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Tenants with Dog


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I am a landlord who is working/living outside the UK at the moment.

My tenants are almost 5 months into their 12 month lease of my terraced house. About a month ago the neighbor advised me by email that they have a dog which is fouling in his garden and communal areas.

However, the tenancy agreement specifically states:

2.14 Not to keep any animals or pets in the Premises without the Landlord's consent, which cannot be unreasonably withheld and which may be withdrawn upon giving reasonable notice. If consent is granted to keep an animal or pet, based on type of pet, the Landlords reserves the right to charge additional rent.

I advised the tenants of the reasons why I do not want a dog to be kept at the property:

Damage to lawn and fences, damage to plants, digging up of plants, fouling.Nuisance to neighbours (barking, fouling in communal areas).
Damage to property -particularly wood floors and doors (the floorboards and doors cannot be replaced (like for like) at a reasonable cost and refinishing to repair any damage would be costly. Dog claws are not conversant with this type of material.
Dog odours
Risk of parasites (fleas) in the houseHowever, I di make a concession and stated the conditions under which keeping a pet would be acceptable. Namely, an additional deposit of 575GBP and the cost of a non-refundable professional pet clean and agreement to a 'pet policy' (conditions for having a pet on the property eg.; not allowing it to foul in communal areas, cleaning up after it etc).

This concession was given in an effort to accommodate their situation and in order to allow myself a degree of peace of mind (security) should there be any damage or dilapidations - to maintain our "good relations". They get to keep their keep dog and I have some financial recourse.

If they didn't agree I gave them over a month to re-house the dog (the deadline February 1st).

However, they have refused these terms – claiming they have already paid a deposit and that they don't have funds to pay any more (despite my offering to accept the additional money in two equal payments one on Feb 1st and the other on March 1st.).

I get a premium rental value from the house by virtue of the lovely wood floors and doors and the beautiful garden - a dog which will inevitably cause some damage.

(They say they are looking after the dog which belongs to one of their mothers who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer; I empathise with them -if this is in fact true- (I wouldn't call myself cynical, but have been the gullible believer of several lies from tenants so have learnt not to be so trusting). However, I am trying to be professional and do not feel it is necessary to play the guilt card - it is not my fault. I have tried to accomodate them. This morning they have sent me an email saying that they are willing to have monthly inspections of the house.
They claim I am being "unfair and drastic".

Can someone please offer some advice?

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In addition they have also sent this comment today:

" We have been advised by the Council and the local Housing Authorities that we are in no way obligated to pay this money, as you already hold an existing bond for damages/wear and tear to the property. Additionally, we dont not have this kind of money cuurently available to us".

IS THIS TRUE? Even though the agreement states that I can charge additional rent if a pet is brought onto the property. Does this mean I can increase the rent, but cannot ask for additional deposit?

The deposit which I received from them was given in part, as security to cover any damage caused by themselves – not a pet. This is implicitly understood as the tenancy agreement excludes the keeping of a pet without the landlord's written permission.

Isn't it true that that most landlords will not let to pet owners and if they do, they require an increased/additional deposit.

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In reality there is probably very little that you can do.

* You could issue an S8 notice but its a discretionary clause and no judge is going to evict anyone for having a dog.....so you'd be wasting your time in my opinion..

* You cannot increase the rent until the expiry of the fixed term and you cannot insist on an increased deposit after the tenancy has started.

You could write to them and your guarantor informing them that

i) ANY damage caused will be claimed from them and

ii) That you would like to take them up on their offer of monthly inspections and

iii) Tenancy renewal will not be offered at the end of the contract.

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You might consider serving a S21.

It may demonstrate how serious you are here and let them know that taking you for a mug has consequences.

You have recorded your displeasure in writing if I read correctly, but it may well be worth including the words "written consent" into your AST, to remove the "but they said".

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* You cannot increase the rent until the expiry of the fixed term and you cannot insist on an increased deposit after the tenancy has started.

There are are number of changes to the deposit laws happening soon and one of them is to allow extra payments to an exsisting deposit after the tenancy has started.

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