by a Management Committee acting as the Landlord. The Terms of the Lease states:
    “No Lessee shall allow any dog cat or other animal to be kept in the flat”
    A question has arisen relating to whether visitors can bring their pets to stay overnight. Can anybody give some advice on this and if they have any similar situations

    #2
    I assume you mean management company, of which the committee ore the directors.

    I'm also assuming you haven't omitted anything that would indicate discretion.

    The wording seems to fairly clearly forbid it, although, unless it is is happening regularly enforcement will be difficult, except by peer pressure.

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      #3
      I suppose it depends on the legal definition of the word 'kept'?

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        #4
        In this context "keep" has to mean something like "retain and look after" i.e. it implies something permanent. Even if it has a wider meaning an overnight stay is not much different to coming for tea and should be regarded as de minimis, that is beneath judicial notice.

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          #5
          There is nothing in the lease that gives discretion to allow pets. Residents are clear about them not been allowed pets. The Committee has in the past taken the view that visitors pets are allowed during the day but not overnight. A new resident has asked Committee for permission for a visitor to bring a pet for a period of time we are not sure if we have the authority to grant permission.

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            #6
            If you are the freehold company, or possibly if you are an RTM company, you have the authority to waive enforcement of the lease. However, there may be other clauses in the lease, that allow the leaseholders to enforce the lease against you and require you to enforce the lease against other leaseholders.

            If you are not the freeholder (which for a 21 share could only be a company) and not an RTM, you will have no power to enforce covenants in the lease.

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              #7
              Originally posted by PJF Eastbourne View Post
              There is nothing in the lease that gives discretion to allow pets. Residents are clear about them not been allowed pets. The Committee has in the past taken the view that visitors pets are allowed during the day but not overnight. A new resident has asked Committee for permission for a visitor to bring a pet for a period of time we are not sure if we have the authority to grant permission.
              On issues such as this you should not really be worrying about the legal niceties. Take a robust pragmatic approach. It is not clear what the pets are, how many of them there are and how long they are staying, but if it all looks reasonable allow it. Just make it clear that the concession does not set a precedent, that is not to be abused by "creep" and that it can be withdrawn at any time.

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                #8
                If the management company don't a pragmatic approach as suggested by lawcruncher then it could lead to expectations particularly those who feel aggrieved for the management company to be exact in they do on other matters. A group of residents voulantarily giving their time and effort this can be very demanding indeed.

                The point made by lawcruncher about "creep" is so very true. People will push the boundaries

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                  #9
                  Thank you for all you useful comments. I have checked the nuisance clause in the lease which reads

                  “No lessee shall do or suffer or permit to be done or suffer any act matter or thing which might be or become a nuisance or annoyance to lessor or the occupiers of any other flat in the building”

                  This would seem to prevent the lessee allowing a visitor to bring a pet overnight?

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                    #10
                    I think that you would have to receive an actual complaint first, investigate to ensure that it is genuine and then give the leaseholder the opportunity to deal with that complaint. I don't think that you can assume that all pets staying overnight are likely to become a nuisance or annoyance to an occupier,

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by PJF Eastbourne View Post
                      Thank you for all you useful comments. I have checked the nuisance clause in the lease which reads

                      “No lessee shall do or suffer or permit to be done or suffer any act matter or thing which might be or become a nuisance or annoyance to lessor or the occupiers of any other flat in the building”

                      This would seem to prevent the lessee allowing a visitor to bring a pet overnight?
                      Lawcruncher has given me some excellent advice in a separate threat on pets which clearly explains what 'nuisance' means in a legal perspective, and, frankly, it ain't pets - unless the tenant in question is fighting them, or training them to become a terrifying army which carries out his evil bidding at a whim. And as I've not seen any reference to this, I assume it is not the case.

                      The annoyance clause is a bit more likely to be something you can use, given that it has the phrase 'which might be or become an annoyance' - that's quite broad, so legally I imagine you have a bit of leverage here (though of course I completely defer to Lawcruncher on this).

                      But it feels very heavy handed to be looking at ways to increase your legal leverage at this stage - has anyone really complained about a pet crashing over for a night or two? And why? Is it pooping everywhere? Whats the nature of the annoyance? Is the annoyance reasonable?

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by PJF Eastbourne View Post
                        Thank you for all you useful comments. I have checked the nuisance clause in the lease which reads

                        “No lessee shall do or suffer or permit to be done or suffer any act matter or thing which might be or become a nuisance or annoyance to lessor or the occupiers of any other flat in the building”

                        This would seem to prevent the lessee allowing a visitor to bring a pet overnight?
                        Not really, no. It is a bit like arguing that no one should have a TV because they might have it on loud.

                        "Nuisance" clauses have sometimes been successfully argued to cover something not expressly prohibited, but I think there has to be a limit to how far you can go so that they are not a catchall which covers everything not contemplated.

                        As I suggested above, you do not want to be getting too heavy-handed in this sort of issue. Investigation would probably reveal that every tenant is guilty of some minor breach of covenant. It also has to be doubted that an overnight stay is in fact a breach because of the wording of the covenant. Just get involved if there is a justifiable complaint.

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                          #13
                          Thanks for all the advice, it seems the best thing to do is "to let sleeping dogs lie" and wait for an occurrence to happen and see if anyone complains and then decide what to do.

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