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Problem Dog/dog Owner

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  • Problem Dog/dog Owner


    Came across this site (thank god) when looking for options about how to do something about my problem that is as follows:

    I live in an upstairs flat (owner occupier) that, along with the downstairs flat, opens onto a communal driveway. 2 yrs ago my neighbour bought a dog that she let sit in the driveway. It constantly barked and attacked all visitors. I complained several times and the owner admitted i had a point but didn't really do anything about it. Eventually after I complained a few more times she did. But she always tries it on after a while - seeming to try and goad me to see how far she can go.

    Today I complained again to be told I "didn't have a leg to stand on" that if I was working at home that I should't cos "it's flat not an office block", and that she could do what she wanted and I had to put up with it. I got a lot of "my rights" etc but nothing about responsibilities

    This is the case even though letting the dog out allows it on to my lawn - a lawn that she divided without asking for my agreement - likewise I found that during our argument that she plans to split the drive (which I find unacceptable). She refuses to accept that her dog should be kept on her own property because "he likes sitting outside" - by the gate. Before she erected a shoddy fence she placed a piece of wire fencing accross the drive that I had to negiotate to get to my lawn. Also complained several times about droppings too.

    She just seems to think she can do as she likes. I'm furious and would like some advice about if I'm being reasonable and what i can do to get some respect for my right to peace and quiet and property. I did visit my local council website but it seems they only deal with cases involving tenants???. How do you deal with someone who thinks they have the right to do what they want regardless of others - even when they've admitted there's a problem.

    I'm sick of having to just put up with her behaviour and dog.

    Any adivice would be good as would any other stories so I know i'm not alone in this situation.


  • #2
    hi there

    cant really say or help much (apart from say she isnt a responsible dog owner like i am) but im interested what advice you get as theres a woman round the corner who sits on her doorstep and watches he dog deface and cr*p in the surrounding neighbours to hers gardens. it infuriates me but as i dont live there i cant really say anything.


    • #3
      Hi Paulb and welcome to the forum

      Gawd!! I hate these arrogant people who think the world is run just for their benefit! You say your NFH dog attacks visitors? Have you asked the police for advice? They may say it is on private property, but unless it is under control it is a danger. Also a word with your local Environmental Health office about the dog poop, might yeild some results. I'm not sure, but a constantly barking dog may be classed as a statutory noise nuisance so mention that when you talk to them.

      Keeping a log of all incidents is also a must and if possible photographic evidence.

      Is your NFH illegally using your lawn and dividing the drive? Maybe you should seek legal advice about that.

      I'm sure other members will have lots more advice for you.

      "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


      • #4
        Hi Paulb

        Welcome to the site

        A couple of links you may/may not already have come across, as follows:

        Have you had sight of the deeds, showing the boundaries? She can't just steal your land! I don't know if you have sought any legal advice yet....but you may well need to. Problem is, this is a civil matter, could be very costly if you pursue it all the way, and would have to be declared on the Seller's Property Information Form, if you come to sell. However, it is worth an initial consultation.

        I wonder if it might be worth considering mediation, once you feel a bit more armed with facts....your neighbour might not be too well-informed, and confronted with more info, may agree to change her approach? Have a look at

        I'm sure you will get more advice from members who perhaps(no, definitely!!) have more knowledge/experience than I on this one , but you will get plenty of support here




        • #5
          HI paulb and welcome to the Forum

          You've already been given great advice which should give you some things to look into.

          The only other thing I'd get you to check (just in case the boundary issue doesn't go away ) is your Home Insurance. Have you paid extra for Legal Cover? If so, you may be able to contact them for an initial discussion on this matter.

          Have you put anything in writing to your neighbour? That might also be a start for you. I know that you say you've talked to her, but putting something in writing often ups the ante a little (make sure you keep a copy) and may make her see the error of her ways.

          Please check the replies here often and let us know how you're getting on.


          • #6
            Hi Paulb,

            As a dog-lover I sympathise with the dog (as well as its neighbours!) as a barking dog is a bored dog. It may like being out all day, but would also like regular walks and other stimulation.

            Just a quick note of caution: You say it barks 'constantly'. As an emotional decsription of what it FEELS LIKE to you, I understand this. But no neighbour nuisance is ever 'constant' or 'all the time', and if you use this sort of language in a complaint to officials you'll be taken less seriously. Use the log sheets to record exactly how often and how long, how loud (eg did you have to raise your voice in order to continue your conversation). Even if you only do that for a sample period. Then you'll have hard facts to take to Environmental Health (or animal welfare). My local EH reckon dogs barking loudly & continuously for 15 minutes or more constitute statutory nuisance. But remember they are allowed to bark at intruders, doorbells etc!

            On the dividing property issue, your conveyancing solicitor (from when you purchased) may be able to help.

            Good luck, & keep us up to date with any developments,
            "Poor Tom shall lead thee" (King Lear)


            • #7
              Hi people,

              Thanks for the advice. Day of officialdom. Was covered for legal protection - phew. Also spoke to the Council who could potentially do something about the noise. With regard to the main issue - that of potentially separating out drive - which would ruin a nice feature of my property and give me no peace for the sacrifice - it all depends on the deeds which I'm getting sent to by local branch of the Build Soc. General view was it would probably be shared and so my approval would be needed - and everything would need to be done in writing to make it legally binding and clear for the purposes of selling on.

              My plan of action is as follows (and I'd really like comments etc) - to see what deeds say and if they say I have to consent I am going to get a solicitors letter drawn up saying I do not consent and why.

              I do take the point about the dog being a victim - it has major issues going on. I did used to play with it but it wouldn't play ball. It is bored - that much is very clear. It can't settle. It can't be let off a lead from what the owner has told me - I think!. I know it went after at least one child in the local park. It can't cope with other dogs, cats at all. I kind of feel sorry for the unhappy life it has to lead.

              Thanks again for helping me see I have options!



              • #8
                Hi again Paul

                Great news about the legal cover and your initial enquiries with your Council about the noise elements

                I would have thought too that you would have to give consent for changes on a shared drive. By all means speak to a Solicitor and get them to do a letter for you, or alternatively, you could write in the first instance and/or involve Mediation (already suggested by sapph).

                Sounds like you have a great plan of action in front of you and you know where you're going.

                If you want to write first, you can always post the outline of your letter here to get opinions from other members.


                • #9
                  Hi there,

                  If you own the flat above and she dosn't intend to move any time soon, to stop things turning really nasty you need a solution to suit you both.

                  She seems really keen to keep her dog, and you want peace and to be able to enter and leave without running the gauntlet.

                  If she has already divided the back garden in half, why not suggest that she installs secure 6ft fencing round her area. Puts in a dog kennel and food and water. Instead of leaving the dog chained near the gate, she puts the dog in its pen unchained. Some dogs bark consistantly when chained, if it can chew a bone, run round its pen, have somewhere dry to sleep. If it still barks it may need a animal behaviourist to tell her how to train it not to bark because it misses her company. How old is the dog?. Even old dogs can be taught new things.


                  • #10
                    Just got in from work and bumped right into neighbour. Eek! If looks could kill etc so I think getting back to civilised relations ain't gonna happen any time soon. Re keeping dog around the back. I have asked for this several times. That's why I was quite happy with the dividing fence as I thought that was what it was for. Thanks again for your views/advice.