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Pet head aches

By Marais Viljoen on Sat, 10 Mar 2012 at 15:36

I am the chair person of the trustees. We currently have a problem with a tenant refusing to remove her pets after we have written a formal letter of demand to her and given her 7 days to remove the animals(cat and dog). The animals were brought on the premises without the written consent of the trustees. She ignored our 'l.o.d', still kept her pets well after the expiry date. She first lived at unit 103. We contacted the estate agent for unit 103 and explained our problem with the tenant. The estate agent contacted the owner of the unit, which instructed the estate agent remove the animals immediately, which she did. The tenant now went to the SPCA and collected her animals, she also moved out of unit 103 and moved in with her parents who lives at unit 108. The tenant shows blatant disregard for our Conduct Rules, which states:
1. that animals are not allowed to roam freely on common property unless carried or leashed.
2. owners of pets shall be liable for removal of excrement

The tenant now walks her dog freely on common
property (the garden, the stoep)without a leash. She also constantly parades the dog in front the caretakers unit.

What can we do to enforce our conduct rules on the tenant?

Replies

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RE: Pet head aches

Constant Laubscher replied on Sat, 10 Mar 2012 at 19:02

Hi Marais, Your business as trustee is only with the owner and never the tenant or the letting agent. The owner has to take ownership of his responsibilities and deal with the tenant and the SPCA. The rules are clear and when trustees let things slide, they or their successors are not likely to turn the ship around soon - to the detriment of the scheme of course. Approach your Managing Agent to assist you, if you have one or alternatively, an attorney. Regards, Constant.

RE: RE: Pet head aches

John Yates replied on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 at 14:39

In my view a tenant is subject to the Rules like any other resident. The trustees are responsible to enforce the Rules. Any transgression of the Rules by the tenant in the first instance is for the trustees to handle. If the tenant does not cooperate, the owner may then be approached to take appropriate action. See Section 35(4)of the S/T Act.

RE: RE: Pet head aches

Marais Viljoen replied on Wed, 14 Mar 2012 at 19:19

Hi Constant, thanks for the advise. We actually prefer dealing with owners directly, but in some cases the letting agent refuses to give us the owner's information? Is there a clause in the STA which states that the letting agent is obliged by law to give us the information?

RE: Pet head aches

Constant Laubscher replied on Sun, 11 Mar 2012 at 16:41

Hi Marais, As John correctly stated, everyone is bound by the rules but experience has shown that many a trustee has come unstuck by dealing directly with tenants and that the safer option is to only deal with the owner from the outset. The danger lies in possible collusion between owner and tenant which can result in a costly affair for the Body Corporate. Regards, Constant.

RE: RE: Pet head aches

Alan Barr replied on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 12:34

John is correct, however also read PMR 69, it is the duty of the owner to ensure complaince with the rules.

We always address letters directly to the owner with regards tenants non-complaince with the rules.

RE: RE: RE: Pet head aches

John Yates replied on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 13:06

A PMR may not overule the clear wording of a Section of the Act. See Section 35(2)(b).

RE: RE: Pet head aches

Annette Stones replied on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 22:42

I assume that Constant is referring to the fact that, if an offended tenant terminates her/his lease, with the owner thus losing the rental income, the owner could sue the Body Corporate. For that reason it is wiser not to deal with tenants directly, but through the unit owner. It would also seem a necessary courtesy towards a fellow member of the Body Corporate the trustees have been elected to represent.

RE: Pet head aches

Jan Reid replied on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 12:21

"The estate agent contacted the owner of the unit, which instructed the estate agent remove the animals immediately, which she did. The tenant now went to the SPCA and collected her animals,"

I'm hoping the pet owner is busy suing the estate agent for theft of property. How dare they remove them and give them to the SPCA, they could have been euthanised. That's no way to solve this.

RE: Pet head aches

Constant Laubscher replied on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 at 15:34

Gentlemen, Section 35(4) of the Act says that both owner and tenant are bound by the Act. Rule 69 says it shall be the duty of the owner to ensure compliance with the rules by the tenant or lessee and Section 35 (2)(b) basically says that a rule should not be amended by a resolution of the Body Corporate in such a manner to be irreconcilable with the Act. In my opinion Rule 69 confirms the responsibility of the owner and I would therefore stand by my initial advice. Constant.

RE: Pet head aches

Constant Laubscher replied on Wed, 14 Mar 2012 at 21:09

Hi Marais, I don't see how you cannot have the owner's details - how would he/she receive notifications of meetings or any other important correspondence for that matter? Do you have a managing agent or is the letting agent also the managing agent? If the latter is the case, they are in breach of their contract with the BC and can most certainly be forced to release the information. Hope you succeed in your efforts. Regards, Constant.

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