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Landlord Legal Issues

Landlord & tenant lawyer Tessa Shepperson of www.landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. We have just discovered that our tenant has a cat at the property. We love cats ourselves and would not normally object to this, but the property is leasehold, and the lease prohibits pets. What should we do?

A. If the only reason why you would prohibit pets is the prohibition in your lease, I suggest you first contact the freeholders or management company and ask if permission can be granted. If they agree, well and good, if they disagree, make sure you have it in writing and then explain the situation to the tenants.

Explain that you are forced to request that they get rid of their cat and that you have no choice in this as your lease forbids pets. Tell them you have contacted the freeholders, and they have refused to grant permission.

Go on to say that if you allow them to keep the cat this would prejudice your lease as ultimately the freeholders could apply to court to forfeit your lease. So regretfully if they are unwilling to get rid of the cat, you will have to ask them to leave.

Q. We have a strict no-pets policy at our property, but my tenant has written asking if she can have a small Westie dog. She tells me that it is an ‘emotional support’ dog and was recommended by her doctor to help her with her mental health problems. Do we have to allow this? 

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