Complaints from neighbours: my tenant keeps rabbits

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  • agent46
    replied
    Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
    For some reason I just can't stop laughing at that very wicked (and funny) observation on human nature!
    Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'm here all week.

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  • attilathelandlord
    replied
    Originally posted by agent46 View Post
    and just to generally try their best to remain on good terms with the people next door for no better reason than people usually find it embarrassing to sue someone who bids them a cheery "good morning" every day.

    For some reason I just can't stop laughing at that very wicked (and funny) observation on human nature!

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Yes. The best and 'fairest' way to avoid such problems (and entire applicability of the Regs.) is individual negotiation of contract terms.

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  • agent46
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
    I know that potential unfair terms can only be decided by the courts but the guidance is there for reference purposes; if nobody is going to take any notice then why was it published?
    The OFT's guidance, represents, not to put too fine a point on it, an extravagant interpretation of the law.

    In simultaneous posts in this thread, above, Jeffrey and I both described the guidance as a "wish list". In other words, it seems to represent what the OFT (as a body fighting for the rights of consumers) want the regs to achieve, as opposed to what rules the regs actually lay down in practice. In fact, IIRC, they say as much in the preface to the guidance. TBH, I think the OFT are far too biased and self-regarding to have been trusted with publishing the guidance and that the relevant central Govt dept (ie: the DTI) should have performed that task instead.

    UTCCR and the OFT Guidance do have an application, but more so in the realm of manifestly unfair terms such as penalty charges or terms excluding liability for negligence or non-performance of a contract etc. However, they are not a "get out of jail free card" that can be used to sweep any and all inconvenient terms under the carpet simply because those terms are a little bit skewed in favour of the business. Remember, the regs require both a lack of good faith (ie: an attempt to hide or misrepresent the terms in a standard contract) AND for those terms to cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the detriment of the consumer. Note that both conditions (lack of good faith and significant imbalance) need to be fulfilled and also further note that the imbalance of rights has to be significant.

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  • bagpuss
    replied
    Well, OFT has to produce something to justify its existence, I guess.

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  • PaulF
    replied
    I know that potential unfair terms can only be decided by the courts but the guidance is there for reference purposes; if nobody is going to take any notice then why was it published?

    Leave a comment:


  • starlettings
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    The problem with goldfish is that they reputedly have a very, er, what was I saying?
    Tank, Bowl, mouth?

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  • agent46
    replied
    Originally posted by JDM2008 View Post
    ...what right do the neighbours have to demand
    that I (as landlord) get rid of them?
    They have every right to make whatever demands they like

    Less flippantly - if the rabbits are causing a nuisance (which is defined as an unreasonable and indirect interference with the use and enjoyment of land) to the neighbours then as you have given permission to your tenants, then you could be said to have authorised the nuisance and thus be jointly liable with the tenants. With animals the nuisance frequently consists of noise, smells and accumulation of dung.

    The remedies for nuisance are a prohibitory injunction and/or a claim for damages. In theory self-help abatement is available to the neighbours (ie: they could enter the garden and remove the source of the nuisance), but then they'd be leaving themselves open to a counterclaim for trespass to land, trespass to goods and/or what is known as "conversion" (taking or using property without consent).

    In terms of practical advice - tell your tenants to muck out frequently, remove any dirt from around the hutches (especially in the summer months), and just to generally try their best to remain on good terms with the people next door for no better reason than people usually find it embarrassing to sue someone who bids them a cheery "good morning" every day.

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  • JDM2008
    replied
    Assuming the rabbits aren't being mistreated and as the landlord I'm quite happy with the tennant keeping them and the property is freehold, what right do the neighbours have to demand that I (as landlord) get rid of them?

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  • Paragon
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    "Homines sapientes are", surely?

    "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
    - H. H. Munro (Saki) (1870-1916)

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    The problem with goldfish is that they reputedly have a very, er, what was I saying?

    Leave a comment:


  • agent46
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
    Okay - you asked for it chapter and verse so here is the extract from the UTCCR guidelines verbatim:

    Table 4.2: Examples of potentially unreasonable prohibitions
    Obligation: Against keeping any pets.

    OFT view

    Our objection is to blanket exclusions of pets without consideration of all the circumstances. Such a term has been considered unfair under comparable legislation in another EU member state because it could prevent a tenant keeping a goldfish. We are unlikely to object to a term prohibiting the keeping of pets that could harm the property, affect subsequent tenants or be a nuisance to other residents.

    Page 64 Guidance on unfair terms in tenancy agreements September 2005

    Tell me I'm wrong then!
    Well firstly, I didn't say you were wrong, I simply asked for your reasoning.

    Secondly, whilst we are on the subject, has this paragraph of the OFT wish-list ever been tested in court? I'll tell you why I ask that - I remember with fondness the time when I tried to argue a contractual term was unfair and relied on the OFT's guidance in support of that argument. I set out my submissions, cited the relevant passage of the OFT's guidance and respectfully reminded the learned judge that the Court was bound to take the said guidance into account when determining whether a term was unfair and unenforceable. I handed the book up to the judge, who opened the Gospel According to the OFT at the marked page, read the passage I had referred him to and then just scoffed "Absolute nonsense!" before asking me to continue with the rest of my submissions. That gives an example of exactly how much weight some judges give to the hallowed OFT Guidance on Unfair Terms.


    Thirdly, the decisions of the courts of other EU states have no application whatsover in the courts of England and Wales. The only European Court that can hand down decisions which bind the English Courts is the European Court of Justice, and given their workload on matters of importance such as competition law and issues concerning multi-billion Euro inter and intra-state trade, I doubt very much that they would be troubling themselves with the question of whether someone was allowed to keep a goldfish.

    Fourthly, I can't see the OFT ever getting round to bringing a test case in our domestic courts on the "goldfish" issue, so I very much doubt there will ever be binding authority on the matter. It's taken the OFT years and years to get round to bringing the banks to heel in respect of their over-limit charges in what clearly amounts to a multi-billion pound scam, and even then, they only brought proceedings because there was a popular media-led revolt.





    STOP PRESS: And in a shock announcement, I also see that the OFT have now launched an investigation into unfair tendering practices in building contracts for public works because, shock horror, it has come to their attention that there might be a great deal of overpricing and bribery taking place in the sector. Doubtless, next on their list will be an investigation which uncovers the surprising findings that bears defecate in the woods and that the Pope is Catholic.....

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Paragon View Post
    And that is why homo sapiens are ok to stay along with the guppy.
    "Homines sapientes are", surely?

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  • Paragon
    replied
    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
    Don't most people use a bowl anyway? Few toilets are without one, except male urinals.
    And that is why homo sapiens are ok to stay along with the guppy.

    Leave a comment:


  • jeffrey
    replied
    Don't most people use a bowl anyway? Few toilets are without one, except male urinals.

    Leave a comment:

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