Dog fouling in the property
15/06/2010 10:46 am
Our small association has encountered a problem we have not dealt with before. Our tenant allows his dog to foul and urinate in his property, the tenant very vagely attempts to clean it up. We have had two deep cleans of the property in the last 6 months. Our tenant does have some mental issues although his care co-ordinator feels they will discharge him soon as he does not engage with the service, the responsibility seems to lie with us. We have taken the softly softly approach as we are mindful that the tenants dog is his only companion and friend. However we now feel we are going to have to ask him to re home his dog. Can we do this? We have already approached the RSPCA who on the whole are satisfied that the dog is looked after regardless of the state of the home. Environmental Health have been to the property, but have pretty much said it will come down to us to clean the property if the tenant fails to do this.
We really need some good advice.... many thanks
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16/06/2010 10:47 am
If this is not a dangerous dog - one attacking people - it looks like this tenant needs help with this situation of the kind you maybe have not already thought of. Have you thought of rehousing him in a flat with a garden?... Or helped him to transfer to another landlord with a flat with a garden?...
While a legal expert might give you some legal tips I am posting to remind you and readers that there are far too many people living on their own who are being evicted, compared with 'families' of one kind or another. It means that, not maybe your organization, but social landlords in general are not responding to the needs of tenants living on their own with specific iniatives aimed at helping them.
If it was revealed that the majority of people evicted were black people there would be an outcry about institutional racissm, but bercause these people on their own, often elderly or nearing pensionable age, with some mental issue or diability and most of them without a network support of family and friends, are defenceless and become soft targets for evictions and asbos.
I am waiting with great interest to see what a legal expert says here.
29/06/2010 12:51 pm
With regard to the dog fouling in the property and the tenant failing to clean up properly..... the tenant did not ask for permission to keep a pet, but had previously kept one and the association had no problems with this, but did not request permission from the tenant in writing. With the dog that is fouling the property the association had no written request but did not enforce this. So if the association did not request written permission while knowingly allowing the dog, could the association ask easily for the tenant to remove the pet from the property due to the ongoing hygeine problems?
30/06/2010 0:15 am
"the tenants dog is his only companion and friend"
Sorry but the way you've said that is just heart breaking. Poor guy. You're probably better off leaving him be especially if his dog is being well cared for. Consider it your good deed for the day and social duty. You are a Registered SOCIAL Landlord after all. Just order some extra carpet cleaner I reckon...
30/06/2010 8:53 pm
The dog is damaging the property. The tenant is responsible for the dog.
Mental health problems do not excuse irresponsible behaviour.
Treat the tenant in the same way that you would any tenant (and their guests) damaging the property.
It wont be long before the neighbours are taking action against you for not addressing the smell (nuisance).
30/06/2010 10:16 pm
i WOULD encourage your organisation to set up a tenants forum for all tenants with pets issues, and facilitate these tenants to meet regularly, communicate and maybe visit each other, etc. Maybe a RSPCA officer be invited from time to time to participate too. I am quite sure this particular tenant would respond and talking to others with pets problems would give him an incentive to be more attentive to his dog.
Setting up all this would cost you less than cleaning his flat once and would have everybody happy.
30/06/2010 11:22 pm
This is a common but difficult position that you are having to deal with but it seems to me that you appear to have tried all the usual options which do not appear to be working. The tenant must have signed a tenancy agreement in which he agreed to pay his rent and not cause the condition of the property to deteriorate owing to acts of waste. If the tenant is not paying his rent I am sure you would have considered appropriate legal action to redress that problem and it seems to me that your current problem is not dissimilar. You have clearly engaged with the appropriate and relevant bodies but to no avail. In my view provided that the tenant is able to understand legal proceedings and give proper instructions to his solicitors, I believe that you best option is to commence legal proceedings for an injunction not force the tenant to in effect clean up after his dog. It is not fair on other tenants to keep incurring the costs of cleaning up after this tenant. The tenant must accept responsibility for the actions of his pet and it seems to me that the most sensible option at present is to apply for an injunction. Possession proceedings is clearly an option but that should be considered as a last resort if the injunction does not work.