Environmental Health want to give me ASBO for my tenants dog poop

by Readers Question

10:40 AM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Environmental Health want to give me ASBO for my tenants dog poop

Make Text Bigger
Environmental Health want to give me ASBO for my tenants dog poop

I have a few houses in Nottingham HB tenants.

I normally have good working relationship with Environmental Health, but recently, one of my tenants dogs been poo-ing on back garden which is not nice for neighbours I know.

The neighbour knows Sherriff of Nottingham which is having influence of this.

Please see below my letter to Env Health, & if anyone has more experience of me on this?

I know we shouldn’t have loads of rubbish on our gardens from tenants etc.,

But can anyone more knowledgeable than me, tell me if I am going to get a criminal conviction, ASBO etc., for one of my tenants dogs doing a poo on their own garden?

They are quoting Env Protection act 1990 Sec 80.
And statutory nuisance 79(1).

How far are us Landlords held accountable for tenants actions?

Letter to Env Health:

Dear XXXX,

You rang me Friday 1 May 2015 at approx 10am, I wasn’t expecting your call, so couldn’t talk.

There’s not a lot I can do if I’m in a meeting & you’ve just rang me when I’m with someone, so it would be good, if you could ring me back.
Because as you know, it’s quite hard for me to ring you back with your automated system, queuing etc. And then get hold of you direct, unless you ring me from your direct line & I ring you straight back on that from my call log.

And then the next thing I know, I get warning letter, I think one of previous letters may have even mentioned ASBO.

I’ve spoke to Cawston several times, every time I go there, garden is clear. What can I do if this is the case?
I know you said you’ve been & dog mess on garden. But clear when I go?

I will always listen to you & co-operate with you, but I don’t think it helps when I get warning letter out the blue when I asked for you to ring me back to discuss.

I know you know your rules regs etc., but I don’t see what I can if a dog has poo-ed at 10am & I’m not there?
XXXXXX at Cawston has taken massive steps to clear gardens up.
As you know, I’ve done my bit cleaning the bits of rubbish off gardens you’ve asked me to.

As we know, the neighbour next door knows the Sheriff of Nottingham, which I know is having a lot of influence over this, as she has rang me personally.

If this is a hygiene problem with xxxxx personally, then surely she needs help with that, does she not? I’m not trained in Social Services, & will help when can, but I cannot control when a dog poos & when not.
I can appreciate not nice dog poo on garden, but what’s to say dog not poo-ed 10mins before you visit?

Please ring me & see what we can do.
I could give her notice, but she is going to take the problem to her next house, as I think I’ve already been told from Env Health, she had this problem at last house, so why not help her solve the problem going forward?

I await your call.

Mick Robertspoop



Comments

Ian Narbeth

12:10 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Mick
I would not have written the letter to the Council in the terms you did. I know you are trying to be helpful but you are making matters worse for yourself.

See s80: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/43/section/80

Any notice is supposed to be served on the person responsible for the nuisance and only if that person cannot be found on the owner of the property.

By writing as you have done you are implying that you accept responsibility. Whether or not the garden is clear when you go round is irrelevant. Tell the council the name of your tenant and point out that you are not responsible for the tenant's dog or its bowel movements any more than the chairman of the Town Council is responsible if a dog turd is found in one of the Council's parks. I would copy your letter to the Sheriff and invite him or her to contact the tenant if they feel this is a good use of their time.

Tell the Council that any threat of an ASBO or a complaint about nuisance will be strongly resisted.

I would also write to the tenant asking them to deal with matters though by the sound of it the tenant does "de-mine" (as we say in my household) the garden regularly (hence the vanishing poo) and so will probably say that the garden is not a public park and dogs mess does not have to be lifted immediately.

Finally on what basis are the neighbours complaining? Having to see a dog turd in the neighbour's garden is hardly a statutory nuisance.

Luke P

12:11 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I have today posted a similar problem.

In a strange way it is comforting to know that many councils seem similar in the ability to solve local issues.

If the proper support was in place...

This may not fall under the councils support remit, but why is it any more the landlord's responsibility for a tenant's dog's actions?

Joe Bloggs

14:55 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "05/05/2015 - 12:10":

good reply ian. as you have alluded, the person in control of the premises, i.e. the occupier is responsible for any statutory nuisance.

Robert Mellors

16:00 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I particularly liked the concept of the Chairman of the Town Council being held personally responsible for any dog poo in public parks!!! 🙂

Mick Roberts

17:19 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Thanks Ian,

You seem to know the legality issues & I don’t.
I han’t got time to read all that ruddy regs ha ha, but does it say if I write in, I’m admitting stuff?

I do try to work with them & the head of Env Health for about 10 years, we had great relationship, he has now took different role & his replacements seem more ‘pass buck on landlord’.

Council knows name of tenant as they do write to her too.

I will use your words next time, should the need arise? Anything else I can do for now?

Neighbours are saying smell & flies etc.

Yes Council Chairman responsible for everyone elses poo ha ha-Oops I shun’t laugh in case the council are reading.

Ian Narbeth

17:33 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "05/05/2015 - 17:19":

Hi Mick
Reading legislation can be daunting but the bits I have linked to won't take you long to read.

As a strict matter of law the answer to your question is that it should not matter if you write in the terms you have. My point is you give the Council the moral high ground and they may exploit it. Throw it back at the Council (the argument not the subject matter of this thread obviously 🙂 ) and quote the relevant extract from the legislation. By all means say you will write to your tenant but make it clear that the Council's only recourse is to the tenant.

brian clement

21:22 PM, 5th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Let this be a lesson to you. Never let your property to dog owners.

Jonathan Clarke

1:32 AM, 6th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Mick

I had a similar problem with one of my flats when the council suddenly had a pop at me because my tenants dog did a woopsie about 50 yards from the front door of my flat which was a leasehold and they were the freeholder..

They started quoting this and that regulation and were nasty from the outset. The trouble is they get fixated on legislation rather looking at it with a common sense hat on. Your letter is like the kind I write just stating in plain non inflammatory English a human response rather than wrapping it up in legal language.

Trouble they are trained by and large to deal with matters in an adversarial manner which often invites confrontation. They find it hard to deal with issues on a cooperative basis. They always like to think they are the parent and we are the child and they play power games with us. They are bullys in the playground in many ways.

Most of them are fine on an individual basis but collectively they back up each other instinctively because of their herd mentality. But half of their departments do not know what the other half are doing so in a case like this you maybe have the EHO, the housing officer, the legal team and maybe a welfare officer , social services and the dog warden all chipping in their 2 penniths worth .

I got to see the Head of Housing the other day. Perfectly amiable lady but no real grip on the issue I had come in about despite my long winded e mails of complaint before hand. No preparation and no room booked and just basic stuff lacking which you would never get from an equivalent MD in a private enterprise. I try my best to work with them collectively but there is an inbuilt defensive radar within their mind set which sees any member of the public as the enemy.

My aim overall is to get them to think from a landlords perspective and a common sense perspective. Your letter is great because its so human and I find that disarms them and confuses them precisely because you are being so nice in it. Dont change.

My guilty secret is i quite enjoy getting involved in the tit for tat exchanges I have with them. I am like a dog with a bone and just drone on and on and on and wear them down until they go away. I only pick fights when I know common sense will prevail in the end.

As in this case you will win because in no sane world can you be held responsible for a dog poo from a dog which isn`t directly under your control. You know that. I know that and the vast majority of the population know that. Councils though bless them sometimes take a while to catch up with that kind of common sense.

Good Luck with it

Sharon Betton

11:49 AM, 6th May 2015
About 4 years ago

Surely i9t is a question of scale? My daughter's dog does poop in their garden - but it is cleaned up immediately - and yes, I do mean immediately. They do know their pets' habits, so are aware when a trot in the garden is accompanied by a toilet visit. If the neighbours are complaining about flies and smells now, what will it be like in July, when the heat will make the smell rise.
Put the complaints and concerns in writing to the tenant; do a couple of unscheduled visits to see whether the tenant is as prompt at removing the offending droppings. But the fact you have raised your concerns and can prove it, should be enough to a) satisfy the Council and b) make the tenant realise how serious it is - she's lost one property and is in a good way to losing another if she doesn't get her act together! Because at the end of the day, though the landlord cannot be held responsible for his tenant's and the misdemeanours of the family pet, he can be held respons9ble for retaining a tenant that is causing offence to the neighbours.,

Mick Roberts

15:55 PM, 6th May 2015
About 4 years ago

I will ruddy throw it back at ‘em, the dog in the public park bit, let’s see what they say.
I do get on with this Env health woman, but I know she’s being got at moaned at by this Sheriff woman & also the local PCSO’s who are round there every day.

Yes very true, they don’t know what the other half is doing, I’ve got rats coming from a Council house drain next door to one of mine, I’ve paid my rat man 3 times in 2 years, I’m now chasing up with Council & they han’t got a clue.
Their own Council rat man has told them THEIR drain needs looking at, & even he can’t get through to anyone with common sense, so I’ve had to start official complaint.

Ha ha yes, my complaint forwarded email, they didn’t even forward my rat report which they knew they had in a pdf file.

I usually like complaining, but I’ve had 17 years at it now & just want ruddy easy life, getting too old.

I spoke to Env Health woman personally on site a few months ago & she was quite adamant under new legislation, I can be held responsible for it.

Every time I have been, it has been tidy, but I do know she can be messy at times.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Change to Universal Credit rent arrears payments

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More