When a leaseholder felt he was being bullied by his freehold landlord, he turned to Brady Solicitors to help bring about a resolution.
Our leaseholder client was being sued by his freehold landlord for keeping a dog and leaving items in the hallway. As a breach of lease claim, the case was to be heard in the First-tier Tribunal and carried the ultimate risk that the leaseholder may lose his property.
The lease clause regarding pets stated that tenants may not keep any “bird, dog or other animal which may cause annoyance”.
Despite our client’s neighbours giving evidence that the dog was never a problem, the freeholder claimed it may cause a nuisance and so amounted to a breach of lease.
Our client felt he was being singled out by the freeholder: other residents were keeping dogs at the property and there was no evidence that he was the one who left items in the hallway.
Our first step was to help him to put together a thorough and detailed statement of case in defence of the claim, including witness statements from the leaseholder’s neighbours to the effect that the dog was certainly no nuisance.
As a result the landlord withdrew his claim prior to the hearing, meaning our client was no longer at risk of his lease being forfeited.
Once instructed, we worked with the leaseholder and the freeholder to reach a compromise which benefitted our client. Ultimately the leaseholder has decided to sell his flat and he can do so without the risk of forfeiture hanging over his head.