No pet policy, tenants have 2 dogs with pups, help!

by Readers Question

12:30 PM, 8th April 2013
About 6 years ago

No pet policy, tenants have 2 dogs with pups, help!

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No pet policy, tenants have 2 dogs with pups, help!

No pet policyWe have a no pet policy in our properties and we always make it clear to tenants.

Our tenants have been with us for three years (two different properties) and now have two dogs with FIVE puppies.

They don’t know we know yet as we’re really not sure how to deal with it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Sally



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:40 PM, 8th April 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Sally

I suggest you contact your tenants and tell them you would like to do a periodic inspection on the property to make sure everything is in order. Don't stress yourself out, just take a look. If they have been good tenants for all this time there is a good chance they will be keeping control of their pets. You will not know unless you take a look. When you get there, if there is no sign whatsoever of pets then what do you really have to worry about? If the pets are there you can point out that you do have a no pets pets policy if you feel the need to do so. Options are:0

1) Leave them be, especially if they are good tenants
2) Discuss taking a larger deposit and/or them taking out an insurance policy which will cover them for any damage cause by pets. Not sure if this exists but leave them to check into that.If you do take a larger deposit be sure to protect it and be cautious about creating a Premium Tenancy if the total deposit exceeds two months rent.
3) Evict them

I had had numerous experiences like this and in the main my tenants have managed to convince me that they will behave responsibly and put right any damage and have the property professionally cleaned on checkout. I always leave it that I will document what we have agreed and they will sign it. I've never had a problem but that's perhaps because I am so diligent about the type of people I rent to in the first place.

Having said all of that, you haven't told us anything about the property. If it's a ninth floor studio apartment and the dogs are Great Danes then option 3) is more likely to be the only one to consider!

Sally T

16:09 PM, 8th April 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi, thanks for reply. The house is a large 3 bed terrace.We collect our rent in person monthly, the last time we went in we knew the dogs were there but they's hidden them and all traces of them from us, which is probably what annoyed me most.
We did come to a similar conclustion of not doing anything drastic, as you say they are a known entity.
There rent is due again on the 25th, I think I shall wait and see if there has been any damage done (as the pups will be 6wks+ by then), then decide what action to take, if any.
Thanks for advice

Syd Lewis

21:15 PM, 10th April 2013
About 6 years ago

HI Mark has given you some very good advice. If you would like to get some help with how to draw up a pet policy, taking a pet deposit and a free pet checklist there is a charity that can help go to http://www.letswithpets.org.uk/landlords/landlords. I have rented to pet owners and have not any problems.

4:14 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

If one takes 2 months rent as deposit; an additional pet deposit would create a defaquto Premium tenancy.
What is letswithpets answer to that conundrum!!??

Heather Moriarty-Phillips

7:47 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

I have always let to pet owners with little problem although a condition of the
Tenancy agreement is that I take an increased deposit and insert a clause that
the carpets are professionally cleaned and sprayed at the end of the tenancy. As you know there are dogs present I would be inclined to write to the tenants saying that you know that to be the case and you would like to inspect and get their reassurance any damage will be resolved by them . Once it is out in the open maybe it will not be such a concern to you. If they are otherwise good tenants and you have not had a void for a long time it is probably best to stick with them. Is it time for a rent increase? Check with them that the pups are to be homed, 7 dogs would be a different story!

micky alderson

8:50 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

This one is quite simple these Pups will be sold so therefore it is a commercial enterprise and thie breeches the terms of their AST.

Turn up at the property check the bins for puppy poo and confront them thats the tenants not the dogs.

It may be a good idea to talk to the RSPCA so they can pay a visit.

A friend of mine Mr He Chew Chow from Korea is always on the lookout for puppies they taste better than fully grown dogs and go well with a nice Chianti.

Puzzler

9:10 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

If they are not causing a nuisance to neighbours I would leave them be as you say they have been good tenants. However, get the issue into the open. Say something like "you know pets are not allowed don't you? what exactly is your situation, are the puppies staying or being found new homes?" and start a discussion.

You might like to explore whether the chance of damage or injury by or to the dogs is covered by any insurance and point out that they could be liable (e.g. if a neighbour's property was damaged).

Sally T

9:25 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

Thank you for all your responses, they will of been ther a year in May, so we're thinking of taking the oppertunity to renew there tenancy adding a clause for the dogs. Can we stipulate a max of 2 ?
We spent alot of money making the property nice before they moved it and would hate to see it ruined. They are a working family with 2 children (polish) and I don't think they would be able to find a larger deposit. It would be shame to loose good tenants.

Joe Bloggs

10:14 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

there was a documentary recently about what a large industry bringing puppies in from eastern europe has become (often with dodgy pet passports so it wont be long before we have rabies here). very suspicious that they hid these dogs from you and you are right to be annoyed. and puppies are a different matter to grown up dogs. you need to see these dogs asap, have a frank discussion and make sure next time you do a periodic inspection of the whole house. if there are different puppies next time you know its an import business.

Mark Crampton Smith

10:23 AM, 11th April 2013
About 6 years ago

It is worth noting that the office of fair trading has indicated that they deem any agreement that says "No Pets" as unfair. Such a finding could render the whole contract of little substance in a court of law. The office of fair training would accept a clause which said “no pets without the express written permission of the landlord; such permission not to be unreasonably withheld"
Reasonable might be for example that the landlord has an allergy, or there is a restrictive clause in the head lease.
When we have a request for a pet we always take a separate "pet deposit" with an individually negotiated clause in the agreement where the tenant will agree that we can hold it for up to four months after the tenancy end…….. At certain times of the year, flea eggs can remain dormant in the carpet for several months and then spring to life when the next tenants are in occupation! Responsible pet owners appreciate this declaration of non-discrimination, and welcome the informed approach to infestation issues.

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