One landlord in Newark made sure his tenancy agreement stated that pets were not allowed, but that didn’t stop his tenant’s furry friends caused £12,000 worth of damage to his property.
The tenant signed a tenancy agreement stating that no pets would be present in the property, but proceeded to move in with a dog, and three cats. The tenant was found guilty by Nottingham Magistrates’ court of fraudulently signing the legal documents saying he wouldn’t keep pets at the property.
The court heard that the border collie, a notoriously energetic breed of dog, was confined to the ‘lower parts of the property’ and not walked, as the tenant was agoraphobic.
A neighbour reported a bad smell coming from the property, which prompted further investigation. The landlord discovered damage to both the inside and outside, and animal urine and excrement throughout the property.
There was damage to UPVC window boards and the cooker, and a full replacement of carpets and some floorboards was required.
The tenant had previously not allowed checks to be carried out on the property, giving excuses that included himself and his wife being away on honeymoon.
Despite a clear case of the tenant being in the wrong, the court found it difficult to decide on exactly how the individual should be tried. The case could not be heard as criminal damage, as the animals had actually caused the damage to the property. Eventually the tenant admitted to fraudulently signing a tenancy agreement, and stated that he ‘knew he was making a false claim, but didn’t know that it would cause financial loss to the landlord.’
The tenant forfeited the £795 deposit on the property, but he was ordered but the court to pay £1,000 in compensation to cover the costs of new carpets. The case against his wife, who was also charged with fraud by false representation, was dropped.
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