Debate with Landlady – Right to have a pet

Debate with Landlady – Right to have a pet

9:25 AM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago 54

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My partner and I moved into a privately rented flat 2 months ago. We really get on with our landlady and are good tenants. The property is always spotless, bills are always paid on time and we really do look after our home. Debate with Landlady – Right to have a pet

When we moved, we were asked by the letting agent if we had a pet. (At the time) the answer was a no. They confirmed that their ‘standard’ clause was ‘no pets’, however there is a clause that states we could have a pet with the landlord’s written consent (and this can be broken at any time).

I called the letting agent as my partner and I have decided that we would really like a kitten. We have both had experience in owning a pet and my other half is at home everyday (he works a couple mins away from our flat).

I e-mailed our landlady to ask if it would be possible to have a kitten. Initially, she said no due to the above standard clause. I then pointed out that in black and white on the tenancy agreement, (directly underneath the ‘no pets’ clause, ironically), it states that if the landlord gave written consent, we could keep an animal.
She then responded by saying she will speak to the Management company as this is a separate contract and will come back to me 🙁

So I’m a bit annoyed, and very upset. This is HER contract and we signed the agreement which stated that we could have an animal with written consent.

Landlords/Tenants, I would really appreciate your advice as to where we stand!

Extra bit of info – She is coming over early next week to do an inspection, which we are not worried about in the slightest and we have agreed that we will advise her if the answer is a ‘no’, we will be moving as this would have affected our initial decision.

Regards

Lala Roto



Comments

Neil Patterson View Profile

14:02 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Please don't be upset. Kittens are hard work and cats do like to be outside, so this may have saved you problems in the long run if permission is not forthcoming.

N S

14:11 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lala Roto" at "08/10/2014 - 13:54":

Lala,

With the greatest respect I am not sure that you are quite understanding the advice that as Mark noted many people have taken the time out to help you.

The landlord is NOT breaching the contract! The contract gives the landlord complete discretion about whether to allow you to have pets. If one of the factors that the landlord chooses to take into account is what the management company thinks about pets she is entirely allowed to do that and is not in breach of anything!

You have stated that the letting agent quite clearly said to you that this was at the landlord's discretion. The landlord is exercising that discretion - just unfortunately for you not in the way that you want to. You are not being taken advantage of in anyway!

I have always found this forum to give very balanced and fair advice - so if no one is agreeing with you I think that's your answer right there....

Robert Hartley

14:22 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Look it's quite clear...........No pets unless one has the landlord's written permission.

Laura Delow

14:23 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Hi Lala. Don't get angry or upset. It's not the LL's fault or others posting comments, nor yours. It sounds like a genuine misunderstanding all round. You are definitely wiser as a result of all these recent comments & therefore forewarned is forearmed & for all you know, when your LL visits she may grant you permission. However if the Freeholder with whom your LL has a Lease states "no pets allowed", then if she is agreeable she could try & seek written permission from the Freeholder (without disclosing the fact that other residents have pets who could be made homeless if the Managing Agent of the Freeholder continues to object to pets). Most importantly though are the points raised above in that even if the Freeholder & your LL agrees, your LL would be ill advised if she did not ask for an increase in deposit and for the tenancy agreement to include the appropriate clauses, all of which may indeed put you off the decision to get a cat. The passionate comments posted are quite a natural response by all good LL's as sadly we often end up being seen as the villain when all we're trying to do is protect our property & future tenancies (if someone is allergic - like my sister in law, I assure you they could not move in where a pet was previously living without a severe reaction). I have witnessed my own daughter in law have a cat without the LL's permission which did annoy me & make me feel guilty by association (even though I've personally had cats & dogs before & love animals) but trust me the place definitely smelt plus the cat did scratch door jams & the carpet. Good luck

Anon

14:36 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lala Roto" at "08/10/2014 - 13:54":

Hi Lala

I do hope that it wasn't my comments which were the cause of offense. I do tend to speak as I find, even if that means lambasting myself for my own naivety as I did on a discussion thread here earlier this year (http://www.property118.com/trapped-high-gearing-cgt/66488/)

We all live and learn and I do sincerely wish you all the best.

Gary Nock

14:45 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Pets in flats is always problematic. 1. Usually not allowed by lease. 2. If not and leaeholder allows if pet fouls communal gardens other tenants complain.3 Leaseholder is then in breach of covenant and techically could lose lease - unlikely but the managing agents letters are charged out at £25 a time so becomes an expensive cat. 4. Cats get fleas. I know because one of my former tenants left one of my flats infested by way of unauthorised cat and didnt tell me. New tenant moved in and got bit. Tenants mom got environmental health and solicitors involved without even telling me and I almost got fined. Had to move tenant out and fumigate. Cost me months rent plus legal fees to settle.

So do you really want a cat?

Lala Roto

14:45 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Thank you for the comments.

I do really appreciate you all taking the time to offer your advice and suggestions and whilst I do understand that letting is a process which can be complicated for both the LL, tenant and LA, I as a first-time tenant, think that this is over-complicated.

I respect whatever decision our LL will make.
We like her, we like living here, we are good tenants. We pay our bills on time and keep the property immaculate and would never disrespect her or any legally-binding contract and sneak a pet in. That is wrong in my eyes. I want to do this by 'the rules'.

I do think this could have been made MUCH clearer to us at the outset, as this is a major factor for us now. I have read our lease and we have a break clause.
Due to the fact we were not advised that the Management company would have the final say (and that there was even a Management company), if the answer is 'no', I think we will look elsewhere and will be more 'nit-picking' next time round.

Lala Roto

14:46 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Also, to point out, I've had experience of having a cat in a flat when I lived 'at home' with my parents.

Just FYI to the comments asking if I really want a cat lol.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

14:54 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lala Roto" at "08/10/2014 - 14:45":

Hi Lala

If you do end up moving, look at houses as opposed to flats as there will be far less complications and people who have a say in the matter. Also get permission to have a cat before you sign the tenancy.

If you were to have asked this question on a website which is dominated by tenants then it is likely that you would have been bombarded with anti-landlord propaganda. Sadly there is a small group who make a lot of noise, think all landlords are the scum of the earth and offer ridiculous advice by encouraging tenants to breach their tenancy conditions. Sadly, some people believe what they have to say, only to find themselves in financial dire straights and unable to find another home due to having terrible references and credit scores. These people then think all landlords are scum and so the numbers grow.

I admire your level headedness and I am very pleased that you chose to use this forum to get some unbiased advice. One thing that has come out of this discussion for me is a realisation of just how many landlords are pet owners themselves.
.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

14:58 PM, 8th October 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Lala Roto" at "08/10/2014 - 14:46":

If Neil Patterson offers you his cat say NOOOOOOO and run a mile!

I've met his cat ("Kittie Wasabi") and it's an absolute psycho LOL

***Moderated by Neil***
The phrase is misunderstood and I am bringing her over to yours lol
.

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