keeping a dog in leasehold flat

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  • #46
    Originally posted by laila View Post
    I wrote a letter it PM. Lets see what happens. Unfortunately I doubt that they will leave it be. The are on the MISSION TO MAKE RESIDENTS LIFE MISERABLE.
    You may be right. You may have to be prepared to fight them at the LVT (Leasehold Valuation Tribunal) and possibly pay their legal costs. If they decide there has been a breach then you will be served a notice giving you sufficient time to remedy the breach should it be remediable.

    I hope your letter was firm in tone. You should also write to the Landlord to keep a record of the conversation you had. It's not evidence of the LL's permission but a copy carries more weight than you verbally recounting the conversation at any future LVT hearing. Send it in the guise of an update, telling him that the PM was unmoved by your claims when you spoke to him/her. Keep a photocopy and get a certificate of posting.

    The PM cannot seek forfeiture without the Landlords backing.
    I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


    • #47
      So I received a reply to my letter via email. (I sent email on Friday and intended to send a paper copy today but I see no point now).

      There is a few issues now.
      When we bought the flat we signed the lease with the Company X.

      The PM is saying in her letter that Company X is not a freeholder, it is now the Company Y (which was incorporated in 2011) and the lease specifies Company X as the entity responsible for upholding the terms of the lease. I contacted Company X last week (thinking of a freeholder) when I was told that dog is fine and I should ignore the letters.

      I am a bit confused now what to do? What I have done wrong? (other that keeping the dog)

      The PM also says in her letter:
      The fact that service charges and ground rent have been demanded and accepted bears no relevance to the fact that you are in breach of the lease for keeping a pet.

      ...The conditions of the lease have not been waived by any of the points mentioned in the email. Therefore I will have no choice but to contact your mortgage company to advise them that you are in breach of the lease and that their security may be at risk...

      When I contacted the Bank asking if the above is true, the bank said that only if I did not pay ground rent it would be at risk, and they can not give any information to anyone, regarding my mortgage as long as I pay everything.

      So, who is right? what is going on? I am getting really annoyed!!!


      • #48
        I am right( based on what has been posted). I'll do a detailed reply later. For now write to your Mortgagee and explain that you have a dog, that the original builder and seller explained that you could have one and you are now in dispute with the agents and they are not to take any action.

        Did you check any insurance policies to see if you have legal expenses cover and if so call them as this rottweiler of an agent clearly doesn't want to let it go.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


        • #49
          I have looked in detail into my documentation I received when purchased my flat.

          It looks like I am the Lessee and the Company X is a Lessor - who I contacted regarding pets and who knew about them from the beginning - developer. From what I understand Lessor is a Freeholder?
          Also it mentions the Management Company who has now changed to really annoying people.
          When we bought the flat all this was new to us and we definitely weren't explained all terms and conditions of the purchase by the Solicitor. A solicitor was referred by Developer - Lessor. We just got a hundred page documents to sign. So we did.

          I am not sure what insurance policy you mentioned above. We have life insurance on mortgage only.

          Thank for all the help anyway


          • #50
            I also found a document re: transfer of the Freehold of our apartment (in 2011)from our original Lessor to the Company Y (mentioned above)and the ground rent is payable to the Company Y in accordance with our lease. It does not states anything else but the ground rent payments.
            I hope this does not complicate things any more than they are now. In regards to the dog I contacted the Company X - Lessor who I originally signed the Lease with in 2009.


            • #51
              When I spoke to the Company X - the original Lesser - regarding the dog in a flat they did not say they are not in charge of the property and have no say in this matter. The lady I spoke to said that she is not sure and will ask someone from 'legal department' and put me on hold. Then she said to ignore the letters from the PM as long as the pet is behaving good and not causing nuisance (there was no complaints-she confirmed)


              • #52
                I have given this some thought. Where the PM is wrong is that you are not in breach of payment of rent and service charge as clearly you have, the point is doing so is arguably a waiver. As a dog is considered a continuing breach, not once and for all, payment is not a simple waiver.

                There is an argument to be made for waiver by landlords X and Y who until recently were
                A: happy that buyers and residents were able to have dogs
                B: were at the worst not bothered about them
                C: that the earlier and current PM have managed the premises and have not acted on the issue, which given the number of dogs and a normal number of visits they should be now have been aware earlier. I suspect they were, & it’s only a complaint that has sparked the issue.

                The argument taken together is that they are estopped by prior agreement and acquiescence, or have in effect waived the covenant by repeatedly declining to take action in the face if evidence to the presence of dogs. There may even be a case for misrepresentation against X.

                The argument of the length and complexity of the lease is fallacious, it may have worked with mobile phones and PP, and you might argue a pressured environment and the tie in with the solicitor but it won’t wash with leases, and I doubt that you would make precedent on the matter of dog. The lease is clear and you will have to reconcile that with the earlier discussion you cannot say you were not aware, you were deemed to be aware on signature. The other issue of the EU ruling of family life and pets and whether it is an unfair term to exclude completely might have some mileage, or kilometerage.

                None of this is the simple definitive answer you want, any it can only be assessed by a complete review of your evidence and some disclosure of the companies X and Y and the PMs as to what they knew or were likely to know. Even then the chance of success will depend on how it falls on the day.

                It seems odd that this has arisen now and one tactic is with the other dog owners to lobby the freeholder that this will cost them a lot of money, some might end up on the service charge(both depending on the leases) and that perhaps sleeping dogs should be left to lie.

                There may be an underlying problem No 7’s Doberman has eaten the front door of flat 2 and toilets in the patio of No 1. No 7 might be persuaded to control their dog, but ask at a safe distance. And wear running shoes. Just in case.
                Good luck.
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


                • #53
                  In practical terms I think you have a good chance of winning but you need to get things right and it might cost you even if you win.

                  I think the biggest difficulty the LL has is arguing against what you claim happened under the old Landlord and Managing Agent. From the sound of it the old LL doesn't even know if he still owns the freehold!

                  It will probably come down to evidence and witness statements but I think the LL will have a difficult job explaining why 3+ years down the line there are a bunch of pets that have suddenly been noticed for the first time.

                  You can then add to that initial hurdle for the LL by giving credible evidence supported by witnesses about what was seen and said by the old LL and the old MA. If you make claims that you and the other pet owners had such and such a conversation with such and such a person and such and such a person was aware of the pets. You bring along these witnesses to the hearing. Then how does the new LL and MA refute what you are saying? He's going to have to produce the people you have named and they might not even be around anymore and why would they want to come and give evidence anyway?

                  If it was me I'd try and nip it in the bud by getting together with the other pet owners and coming up with a detailed case. Produce a big list of events including names and dates. Present this to the LL now before he starts incurring costs.

                  Then you have your 'unfair terms of lease' argument too and reference case in support.

                  Costs can often be the biggest barrier to fighting the LL who is claiming you are in breach.

                  Solidarity might in the end be the key.

                  I know if I was the Landlord I'd think it was probably not worth it. He should still have the nuisance covenants to deal with any nuisance pets.
                  I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


                  • #54
                    Thank you for your advice.

                    I will wait and see what happens.

                    It just seems that the PM rotweiler is not going to let go! The odd thing is she one week she sent letter saying that she will contact solicitors and next week she says that she will contact my mortgage provider to inform them that the property is at risk and they should act.
                    I spoke again to the Bank explaining the whole situation (breach and pets) and they were very surprised and have never had a situation like this before and they are not going to do anything. They said they will not give any info on me without my permission as I pay everything on time. They will send me a confirmation letter so I have it in writing.
                    So clearly the PM is wrong on this and it really looks a bit strange to me - like she is desperate to scare us and get rid of the dog before anything goes to court. Is she helping me or herself?

                    Anyone knows a good solicitor? Just in case?


                    • #55
                      A couple of other ideas in regard to getting a case together. Quite tough to execute but useful if you manage it.

                      Explain your problem to the old LL and inform him that he doesn't actually still own the freehold! Ask him if he'd put something in writing to outline his policy when he was freeholder.

                      If you don't have any luck with that see if you can find if he owns any other freeholds with similar leases (I know it's a long shot). Then try and show that his current policy is to turn a blind eye which will then support your argument that he did that when he was freeholder of your property.
                      I accept no legal responsibility for comments/advice I make on this forum. Please check with a solicitor before acting on statements made in a public forum.


                      • #56
                        One word ask for "Mediation".

                        Your local county court may havbe a free service or try

                        It puts the brakes on legal action in many respects.

                        I have done quite a lot in the last year and so many of these tricky situations get talked out.
                        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


                        • #57
                          What I didnt add is that even if the matter is resolved that still doesnt preclude the landlord and agent taking action where there is a nuisance.
                          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


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