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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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We are currently living in a rented property which has a 12

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We are currently living in a rented property which has a 12 month tenancy agreement, albeit obtained by the landlord from a stationers. When we moved into the property in Dec 2011 it was agreed with the landlord that we could bring out small dog with us. We had 2 cats which we arranged to have adopted by friends. Unfortunately their son became allergic and we have to take them back two months after the agreement began. We didnt inform the landlord, misjudging the situation, and now that he knows they are here he has told us they have to go or we all have to leave the property. Can you let me know what are our legal rights.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

Hi
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. Does your tenancy agreement exclude you from keeping pets at the property
-
Kind regards.
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It says Not without the Landlord's prior consent (consent not to be withheld unreasonably) allow or keep any pet or any kind of animal at the Property.
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I think you’re going to have to try and be constructive and conciliatory on this. If the landlord said orally to you that you could keep your dog at the property then you have an argument to say that this formed a contractual obligation and consent and was incorporated as a condition of the contract.

The position is that unless the tenancy excludes pets then you are allowed to keep them there. The clause means that you must get the landlord’s consent for pets to keep them there. You have his consent for the dog but not for the cats.

The issue is whether the landlord’s refusal to a request to keep a further two cats at the property would be considered unreasonable. This would be for interpretation if you litigated the matter. I would say that it’s on the borderline, because one pet (fine), two pets (okay) but three pets is probably quite a jump. ,The fact that you have unwittingly concealed it from the landlord would not put you in a good light.

You are effectively in breach of contract because you did not seek consent from the landlord. There is a ground under the housing act where you can seek possession before the expiry of the fixed term on the basis that the tenant has breached a term of the tenancy agreement. You have breached a term but it’s a question of proporationality. I can’t see that a judge would order possession on the basis of you breaching the contract by having the pets there, certainly not immediately but it may be that he suggests you find alternative accommodation for them as a compromise.
The landlord cannot evict you without applying to court on this basis. Therefore you could wait and see if he does apply for possession on this basis. If he does’nt then you are fine. If he does then you will have to attend the hearing and defned your position.
I would seek some kind of compromise informally with the landlord in an attempt to avoid litigation personally.

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question. You will not be charged any further money for clicking accept.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.


Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If we did not want it to go as far as court, etc. is there a legal amount of notice he would need to give us?
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

If you have a fixed term which has time left to run then the only way he could get an order for possession is by issuing a s8 notice and applying to Court for an Order for possession.

If you are up to date with the rent, do not pay rent then the only way he could conceivably do this would be on the basis of issuing a s8 notice for your breach of contract, but as I say you would have a very good chance of defending this so that he did not get possession.

He can't evict you without a Court order.

Trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If, heaven forbid, as he has a set of keys to the property, he changed the locks what rights would we have

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
a reply to the above question please "if, heaven forbid, we he has a set of keys to the property, he changed the locks what rights would we have?
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Sorry for the delay in replying.

If he changed the locks without a court order for possession then this would be an illegal eviction. You could regain access to the property and sue him for any direct loss you suffer (eg. alternative interim accomodation costs).

Trust this clarifies, please click accept.

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you and finally, he has asked us to leave if we do not get rid of the cats, which after trying to have them looked after for the remainder of the tenancy agreement we have not been successful. What type of notice would he have to give us and although we would pay the rent during this time would we have to pay rent for the remainder of the tenancy agreement (ie Dec 2012). Many thanks you have been very patient.
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

If he attempted to evict you on the basis of the breach of tenancy agreement then he would have to serve a s8 notice on you giving you two weeks notice. But he cannot actually evict you after the notice has expired without applying to Court for an order for possession (which you would defend obviously.

You haven't click accept. Please click accept.

I will answer any follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards

Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And what about the rent. Would we have to pay him the rent to Dec 2012 ie for the remainder of the tenancy agreement.
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi

He would claim the rent, but would only get judgement on the amount of rent you would have paid up until the point at which the landlord could reasonably have been expected to re-let the property.

I doubt he will get an order for possession on the property though, and therefore would expect you to be able to occupy the property for the remainder of the term.

Please click accept. I receive no credit for the time I have taken to answer your question if you do not.

Kind regards,

Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6644
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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