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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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can "a dog" in a lease be interpreted as "any number of dogs"

Resolved Question:

can "a dog" in a lease be interpreted as "any number of dogs" ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following using the same numbering:-
1. What is the context please? Can you type the clause to which this relates?

Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, I have not got the lease to hand. Will have to ask again when I have the information
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The clause reads "not to keep any animal or bird or fish in the demised premises other than a dog without the landlords written consent" One tenant has made an unsupported asserted that "a" means "any number" in law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your question.

It is commonplace in tenancy agreements such as this to refer to the plural if that is what is intended by the clause. Based on the construction of the clause the tenant may keep one dog without the landlord’s written consent.
If it was intended that the tenant may keep more than one dog then the clause should have referred to “dogs” or “ a dog or dogs”. There is no implication of the plural.
Unless the landlord agrees in writing to the tenant keeping more than one dog then the tenant would be in breach of contract to keep more than one dog at the property.
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Kind regards,

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