Does your tenancy agreement enable tenants to keep pets? In a case that attracted considerable media coverage, we were successful in a court action on behalf of one of our housing association clients which sought to remove pets from one of their tenant?s properties.
We were instructed to raise the action as our clients were made aware that a tenant was keeping dogs in their property without notifying them.
Our client?s tenancy agreement clearly states that tenants must obtain the prior consent from the landlord before keeping pets at the property. In addition, the tenancy agreement adds that, should permission be granted to keep pets at the property, the tenant will be responsible for the behaviour of any pet and will take reasonable steps to prevent the pets from causing nuisance, annoyance or a detriment to health and safety or presenting a danger to any neighbours. This includes allowing the pet to foul in common areas or intimidating neighbours.
In this particular action, the tenant was persistently allowing their dogs to foul in the common areas of their building causing considerable nuisance and upset to neighbouring residents. Our client received a number of complaints from neighbouring residents in this regard.
Our client attempted to resolve the matter by writing to the tenant and meeting with the tenant to discuss neighbours? concerns. The tenant however refused to take steps to address the situation and our client continued to receive complaints.? Our client had no option but to raise court action.
The actions were initially defended however we were eventually successful in obtaining court orders against the tenant:
- Ordaining the tenant to remove all dogs from the property, and
- Interdicting the tenant from keeping any dogs in the property in future.
The court expenses of raising the action were also awarded against the tenant.
Once the orders were granted, we wrote to the tenant on behalf of our client to fully explain the position and outline the possible consequences for non-compliance, which can include a fine and/or imprisonment.
Our client has now informed us that the dogs are no longer being kept in the property and they are currently monitoring the situation.
Should you wish to discuss raising a court action seeking to remove pets from one of your tenant?s properties please contact one of our experienced members of our housing team.