Dog of a neighbour?

Jacquelyn asks:
(updated on Friday, November 02nd 2012)

We have a rental property with fantastic tenants who we would like to keep. They have a retired busy-body neighbour who hates their dogs and has on many occasions lodged complaints about the dogs. The tenants have had a few letters from the council. The tenants swear the dogs are not a problem and feel completely harassed by the neighbour as there are other incidences as well (unrelated to the dogs). My tenants are looking for somewhere else to live. Our previous tenants were also harassed by this guy, how do we stop him?

Our Experts Answer:

There can be a subtle difference between “fantastic tenants” and bad neighbours. They may in fact be the same people! You seem pretty certain that your tenants and their dogs are not causing problems for their neighbour. You describe him as a “busy body”. Are you sure he doesn’t have valid complaints? It seems to me you could do well to talk with him and find out exactly what he’s complaining about. Is it the dogs’ barking? That will tell you whether he has good grounds or whether he himself is the problem. Communication can solve a multitude of problems. Equally, your tenants are in a position to talk with him and see if his complaints can be resolved. However, having received four letters from council, they are probably pretty sure the issues can’t be sorted. Assuming the tenants move elsewhere, you really do need to find out what has upset the neighbour before you find more tenants. Then look for tenants who will be more compatible with the neighbour. Maybe someone without dogs?

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