Victory Place Management Company Limited v Kuehn
It is surprising the number of pet cases that we get asked to advise on. For leasehold properties, there are often provisions within the lease to prevent the keeping of pets.
Despite strong legal representation, lengthy court proceedings, a determination to proceed and lots of press attention – the Kuehns beloved dog, Vinnie was ordered to be evicted from their property.
Many of the residents within their exclusive leasehold development had complained about Vinnie’s barking becoming a nuisance. Sure enough, there was a clause within the leases that clearly stated that pets were not allowed. The Kuehns tried to appeal to their neighbor’s goodwill to make an exception for Vinnie. In fact, the Management Company decided to have regard to the wishes of their residents and were prepared to put the pet rule to a vote! Unfortunately, for Vinnie – his owners were the only ones (out of over 70 residents) that voted to override the lease covenant. Therefore, there was clear evidence that the Management Company were justified in withholding their consent. The resulting court proceedings ordered an injunction against Vinnie to have him removed from the property.
This case highlights the power of a lease provision and why they should not be ignored.