We Brits are mad about our pets, cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, you name it and we will welcome it into our household. Having pets comes with responsibility. As an agent or a residential block management company, it really is up to you whether you allow pets.
Like so many situations however one persons’ pet is another person’s nuisance. A situation which can be further complicated by the relatively dense living of leasehold properties. Typical complaints are noise (barking for example), intimidation (pets don’t always associate their territory limits with that of the lease!), and mess, including defecation. Here are some ideas to help you manage pets in leasehold properties:
- The simplest way is to put a blanket ban on all pets being kept; many residential block management companies have already resorted to these bans. This can be hard, and it can be tricky finding the right time to introduce it but it is the most even handed. It can however sometimes cause problems when a flat is being sold, because the residential block management company could suddenly be accused of preventing a sale completing if the purchaser is a pet lover. There can also be issues around ‘visiting’ pets, are they to be excluded, and if not, how long should they be permitted to stay? There are rarely simple answers to these matters.
- A more subtle approach is to allow pets under ‘licence’. The management company will authorise a pet, with the condition that the leaseholder can be required to remove the pet if complaints are received. The advantage of this approach is that it allows controlled presence of pets in the property. The Management Company knows the type of animals present, and the leaseholder knows there is the potential for the pet to be removed. However, in reality, enforcing the licence can also be tricky. Is the complaint really valid?, who is going to be the enforcer throwing little ‘Bengy’ out on the street? Who is going to tell the 70 year old tenant in the basement her pet is no longer welcome? The problems are endless.
Pet management issues are typical scenarios where engaging a Managing Agent makes sense. Rules can be enforced on an even handed basis. Complaints are less likely to be influenced by bias among residents, and if the worse does happen they can always act as the ‘lighting rod’ for grievance.
Frequently Agents such as PM Property are better able to negotiate the tricky waters of the pet world in leasehold properties. When you choose an agent to handle the situation, problems with pets will be dealt with as part of your residential block management services.