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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I live in the bottom most apartment of an apartment block.

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I live in the bottom most apartment of an apartment block. It’s a two bed apartment with a large outside patio area. The apartment block has 24 hour concierge. I am a tenant in the property since October 2010. The apartment directly above me has a balcony, the tenants have been in situ for approx 4 months. They keep a small dog who has the run of the balcony, and who uses it as its “toilet area”. The concierge has told me that keeping a dog is in violation of their tenancy agreement. The tenants scrub their balcony on a near-daily basis, showering my patio – including my table and chairs – with visible dog faeces and dirty, soapy water. I caught them in the act three weeks ago, and asked them to stop, but they have persisted. I complain to the concierge regularly, who has knocked on their door twice, but either they do not hear someone at the door, or they simply refuse to answer. They are 4 months into a 12 month lease. The concierge has told me that there have been complaints from other tenants (he would not be specific as to why) and the landlord has told him to tell me in confidence that they will not be there for much longer. This is a bit vague for my liking, although the concierge has said that the landlord wants to evict them and is waiting until he can amass sufficient evidence against them. I would like to know if there is anything I can do to speed up their departure. I have already complained in writing, twice, to my local council (I filled in an Anti-Social Behaviour Incident Report Form). Is this dog littering offence sufficient for an eviction order? Given the hygiene issues involved? If it is sufficient, why has the landlord not evicted them yet, if he says that he will? Finally, I have not informed my own landlord, and am wondering if I should; is there something they could do on my behalf?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property 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. Is there a management company for the complex?
Kind regards.
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, there is.
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

As tenants they have rights of occupation under housing legislation and can only be evicted by the landlord under certain grounds specified in the Housing Act 1988 by serving appropriate notice upon them and applying for a Court Order for possession if necessary thereafter.

If there is no break clause in the tenancy agreement entitling the landlord to terminate their tenancy after 6 months then he would have to use one of the Section 8 grounds to terminate the tenancy earlier than the fixed term. If the landlord has intimated they won’t be there much longer then he may be referring to a break clause in their contract which they have exercised.

If not then the landlord would have to evict them on ground 8 terms. Most commonly, this is because the tenant is in 2/more months of rent arrears or has been consistently late in paying their rent. There is a ground which landlords can use if the tenants have breached a term of their tenancy, but the breach must be sufficiently serious. If there is a clause in the tenancy agreement stipulating no pets then the landlord could try and serve a s8 notice on this basis but a Court would likely make a suspended possession order dependent on the pet vacating.

To exert pressure on the landlord to either attempt eviction or remove the dog then you should speak to other neighbours and encourage them to write to the managing agent to ask that they impose the covenant not to have pets upon the landlord. He will then seek to impose this upon the tenants, but if it is not in their tenancy then he will have difficulty here.

In any event you should ask the managing company to ask for more detail from the landlord about when they could be expected to leave and also detail their further anti-social behaviour.

The local authority would only get involved if there was a serious risk of danger to the public and have probably taken the view that this, though doubtless frustrating, is not a danger to the public and is a private matter.

It is the landlord who holds the key here and you should attempt to compel him to deal with the matter by exerting pressure through the management company as a result of the breach of the “no pets” rule.

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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,


Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the reply. Would it be worth informing my own landlord - is there anything they can do on my behalf? I've also been told that now that I have written to the council, quoting the address of the apartment above me (and my own), that this will be entered in the council's database and, if sufficiently serious, may prevent the landlord from letting that proeprty again?
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

 

Yes, it would be worth informing your landlord to the extent that it may be necessary for you to have his authority to converse with the management company on his behalf but apart from that I would not expect your landlord to get too involved really.

 

I'm not sure about the councils database that you refer to. A person may rent to whom they choose unless there is a Court order to the contract or some statutorty power afforded to the local authority to prevent this. If it is just an apartment then he would not require a licence from the council to rent, so they coudl not enforce via this route. Otherwise it would be court action and I shouldn't think the council would be inclined to make an application in any event but certainly not in these times or austerity. The issue of danger/seriousness would again come in to play aswell.

Trust this clarifies, if so please click accept.


Kind regards,


Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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