Breach of lease : Neighbours barking dog

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    #16
    Quite frankly Im shocked at some of these responses. The lease clearly says no nuisance dog or pets, and I have six months of videos proving that this dog is barking regularly directly outside my bedroom and office at all hours of the day - louder than my TV on 100 percent. The proximity of this animal to my home is so close, and the barking so loud, nothing can drown it out when it barks.

    The issue is that I get it all day as the other owners are at work...

    My right to peace and quiet enjoyment and nuisance pets exists independently from other owners... I can understand why the FH would logically ask other owners, but if they are out all day then its a moot point.

    I am certainly not prepared to move due to a tenants new barking dog, or prepared to have this for years to come. The tenants have been written to as have the leaseholders...

    They dont exactly help themselves as the day after they moved in they had a huge party in the garden till 3 am (the lady below had to ask them to turn it down), and have been doing this regularly throughout the year till after 11pm. Yesterday morning they took their radio outside and turned it up loud (my bedroom being right next to their garden), which ruined my lie in.

    The case against them is now very large, and am now wondering whether its better to take legal proceedings for nuisance rather than just dog nuisance... the relationship is already at rock bottom.

    At the end of the day if my solicitor advises me not to pursue a claim then Im not financially suicidal and will take this on board... a few hundred quid for peace of mind is not much in the scheme of the nuisance its created. I guess its now a case of who blinks first.

    Can anyone recommend a good solicitor that deals with this kind of animal nuisance? That may be able to provide advice and a determination at reasonable cost?

    Comment


      #17
      The normal approach to this would be through the council, so I doubt that there are any civil law practitioners with experience in this.

      E.g. this page says nothing about civil actions: http://www.problemneighbours.co.uk/barking-dogs.html

      However, https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/assets/pd...gal_action.pdf does say that you can bring action in the criminal court system (although this is not a criminal offence until they ignore any order of the court).

      Comment


        #18
        Tw1982 – You do not seem to be reading the replies, which are all trying to assist you and advising you what to expect if you pursue this matter.

        If the neighbour is holding parties at 3am which prevents residents from sleeping, that is far more important than a dog barking during the day. I recommend that you have a quiet word with the neighbour over a cup of tea or coffee. If the parties continue, ask the other residents to support a complaint to the freeholder.

        You have already been advised by others that a solicitor will not determine the matter.

        I suspect that the neighbour turning up the radio was in direct retaliation to you playing your TV with 100% sound.

        Disputes between neighbours can quickly become out of hand.

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Tw1982 View Post
          Quite frankly Im shocked at some of these responses. The lease clearly says no nuisance dog or pets
          I've had some very useful advice here before and one of the key learnings I had when I was in a similar position was to undersatnd the difference between a nuisance and an annoyance.

          The legal bar for a nuisance is distinct from, and much higher than, the legal bar for an annoyance. I think you might have some luck in using the quiet enjoyment clause but please, for the sake of your own sanity, stop using the word nuisance. That's a legal word which means some action which results in a tort - there you're really talking about prostitution or drug dealing or something.

          I do appreciate that this dog is frustrating but I would certainly try to talk to the owners first. It may be that they're not aware.

          Apologies if you've already been through this, I've only just skimmed the thread.

          Comment


            #20
            The OP is using the term nuisance, because that is what the lease says is the level at which a barking dog becomes a breach of the lease. Whilst it also has clauses about annoyance, I suspect the more specific clause on bets would override them, and only a statutory nuisance would actually breach the lease.

            Comment


              #21
              There are several things here:

              The lease states that:

              Im entitled to freedom from nuisance pets

              Im entitled to peace and quiet enjoyment on the property (which presumably covers all annoyances and nuisances)

              Im entitled to peace before 8am and after 11pm (i have video recordings of this thing barking at 7:50am and after 11pm)

              Im entitled to right to free access on the property ( this thing regularly barks at me when im trying to access the common parts of the building - the meter and the garden are at the side of the property and I have video evidence of this thing barking at me when I attempt to access the meter or the garden - which is quite alarming) The lesees response to this is - dont use the garden or check the meter after 11pm - which feels like the lesee is now trying to restrict my free access at certain hours due to her tenants dog, which im not happy about and perhaps even confirms the breach in her own words?

              All these issues in my opinion amount to nuisance, presumably if it was only statutory nuisance the lease would state 'statutory nuisance' rather than simply 'nuisance'. This is the key point - what exactly - legally constitutes nuisance.

              I am in no doubt, in the english speaking term - that its barking has been beyond nuisance as it has effected my health significantly (an hour and a half of dog barking 5 yards away from my window at one point - to the extent the tenants had to call the top floor owners to run down and bring it in following complaints). Incidentally I found out from the lesee herself (in her defence) that this was the case... which seems to be confirming a breach, as she has stated that the basement tenants had locked it out 'accidentally' and had to call the top floor owners to bring it in after an hour and a half of dog barking- The dog clearly filmed on camera outside my window.

              Either way, legal advice seems to be the only way forward to determine all this... please bare in mind I have six months of videos of dog barking at all hours, three months of daily sound diarys, a seperate video diary, formal complaints to the owners of the dog, six months of increasingly desperate complaints to the lesee and the managing agent proving that this has been an attritional issue over a long period of time - not just a few barks over a week or so. I now also have a stamped medical report from my GP stating that I have been diagnosed with severe depression due to this dog.

              I was fine before it moved in - even happy here, now a nervous wreck because of it.

              Comment


                #22
                FYI the google definition of nuisance is anything that causes inconvenience or annoyance (below)


                nuisance
                /ˈnjuːs(ə)ns/
                Learn to pronounce
                noun
                1. a person or thing causing inconvenience or annoyance.
                  "it's a nuisance having all those people clomping through the house"
                  synonyms: source of annoyance/irritation, annoyance, inconvenience, bore, bother, irritant, problem, difficulty, trouble, trial, burden; More

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Tw1982 View Post
                  FYI the google definition of nuisance is anything that causes inconvenience or annoyance (below)


                  nuisance
                  /ˈnjuːs(ə)ns/
                  Learn to pronounce
                  noun
                  1. a person or thing causing inconvenience or annoyance.
                    "it's a nuisance having all those people clomping through the house"
                    synonyms: source of annoyance/irritation, annoyance, inconvenience, bore, bother, irritant, problem, difficulty, trouble, trial, burden; More
                  I have to echo what a previous commenter said before - you don't appear to be listening to the advice given to you. I was in a position similar to you and I used both words interchangeably until I had my knowledge base increased by a lawyer, on this website (search my post history for my post re: dogs and you'll find it). I am attempting to pass that on to you. If you don't want to listen you don't have to, but please don't confuse the technical, legal description of a word in the UK courts with a colloquial understanding of that word. They're different things.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Im well aware of this issue, and believe I made this point in my last post:

                    "This is the key point - what exactly - legally constitutes nuisance. '

                    This is why I have stated that legal advice and an assessment of the case I have produced seems to be the most appropriate way forward - to see if there is a case - legallly - for nuisance.

                    Of course, we all know these definitions are set up to be ambiguous so the lawyers can make more money spending months arguing over what they mean... in reality, as a previous poster says - if I say its caused nuisance then its caused nuisance.

                    Unfortunately, speaking through experience with a previous case of breach of lease.. the world doesnt work the way you want it to... and the victim always suffers the most. Very depressing.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Do you have a link to that post? Cant appear to find it through a common search

                      Comment


                        #26
                        "quiet enjoyment", and probably also "peace", in legal senses are to do with the landlord not interfering with your use of the property. It is the dog owner that might claim their quiet enjoyment is being interfered with, if the landlord attempts to stop them having a dog. In particular, quiet has nothing to do with the noise level.

                        As I see it, the statutory nuisance route is your only really valid option, which means getting the council to intervene, or directly filing a complaint with the magistrates' court.

                        Anti-social behaviour covenants are very difficult to enforce, unless you first get the courts to directly address the behaviour, or there is an effective community of residents. Rented out properties tend to disrupt communities.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Presumably - a private claim for nuisance can be filed outside the lease anyway? As the definition of statutory nuisance has to effect more than one person, private is the only way to go independently.

                          I guess only I know how much nuisance I have suffered, and appreciate that you all are just trying to imagine it. My conviction stems really from having experienced it, this is not just intermitted dog barking... this has been incessant, five yards from my window, heard loudly over my tv on 100 percent inside my bedroom.

                          The lease also states that another owner must not 'do any act thing whatsoever that may be - or tend to be an annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to any other lesee' ... presumably theres also some breach in this (i.e. locking their dog out barking for an hour and a half when theyre not in - which theyve admitted to).

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I think the specific rule about pets would override the general rule abut annoyances, and the specific rule only says nuisance.

                            Also, you haven't quoted anything that makes either the other leaseholder, or the freeholder, responsible to you for complying with this covenant. Without that, there has been no breach of your lease and no cause for you to take action under the lease.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Well, to be honest if a dog regularly barking at me on the property, restricting my access to the building and barking all day five yards outside my bedroom over my TV on 100 percent DOESNT constitute nuisance we might as well all jump out the window now.

                              I really do despair at this country sometimes.

                              Regarding the lease, the sad reality is Ive already been through a five year legal battle with the previous neighbours upstairs, on here... where I was on here for almost a year with everyone trying to ascertain what "one family only" meant. lol. At the time the owners of the property were living with their mates in different rooms... the lease says "one family only".. the level of noise and activity was such that it aroused my suspicion - ive been living in flats in london now for over 12 years. I challenged it - asking the freeholder to enforce the lease against the top floor owner - they fought it - claiming that they "shared food together", and lost - costing them over £5000 in legal fees in the end.

                              My point is - I have already been through a 5 year legal battle with the previous neighbours upstairs.. and won. I know what the lease says and how to enforce it - take my word for it - it is the freeholders responsibilty to enforce the shared lease between all four flats against all other leaseholders. So If flat A effects flat B, it is flat B's responsibility to take the freeholder to court to enforce the freeholder to take action against flat A.

                              My guess is that if my solicitor determines nuisance, and this is forwarded to the freeholder, the freeholder will have no option but to enforce the lease against the offending lesee.. If she chooses to fight it, that will be a different matter and could go on for many months and cost thousands...

                              Im going down to speak with the lesee whos tenants are causing the nuisance this week, and will try to ascertain her position... I intend to ask her - if it is determined by a solicitor that the dog is a nuisance, will she remove the animal... if she refuses to remove the nuisance animal I feel I will have no option but to get legal advice, as the alternative is incredibly depressing as im just in the process of a remortgage.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Nobody forces anyone on here to follow advice, it is entirely your decision.

                                You state that you have been advised that the freeholder will do so as long as you pay the costs and that the initial cost is expected to be £600.

                                You also state that the matter could go on for many months and cost thousands. If you are prepared to fund those costs and accept the risk that the freeholder may not succeed in which case you would not recover the costs, then go ahead. Even if the freeholder does succeed, there is no guarantee that you would recover all the costs.

                                Please take careful note that whilst you would be funding the costs, you would have no say regarding the action being taken or the instructions being issued to the solicitors.

                                If you still wish to pursue the matter, I suggest that you obtain a barrister’s written legal opinion which you could either present to the leaseholder or to the freeholder.

                                Comment

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