How long does a pet have to be at a property to be "kept" there?

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    How long does a pet have to be at a property to be "kept" there?

    A leaseholder has asked the Management Company of which I am a director for consent to keep a dog at his flat at weekends. The dog belongs to one of his relatives and lives elsewhere during the week.
    The lease contains a fairly standard pet clause: “No animal pet dog or bird shall be kept on the Demised Premises without the written permission of the Company which shall not be unreasonably withheld…”
    The lease contains nothing which prevents pets from “visiting” the premises. Is this dog being “kept” there? My view is that it is, and presumably the leaseholder thinks so too or he would not have asked for permission.
    How long / often does a dog need to be at a premises before it is being “kept” there? Opinions welcome, but if anyone knows of any court cases that have considered the issue, that would be great.

    #2
    Is there a reason the Mgt company would not want to give consent? If the dog is only visiting at weekends it could be argued it is not kept or equally argued it is kept.

    However, I believe I read somewhere on this forum that even 'no pet' clauses are unlikely to be enforced by courts and there is a shift by govt to allow pets by default. This is certainly the case for renters where govt's model tenancy agreement was updated to this effect.

    Sorry, the above only offers opinion rather than helps answer your question definitively.

    Comment


      #3
      How long does it take for the fleas to migrate. I suppose you might want your building to sink into a desperate state - in which case say OK. Else just say no.

      Comment


        #4
        Are you planning to deny permission?
        If so, do you have reasonable grounds for doing so?

        Unless the answer to both questions is "yes", what length of time makes a difference is surely irrelevant.

        Comment


          #5
          Permission is not to be unreasonably withheld and so you must have a good reason to deny permission and even then it is by no means certain that you would succeed if challenged in court.

          It looks like the dog is only visiting the property and not being kept at the property, so the leaseholder does not require permission.

          Comment


            #6
            An example of reasonably withheld is "lease says so, and the owner of Flat 6 who bought her lease on the basis of what it says gets a sniffly nose"

            Comment


              #7
              I recall a case on here where someone was providing a temporary home for dogs for several months and argued that they were not being kept permanently. I don't think that it was tested in court, the dogs were rehomed.

              The lease requires a good reason for withholding consent eg a dangerous breed which may cause harm to residents. A general reason eg one of the leaseholders does not like dogs is unlikely to be valid.

              Comment


                #8
                My car keys are kept in my pocket except when I'm driving or asleep. (IE kept may be for a short time).

                Afaik there's no legal definition of "kept".
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                  The lease requires a good reason for withholding consent eg a dangerous breed which may cause harm to residents. A general reason eg one of the leaseholders does not like dogs is unlikely to be valid.
                  That's simply not correct. Someone's perceived allergy, or dislike for even a single dog bark (coupled with the lease they paid for) is more than sufficient reason. If the lease says the reason has to be good and constrains what that means then it is a different story.

                  NO PETS MEANS NO PETS

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm sure nowhere near a legal definition lol - but if you are feeding the dog I would suggest it is not visiting.

                    A dog only visiting at weekends may be less "settled" and cause issues ie barking?

                    IF I had purchased a flat with a no pets clause I personally WOULD object if my neighbour then wanted a pet.

                    My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

                    Comment


                      #11
                      But that's not a "no pets clause" . If it was just the first 13 words it would be.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks to all for comments so far. I will try to answer the questions raised:

                        The dog has 'visited' on a number of occassions already, and barks - to the annoyance of at least one leaseholder. I believe that is potentially a reasonable ground for refusal, though of course I cannot predict what the Board will decide when they meet to consider the matter. I have been looking at Victory Place Management Co Ltd v Kuehn, where the High Court upheld a refusal to give consent to keep a dog in 2018. That is very informative on how decisions should be arrived at, and I do not believe the law has changed since then.

                        If the dog is not being 'kept', that saves us the bother of having to consider it. Though of course it would raise another issue in terms of the noise from barking!! In the absence of a clear definition of 'kept', we will make a reasoned decision and go from there.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Joe Forit View Post
                          If the dog is not being 'kept', that saves us the bother of having to consider it.
                          The fact that the leaseholder has asked for permission suggests that either they believe that the lease requires this, or they are looking to change the current circumstances and have the dog there longer.

                          I would tend to agree with what landlord-man said in post #10 - if the dog is being fed at the property (especially if it is also sleeping there over night), this could easily be argued to fall within the definition of being "kept".

                          Since permission has been asked you should consider the matter formally anyway.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                            My car keys are kept in my pocket except when I'm driving or asleep. (IE kept may be for a short time).

                            Afaik there's no legal definition of "kept".
                            I sometimes wonder if the legal profession deliberately make legal documents ambiguous in order to keep their colleagues in permanent employment

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                              But that's not a "no pets clause" . If it was just the first 13 words it would be.
                              Totally agree, its not a no pets clause.

                              Comment

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