Problems with tenants dog and neighbors

12 Replies

Apparently one of my new tenant's dogs log the water.  The dog is friendly, but it jumped the 4 ft fence in the backyard a couple weeks ago, went into the neighbor's yard, and jumped in their above ground pool while their kids were swimming.  We removed the small 4 ft section of fence and had a 6 ft fence installed.  Well, it seems that the dog can also jump over the 6 ft fence, so I got another call from the neighbor yesterday saying it happened again.

Obviously, they aren't happy about the dog jumping in the pool with their kids, regardless of whether or not it's friendly.  

The HOA restrictions specifically say that "Pets must be kept in a manner that does not disturb the peaceful enjoyment of residents of other lots" and one of the terms of the lease is that the tenant abides by the HOA restrictions.

How would you handle this if it continues after you warn the tenant, and the neighbor keeps complaining?

My initial instinct is to tie the dog down with a leash that still gives him free reign of the yard, but I fear a dog that can jump the fence may be able to just rip the leash out.

Just because they don't want to leave doesn't mean that they shouldn't. Assuming your lease requires them to abide by the rules of the HOA, they are breaking their lease. Don't make the dog your problem, you can very professionally and respectfully; Tell them that it' their duty to control the dog and let them know that if it happens again, they are putting you in a position where, even though you don't want to, you HAVE to act. I've used this tactic many times and it works well. Good luck!

@Shaun R. I understand that and I’m also a huge dog lover, so I wouldn’t want to make someone choose between where they live and getting rid of their dog. They just seem like irresponsible or lazy pet owners. I know mistakes happen, but when the same thing has happened multiple times in a few weeks, something needs to be done. Another option is sInce it’s getting out of a 6’ fence, maybe offer to have a 10’ fence put up at the tenant’s expense. I’ve never owned property in a HOA, but I’m sure there is repercussions for you if you or the tenants break the rules.

Amend the lease to include that all dogs must be on a leash if outdoors. Any notice of the dog being off the leash is a leash violation and requires a fix or quit letter. The second violation in a six month period is an eviction.

You are getting off cheap with just a warning so do not mess with fate. The next call could easily be that the dog jumped the fence and one of the children were startled and fell off the pool deck and now has a concussion and possible fractured neck. How much insurance coverage do you have and does your policy even cover a dog large enough to jump a six foot fence?

Get the dog under control by requiring a leash at all times when out doors,  get the dog off your property or take the risk on a lawsuit that you may not be covered for.

Your choice.

3-day fix or quit. That’s it. You’ve already given them enough warning. Why let it continue to get out of hand and inconvenience the neighbor? Also, you already increased the fence height  that’s enough accommodation for a tenant who just moved in and hasn’t shown enough worthiness to keep spending more time and money. 

3-day fix or quit. Next warning is eviction.  Done deal. 

I guess my question would be this... is the neighbor complaining enough for me to do anything?  Or does the hoa need to send a letter for them to be officially be breaking the lease? 

Originally posted by @Shaun R. :

I guess my question would be this... is the neighbor complaining enough for me to do anything?  Or does the hoa need to send a letter for them to be officially be breaking the lease? 

I absolutely think it is. They aren't controlling their dog and it is affecting the quiet enjoyment of other neighbors. It wouldn't be any different if these were houses that are not part of an HOA.

And it's really simple fix for them.  They don't even have to choose to get rid of the dog.  They can keep it leashed and not let it in the backyard without them.  Or, they can put a stake in the middle of the yard and keep it on a long chain.  Great for the dog.  He can still run around all over the yard, but can't jump the fence anymore.

I'll even give you a story on that.  In college, I had a friend who kept two wolf-hybrids in their backyard.  Needless to say, these were two big and powerful dogs.  And they weren't friendly.  So my friend was VERY careful about making sure they could never get out of the backyard.  It was a large yard and he did just what I described.  Nothing a pet store carried was going to be strong enough, so he got the appropriately sized chains from a hardware store instead.  He had those dogs for years and they were never able to pull up the stakes or get out of the yard.  Moral of the story.  If my friend achieved that with wolf hybrids, your tenant can do that with their lab!

As an aside, they rented that house.  I don't know WHAT their landlord was thinking, lol!!!

@Shaun R. Your lease should also include references to your county and city ordinances not just your HOA. I love dogs too but I was force to give a tenant a 30 day fix or evict. I wasn't going to force them to get rid of the dog, I made them make that decision. Frankly, if they can't control the dog, how well do you think they will control themselves or guest in your house.

Ever heard of 'coyote roller'? It's made out of wire inside a small diameter pvc pipe inside a larger diameter pvc pipe. Don't do more than 4' in lengths (learned that the hard way, pipe may bend and then it won't work). 

You'll put the wire through the small pipe and attach and then pull the big pipe over everything. Attach the wires at the fence on both ends. Google it and you'll find different ways of attaching, as it will have to allow the big pipe to still roll, when the dog touches the pipe. 

Check it out. Have the tenant pay for it , if they want to stay. 

@Shaun R. So What are you waiting on ? the pool lIner to be ruptured or a kid to get hurt or somebody to get bIte ?? The answer was already given . Would rather a letter from the hoa or one from an attorney stating your being sued . Get this under control