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Neighbours complaints to landlord

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834 views 2 replies latest reply: 25 June 2015
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Tenant

Hope someone can give some solid fact based advice. 
We moved into a rented house about 10 months ago, then on Friday, we got a call from our landlord about complaints our neighbours have made about us!!! We thought we got on reasonably well with them as we chat over fence, etc, until this!! Complaints made are:
1. Our dogs bark late at night. (If they start to bark, we are quick to get them back into house)
2. She can smell dog poo. (Kids clean up regularly and even when doing so, they can’t smell it!)
3. The grass is uncut at front. (It is but because I am not well, I am incapable and my husband is out the house 70 hours a week, over 6 days. He has often planned to cut it, but it then rains)
4. We keep the downstairs curtains closed most of the time (teenage daughter’s bedroom, fronting onto a shared drive)
5. She has never seen us clean our front windows (never seen her clean hers, but then I don’t spend all day spying on her house!!)
6. She also reckons the house is devalued because of these points and that our dogs are MUST be scratching the laminate flooring!!! They’re not!!!
Although our landlord states that she has no problem with dining room/playroom being a bedroom she does mention it a lot!! Surely it’s our business, as long as there have been no structural changes?
We were late one month with payment so paid landlords bank charges (£300, which I think is a bit steep) and then 3 months rent up front. 
This neighbour has ruined it for me. I am depressed with my illness and now I worry about my dogs having a little bark or kids making noise in garden (12 and 10) or throwing a ball over. 
I feel like neighbour must be watching us 24/7 to report on us. I don’t feel comfortable in my own home. 
Tenancy up in 2 months and I’m worried we’ll be chucked out. Can’t bear thought of moving, the way I am at the moment and we were so lucky to find a private landlord that takes dogs!!!
I have asked neighbour a few times about dogs barking n she has always assured me it’s fine, then complains!! We live on a busy road and you can hear the train line, plus our house backs onto fields where there are plenty of dog walkers, so they are just being territorial (they are Lhasa apsos). I don’t think they bark much but then I have nothing to compare. It’s a beautiful day but I daren’t let them out!!!
The husband has made a few attempts to wave, greet, etc, but can’t bring ourselves to return the compliment as they’re two faced, backstabbing and nosey!! 
Any advice on how to deal with this n where we stand? Please don’t suggest that my husband speaks to them as he is likely to get annoyed if they start and I don’t feel confident n well enough. 
We asked our landlord to come n check the property for herself but she declined. Plus we also told her a month ago that we owe her a new carpet (it’s cream n dogs n kids!!) even though it was stained when we moved in. How many tenants would do that?
PLEASE help!!
Sorry so long n thank you for reading. X

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Administrator

Hi Cheryl

I also have a dog and the fear of the barking getting me into trouble with the landlord is constant so I feel your pain.

I’m not an expert or a lawyer but, as far as I know, a council would consider a barking dog to be a nuisance if it was barking incessantly at any time of day or if it was barking regularly at a problem time, such as at night. It doesn’t sound like your dogs are doing that. To a certain extent the landlord just has to accept that if they’ve rented a property to someone with dogs there will be some barking- dogs bark, that’s what they do. As long as it’s not constant or at night there’s little need to complain.

Fouling is obviously punishable with a fine but you probably know that.

In terms of what devalues a property, this tends to be poor exterior condition, a garden full of junk, broken windows etc. I don’t think your neighbour really has much of an idea about property values – just too much time on their hands.

However, despite the fact that it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong, if the landlord finds the complaints too annoying then they might feel that they want to ask you to leave. So, even though you’ve said you don’t want suggestions along the line of ‘speak to your neighbour’ this really is the best option. Even though you might want to put her in her place, sit down and go through her concerns and let her know what you’re doing about it, as  this can do a lot to diffuse the situation – often tensions build up when people don’t speak to eachother much more than just breaking the ice.

If you do manage to speak to the neighbour you can then put in writing to your landlord that you’ve taken action and (hopefully) that the neighbour is now satisfied. If nothing else, this will show the landlord that you’ve taken action and you want to be a good tenant – especially with tenancy renewal coming up.

Alex

 

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Service provider

Hi Cheryl,

I may be able to help – we offer a ethical, independent, landlord and Tenant consultancy service and I can offer a free 30min chat or skype call to see how we might be able to help. Youll find my details at www.threeharesconsultancy.co.uk

Wishing you well, whatever you next step you decide on.

Les

Three Hares Consultancy

www.threeharesconsultancy.co.uk

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