I have a friend who is a newer landlord such as myself, and he has run into a situation that I thought would be good to pose to the BP community to try and find the right solution.
He recently acquired a SFH that he is using as a rental. The first set of tenants that he chose to rent to happened to be dog owners, but my friend decided to try to turn this to his advantage by allowing dogs, but with an additional monthly charge for the pet. As a result, he winds up doing quite well on the rent he collects from the tenants.
However, a couple months ago he got a call from the neighbor stating that they had found dog poop in their yard and they believed it belonged to the tenants dog. My friend apologized, insisted we would talk with the tenant about having the dog leashed at all times when outside so that he could't wander into the neighbors yard to relieve itself.
My friend had the conversation with the tenant and that was that for a couple months as it appeared the problem was solved. However recently, he has been getting multiple calls again from the neighbor, again saying that they found poop in their yard and they believe its from the tenants dog. What is my friend obligated to do as the landlord? And further, what should he do as the landlord?
Is this an issue between the tenant and the neighbor or does he have a role in this and further if he has given explicit instructions to the tenant that isn't being followed, what are his options?
Hoping someone has dealt with this issue before and may be able to offer some wisdom on the subject.
Let me start by saying I believe all responsible dog owners pick up after their pet, in their own yard and elsewhere. I certainly do, and always carry extra bags on walks to hand to the guy who just let his dog poo in front of me and started walking away. But I don't see how this is a landlord issue. I would definitely let the tenant know that their neighbor is complaining of dog doo in his yard for the 4th or 5th time and to please make certain that it is not their dog. If the neighbor has proof it is their dog (like a picture or something), he can report it as it is not legal, although not sure the police or animal control would do anything. If he has no proof, then it could be any dog in the neighborhood, so I wouldn't take it any farther than mentioning it to the tenants.
Thanks Lynn! That was our first reaction as well, but both being newer landlords, we wanted to make sure we were holding up our end of the bargain.
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