Breach of tenancy agreement – Pets!

If your property is in a block of flats or a converted house, there may be a clause within your lease that prevents you from keeping pets altogether. Other lease agreements may require you to get permission first. 

If your property is leasehold ensure that you check your lease before letting it. If your lease contains restrictions, you should ensure that the same restrictions are mirrored in your tenancy agreement with your tenant so that you do not breach your lease.

You should also consider your tenant’s personal circumstances. For example, does your tenant require a guide dog? If so, what does your lease say? If you do not handle the issue correctly your tenant may try to argue indirect discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010: implications for property states: –

“Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice, which applies in the same way for everyone, has an effect that particularly disadvantages people with a protected characteristic (section 19, EqA 2010). Such a policy is not discriminatory if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

The reason for not having pets in blocks of flats is the potential noise, but guide dogs are usually very well-trained and, some may argue, exceptionally brilliant! Guide dogs also tend to accompany their owners so they may be considered the exception. 

On the other hand, your property may be a freehold property in an area where the neighbours embrace pets and, in fact, keep their own. 

Either way, discuss pets with your proposed new tenant to ensure they understand what is and what is not permitted.

As a landlord, communication is key. Keeping the lines of communication open, honest, friendly and polite should help you in the long run.

Our landlord and tenant specialist solicitor can help you if you need help to evict a tenant.

If you would like to learn more, call us on 020 8150 7173, Email [email protected] or make an online enquiry.

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