Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • CallumW94
    • By CallumW94 15th Jan 20, 6:39 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    CallumW94
    Advice needed: Pet in leasehold flat
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:39 PM
    Advice needed: Pet in leasehold flat 15th Jan 20 at 6:39 PM
    Hello,

    Today I have just had my offer accepted on the perfect ground floor flat for me, there is just one problem...

    My girlfriend who will be staying round the flat occasionally, maybe twice a week, has a very small dog. He's a good dog and hardly ever barks.

    The estate agent representing the vendor's sale of the property to me contacted the management company that owns the building and enquired about pets in the building and they have replied that pets are not allowed. However, she assures me that she has witnessed dog owners in the building and the management company is based in London essentially meaning that there are little to no checks and that it would be fine.

    I have yet to get to the stage of signing all the documents so have not seen anything in writing that says no pets.

    The dog is small, makes little noise, and would not be a nuisance at all. Am I right in thinking that as long as this is the case there should not be a problem and I should just not mention anything, after all, how would they even know I had a dog in the flat if it wasn't a nuiscance and I am the only one to have access to the flat. If there was any issue could I simply claim ignorance, or claim that I was misled by the estate agent representing the sale of the flat to me?

    Kind answers please as I appreciate there may be some silly questions here.

    Thank you
Page 1
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 15th Jan 20, 6:42 PM
    • 3,788 Posts
    • 3,918 Thanks
    steampowered
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:42 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:42 PM
    Take anything you are told by the estate agent with a massive pinch of salt.

    If the management company are telling you that pets aren't allowed, I assume there is a basis for them to say that.

    Hopefully it will be absolutely fine. I guess you would only run into trouble if a management person sees the dog or a neighbour complains about him.

    You couldn't be fined, but you could be warned by the management agent and told not to bring the dog into the flat in future. Whether you were misled by the estate agent or not is neither here nor there.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 15th Jan 20, 6:46 PM
    • 19,866 Posts
    • 11,397 Thanks
    ACG
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:46 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:46 PM
    The estate agents job is to sell the property.
    What happens if a neighbour takes a dislike to you and reports you to the management company?

    If you complete, you do so knowing that you run the risk of being told the dog can not stay. There is not much more anybody can add. It does not specify between nuisance or noisy animals and good quiet ones.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 15th Jan 20, 6:47 PM
    • 3,019 Posts
    • 3,625 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:47 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:47 PM
    Small dog, makes little noise, hardly barks, sounds like my neighbours pug..... which I can hear in my flat.

    What happens if you want to live together, the dog will be around all the time, left alone, in breach of your lease.

    Best off finding a new property as it isn't worth this risk, all it takes is a grumpy bitter neighbour to complain.
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 15th Jan 20, 7:13 PM
    • 681 Posts
    • 899 Thanks
    mrschaucer
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:13 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:13 PM
    You need sight of the lease to see whether it precludes OWNERSHIP of a pet (you don't own one), which is relatively common, or whether pets are not allowed in the building, which would be rarer as it's harder to enforce.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 15th Jan 20, 7:18 PM
    • 51,150 Posts
    • 64,155 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:18 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:18 PM
    Ignore the agent. Read the lease. What does it say?

    Management company in London? So what? It only takes one complaint from one other leaseholder, for them to know, and take action.

    Dogs seen in the building? OK, so someone else has decided to risk it. You can also decide to risk it - so long as you accept it IS a risk!

    Just bear in mind, if I buy a flat in your building, it will be partly because I've checked the lease which (I assume) says 'no pets'. I hate dogs. Don't judge me, I just do. So yes, I'd complain to the management company if someone else in my building introduced a dog despite the lease saying they can't.
    ** If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link! **
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 15th Jan 20, 7:31 PM
    • 8,918 Posts
    • 9,312 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:31 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:31 PM
    However, she assures me that she has witnessed dog owners in the building and the management company is based in London essentially meaning that there are little to no checks and that it would be fine.
    Originally posted by CallumW94
    Management companies don't generally go round checking for pets, etc.

    The risk is that a neighbour reports to the management co that a dog is staying in the flat.

    I guess a neighbour might do that because...
    • The dog is causing them some annoyance
    • They're angry with you about something else, so report the dog as revenge
    • They're busy-bodies who like to report anyone who breaks the rules

    Assuming there is a 'no pets' covenant in the lease, the result is likely to be a letter from the management company, in the first instance.

    Then maybe a letter from their solicitor.

    (The ultimate sanction would be that the lease is forfeited for breach of covenant - i.e. the freeholder repossess your flat.)

    And you'd probably have to pay admin fees for the letters, plus the solicitor's fee.
    • pinkpiglit
    • By pinkpiglit 16th Jan 20, 12:42 PM
    • 242 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    pinkpiglit
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:42 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:42 PM
    Have a read of this.

    Although unlikely, you could end up in the same situation (or in need of a new GF )

    https://www.bishopandsewell.co.uk/2018/02/07/management-company-forces-leaseholder-to-remove-dog-from-their-flat/
    • m0bov
    • By m0bov 16th Jan 20, 12:55 PM
    • 1,743 Posts
    • 1,124 Thanks
    m0bov
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:55 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:55 PM
    Check lease, if nobody sees or hears it then there shouldn't be a problem.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 16th Jan 20, 12:55 PM
    • 2,543 Posts
    • 3,191 Thanks
    need an answer
    you cant claim ignorance it is your responsibility to know the contents of the lease.

    Presumably given that the owner of the dog is your girlfriend at some point you may wish to make the temporary visiting of 2 nights a week a more permanent fixture and thus the dog may begin to live there full time.
    if the lease says no pets then that is an enforceable clause should the management company be required to pursue a complaint.
    in S T 1 F 1
    out S 2 T F 2

    2017-32 2018 -33 2019 -21
    • Crumble2018
    • By Crumble2018 16th Jan 20, 1:09 PM
    • 228 Posts
    • 235 Thanks
    Crumble2018
    We've just moved into a flat, and the lease says absolutely nothing about pets. However, we were sent a welcome pack from the Housing Association last week which states that you must ask permission to keep a pet (at a cost of £60!!) and that Dogs were not allowed at all. Which is amusing as 2 of our direct neighbours each have 2 dogs! Neighbour downstairs has been there 10 years with dogs, so clearly either they don't enforce it, or nobody has complained.
    • VincentVincent
    • By VincentVincent 16th Jan 20, 1:09 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 225 Thanks
    VincentVincent
    Does anybody here live in a leasehold flat which doesn't prohibit pets? I'm inclined to think prohibiting pets is actually a standard clause in leasehold agreements which is just generally ignored or unknown until it becomes an issue in individual cases.

    Unless it's a new build, leasehold agreements tend to be archaic and haven't been updated in decades. They're long, detailed documents which include all sorts of things which are either irrelevant to modern society or completely ignored and nobody bats an eye.

    My point being; OP may find it difficult to find a leasehold flat which officially allows pets and will merely be in the same risk/reward situation of breaking the agreement elsewhere.
    Last edited by VincentVincent; 16-01-2020 at 1:12 PM.
    • VincentVincent
    • By VincentVincent 16th Jan 20, 1:16 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 225 Thanks
    VincentVincent
    We've just moved into a flat, and the lease says absolutely nothing about pets. However, we were sent a welcome pack from the Housing Association last week which states that you must ask permission to keep a pet (at a cost of £60!!) and that Dogs were not allowed at all. Which is amusing as 2 of our direct neighbours each have 2 dogs! Neighbour downstairs has been there 10 years with dogs, so clearly either they don't enforce it, or nobody has complained.
    Originally posted by Crumble2018
    My point exactly. Unless you're buying a freehold property, you likely don't have much choice. You have to take the risk of neighbours complaining.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 16th Jan 20, 1:20 PM
    • 1,567 Posts
    • 3,131 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    It’s just visiting. There are retirement flats where kids aren’t allowed to live but there are often loads of visiting grandchildren in them at various times!

    I’d crack on, don’t overthink it.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 16th Jan 20, 1:20 PM
    • 2,543 Posts
    • 3,191 Thanks
    need an answer
    Does anybody here live in a leasehold flat which doesn't prohibit pets? I'm inclined to think prohibiting pets is actually a standard clause in leasehold agreements which is just generally ignored or unknown until it becomes an issue in individual cases.

    Unless it's a new build, leasehold agreements tend to be archaic and haven't been updated in decades. They're long, detailed documents which include all sorts of things which are either irrelevant to modern society or completely ignored and nobody bats an eye.

    My point being; OP may find it difficult to find a leasehold flat which officially allows pets and will merely be in the same risk/reward situation of breaking the agreement elsewhere.
    Originally posted by VincentVincent
    I have 2 leasehold flats where pets are permitted.The first complex will allow them at a charge of £80 the second property just wish you to add the pet to a register of animals onsite.

    It varies hugely between management companies and leases as to what is acceptable

    I have 2 other properties where pets are an absolute no.
    in S T 1 F 1
    out S 2 T F 2

    2017-32 2018 -33 2019 -21
    • Crumble2018
    • By Crumble2018 16th Jan 20, 1:20 PM
    • 228 Posts
    • 235 Thanks
    Crumble2018
    My point exactly. Unless you're buying a freehold property, you likely don't have much choice. You have to take the risk of neighbours complaining.
    Originally posted by VincentVincent

    We occasionally hear the dogs barking, but it doesn't bother me. The flat opposite has a cat, and is also completely unaware about any pet clauses because the lease itself doesn't restrict them.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 16th Jan 20, 1:31 PM
    • 4,819 Posts
    • 7,803 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Does anybody here live in a leasehold flat which doesn't prohibit pets? I'm inclined to think prohibiting pets is actually a standard clause in leasehold agreements which is just generally ignored or unknown until it becomes an issue
    Originally posted by VincentVincent
    Mine allows one small cat dog or bird.
    • Skiddaw1
    • By Skiddaw1 16th Jan 20, 2:58 PM
    • 590 Posts
    • 915 Thanks
    Skiddaw1
    Does anybody here live in a leasehold flat which doesn't prohibit pets? I'm inclined to think prohibiting pets is actually a standard clause in leasehold agreements which is just generally ignored or unknown until it becomes an issue in individual cases.

    Unless it's a new build, leasehold agreements tend to be archaic and haven't been updated in decades. They're long, detailed documents which include all sorts of things which are either irrelevant to modern society or completely ignored and nobody bats an eye.

    My point being; OP may find it difficult to find a leasehold flat which officially allows pets and will merely be in the same risk/reward situation of breaking the agreement elsewhere.
    Originally posted by VincentVincent

    I agree. We first rented and subsequently owned a leasehold flat for some years and plenty of the residents had pets (mainly cats and small dogs) despite the leasehold not allowing pets of any sort. I think it's a standard clause and as has been said, unless there's an issue (and a neighbour complains) it's unlikely to cause a problem.
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 16th Jan 20, 3:07 PM
    • 1,513 Posts
    • 1,410 Thanks
    lookstraightahead
    Itís just visiting. There are retirement flats where kids arenít allowed to live but there are often loads of visiting grandchildren in them at various times!

    Iíd crack on, donít overthink it.
    Originally posted by onwards&upwards
    This is what I would have thought too.
    • Crumble2018
    • By Crumble2018 16th Jan 20, 3:11 PM
    • 228 Posts
    • 235 Thanks
    Crumble2018
    Personally, if he doesn't really bark, I'd just risk it.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

105Posts Today

1,525Users online

Martin's Twitter