You may be shocked to find out that after finding your dream home that you may have to pull out as you are not allowed to have a pet n the property. This is a problem that effects most leasehold properties as there is a clause within the lease that states:
“Not to keep any bird reptile dog or other animal in the Demised Premises”
A leasehold property and a rental flat are similar in the sense that the lease/rental agreement, puts in writing your obligations and permission for use of the property.
Not having pets is just one potential exclusion, however here are some more common restrictions and stipulations within a leasehold lease:
- Not to use the Property or permit it to be used for the carrying on of any trade or business (no working from home);
- Not without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor to erect on the Property or allow to be or remain on any part of it any showboards or hoardings (this excludes you from advertising from your flat);
- Not to throw dirt rubbish rags or other refuse or permit them to be thrown into the sinks baths lavatories or waste or soil pipes in the Property (this stops you from flushing nappies down the loo);
- To maintain repair and as necessary replace the acoustic flooring as laid at the date of this lease so as to maintain at least the same level of sound insulation as at the date of this lease (this excludes wooden flooring);
- Not to hang any washing or clothes in such a manner that any of them can be seen from the outside.
What if you just ignore the restriction
Many leaseholders take the position of ignoring the issue as their love for their pet and home is equally as great. The challenge though is that if the lease restricts having pets in the property then the freeholder of managing agent has the right to go to court and get a court order to evict the pet.
What should you do?
The safest route is to raise an enquiry through your solicitor or direct with the managing agent on whether they will waive the clause in the lease. You should do this early on in the Conveyancing Process so that if the restriction is not removed, you are able to pull out and save yourself costs.
Not all managing agents will agree to remove the restriction and it often comes down to the type of animal and the floor in the block you are buying.
For example, if you live in a ground floor flat and have a cat, the managing agent is more likely to make a concession as the cat is less likely to make a loud noise and could have easy access to the outside. If you are on the top floor with a dog, it is unlikely the managing agent will agree to this as the dog won’t have easy access to the outside and may bark a lot.
Your Conveyancing Solicitor should guide you through negotiating with your managing agents.
Andrew Boast MAAT MIC
Co-founder of SAM Conveyancing