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Problem Dogs: the Law and Who to Contact

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 20 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Dogs Neighbour Dangerous Control Dispute

"My neighbour's dog keeps breaking through the fence and attacking my dog"

"My neighbour's dog regularly poos outside my gate and she refuses to clean it up"

"A neighbour has an aggressive dog that he uses to intimidate all the local residents"

Unfortunately these and similar complaints are all too common. The first step is always to try to politely speak to your neighbour, explain the problem and how it affects you, and try to agree a way forward. But what can you do if your neighbour is not prepared to make changes and resolve the issue between you?

Who Can Help with Dog-related Disputes?

Your Local Authority and Policing team may be able to assist with dog-related disputes and dog-related anti-social behaviour issues. Here are some of the measures that can be implemented:
  • Acceptable Behaviour Contracts
  • Community Protection Notices
  • Dog Control Orders
  • Civil injunction or Criminal behaviour orders

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

This act gave the police various powers to try to tackle these sorts of problems at an early stage. The stated purpose of the Act is:

'to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce other incidents involving dogs such as straying and the use of dogs for intimidation, through early engagement and education, and overall to prevent problems becoming more serious and thus reduce the number of dog bites.'

The Act extends the remit of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control anywhere, including in the owner's home. It also specifies that an attack on an assistance dog (such as a guide dog) is an aggravated offence due to the impact on the more vulnerable owner.

The Act created two ways for Local Authorities and Community Police to try to tackle more minor dog-related incidents before the problem becomes more severe:

Acceptable Behaviour Contracts

The aim of these contracts, (often called "ABCs") is early prevention of issues and re-education; they provide an opportunity for Local Authorities and / or the police to engage with a dog owner and give them advice on animal care and training. They can also discuss the impact of the offender's actions on those around them.

These agreed behaviour contracts are not legally binding and breach of an "ABC" is not an offence. However breach of a contract may be used as evidence by the police when prosecuting an individual under statutory offences (discussed below).

Community Protection Notices

These notices are used for lower level incidents involving dogs, such as failure to control an animal (where no one has been physically hurt) or where an animal is causing a nuisance to other people or animals. Only organisations or those over 16 years can be given a Community Protection Notice.

The test for applying a Community Protection Notice is as follows:

  • Is the animal's behaviour having a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the local area?
  • Is the behaviour persistent and continuing in nature?
  • Is the behaviour unreasonable?

A Community Protection Notice can specifically prohibit or require a dog owner to carry out certain actions. (For example, a prohibition to walk their dog near a local school around school start and finish times.) Owners must be given a reasonable amount of time to comply with the notice. What is a reasonable period of time will depend upon the requirement or restriction; 10 minutes may be reasonable to put a lead on a dog, whereas 7 days would be a more reasonable period of time for a fence to be fixed.

If a Community Protection Notice is not complied with, an individual may face a £100 fixed penalty, or for more serious breaches, be prosecuted (breaching a notice being a criminal offence) and potentially fined £2,500. For organisations, the potential fine upon conviction is £20,000.

Common Prohibitions:

  • Entering certain areas (eg playgrounds)
  • Not exercising at certain times
  • Certain people to not have control of the dog (eg small children)

Common Requirements

  • Keep on a lead / muzzling in certain areas
  • Neutering the dog
  • Fixing fences to prevent dogs escaping from a property
  • Installing a letter cage to protect postal workers
  • Properly disposing of dog waste / cleaning out kennels emitting foul odours

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

This Act contains various provisions to assist Local Authorities to look after their areas and consolidates some provisions (such as those in the Dog [Fouling of Land] Act 1996) in one place. Of particular relevance here, the Act allows the Local Authority to make a Dog Control Order.

Dog Control Orders

The Order can require a dog owner (or anyone in control of a dog, such as someone who regularly takes care of the dog) to do / not do various specified tasks as specified in the order. Common specified issues are to keep the dog on a lead in certain areas (eg playgrounds / farmers' fields) and to clean up dog faeces.

The Order applies to any land open to the air and to which public are permitted access (with or without payment). Arguably, this could therefore include shared residential passageways, as any member of the public visiting a neighbour's property would be entitled to and may even require use of the shared land or easement.

If a Dog Control Order is breached, a fine may be imposed. The amount of the fine will be specified in the Order. However if for any reason a sum is not specified, the standard fine will be £75. (This allows the Courts to increase the sum for repeat offenders). A Community Support Officer can also require a dog owner to give their name and address under the provisions of the Act. Refusal to do so (or giving false details) is in itself an offence.

Other options

The Local Authority will always try to engage with a dog owner using one of the above provisions. However if a dog owner's behaviour is so bad that none of the above are successful in preventing their poor behaviour, Local Authorities are committed to take further steps, particularly where the risk of a person being physically harmed by a dog is high. This may include the need for a civil injunction or Criminal Behaviour Order in serious cases.

Other relevant provisions of which dog owners should be aware

Wearing a collar

Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, any dog whilst in a public place must wear a collar with the owner's name and address including postcode. Owners can be fined up to £5,000 if they fail to ensure that their dog is wearing a collar.The exceptions to this rule are:
  • Police (or military police) dogs
  • Sporting dogs when competing
  • Working sheep dogs
  • Emergency rescue dogs
  • Guide dogs

Microchipping

Under the new Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, it is compulsory for all dogs in England to be microchipped. Owners have until 6 April 2016 to chip and register their dogs. For any dogs purchased / born after 6 April 2016, owners must ensure that they are microchipped and registered by the time they are 8 weeks old.

The only exemptions are dogs which cannot be chipped for health reasons. You will need a vet to certify that that is the case.

Note: Microchips come in different sizes so even very small dogs such as Chihuahuas can be microchipped!

If owners fail to ensure that their dog is chipped and registered, they may be served notice to comply by their local authority or community policing team. If after receiving notice, the dog is not both microchipped and registered within 21 days, the owner may be fined £500 for failure to comply.

If you are a dog owner, make sure that you get your dog chipped and registered asap - don't wait until next April as vets will likely be very busy!!

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My cat was killed by a neighbours dog she admitted that her dog attacked my cat but said the cat was not hurt just shook up she said she took it into her house and give it a drink of milk and let it go.But eyewitnesses said the dog torn my cat apart. What can I do.
Molly - 20-Oct-18 @ 8:16 AM
we have ungated driveways, there is a local resident, who purposely brings her dogs to toilet in ours and neighbours gardens, she also allows the dogs to worry the neighbouring pets, be it cat or dog.|They are normally unleashed, and when asked to control her dogs, she replies with a mouthful of filth, stating her dogs can poo anywhere they want.They gained access to a neighbours house, and when asked again to control the dogs, she blamed the tenant for leaving her door open, refusing to take any responsibility. Where do we stand, legally?
nicci - 12-Oct-18 @ 11:49 AM
I have reported dog fouling that has occurred several times to the council. My front lawn is open plan it looks like the deposit comes from the same dog. I've tried pepper on the lawn but this doesn't work. I work long hours and am not around to catch whoever is encouring their dog onto the grass. I'm now considering cctv. What happens if i catch the culprits, can i prosecute?
Cat - 6-Oct-18 @ 10:18 AM
Our neighbours dog bark persistently whenever they’re not there. We have notified them on several occasions through conversations and letters. They believed that the dog was barking due to lack of company so they bought another. We now have a barking chorus. Is there any advice or help you can give us. Thanks
IS - 3-Oct-18 @ 9:36 AM
Our Response: It is your responsibility to keep your dog in your property, so if your dog can get into the neighbour's field, then you need to improve the fencing. Likewise, your neighbour's will have an obligation to fence their own property sufficiently to keep the sheep in. ProblemNeighbours - 12-Sep-18 @ 9:56 AM Thanks for your answer, very helpful.Just want to be absolutey sure, - so even though it is their fencing, it is OUR responsibility to improve THEIR fence......
DK - 12-Sep-18 @ 10:26 AM
DK - Your Question:
At the back of our house is a field which we own. The next door neighbour also has a field that adjoins ours. Between the two fields is a fence which belongs to our neighbour. They are about to have sheep in their field and we are a little concerned as we have a dog (and occasional visiting dogs). Our golden doodle dog would not harm sheep - just chase them and try and round them up! Obviously that is not a good thing to happen. Our concern is that there are gaps in their fencing where our dog could get through. I just wondered whose responsibility it is - should we somehow stop our dog running freely in our field or should they be plugging up their fence. We have emailed them to have a discussion, but - you guessed it - we don't really get on very well and they are not responding, only to say via a third party we have to keep our dog 'under control'. We just want a peaceful life where we can all enjoy our own land and properties. Please can you help? Thank you

Our Response:
It is your responsibility to keep your dog in your property, so if your dog can get into the neighbour's field, then you need to improve the fencing. Likewise, your neighbour's will have an obligation to fence their own property sufficiently to keep the sheep in.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Sep-18 @ 9:56 AM
At the back of our house is a field which we own.The next door neighbour also has a field that adjoins ours.Between the two fields is a fence which belongs to our neighbour.They are about to have sheep in their field and we are a little concerned as we have a dog (and occasional visiting dogs).Our golden doodle dog would not harm sheep - just chase them and try and round them up!Obviously that is not a good thing to happen.Our concern is that there are gaps in their fencing where our dog could get through.I just wondered whose responsibility it is - should we somehow stop our dog running freely in our field or should they be plugging up their fence.We have emailed them to have a discussion, but - you guessed it - we don't really get on very well and they are not responding, only to say via a third party we have to keep our dog 'under control'.We just want a peaceful life where we can all enjoy our own land and properties.Please can you help? Thank you
DK - 12-Sep-18 @ 8:48 AM
Our elderly neighbour chap keep letting his Scottish terrier over our side of our back garden. We have a share drive way which leaves some of the back garden openedheoften let his dog pee and poo over our side we had no end of confrontation with him ,and even police got involved he seem to just do this to us ,regardless of confronting him ,he seem to just like to try to provoke us, and get satisfaction in just being irongant ,there is no reason why he need to let his dog over our side he has the dog on a long extending lead .
Cookie - 22-Aug-18 @ 11:24 PM
Vision - Your Question:
This is such a useful thread. Thank you. I have been searching everywhere for advice. My tenant neighbour's bull dog has systematically destroyed the bottom of my wooden fence over the last 2 years and frequently entered my garden where it destroys plants and pots. Even though it has grown bigger it digs holes and is able to flatten itself really thin to squeeze under my fence. Also I have a shared access pathway which I can't use because I don't know when the dog is there. Can I demand that the tenant ensures that the dog is retained so that I can use the pathway whenever I want? The landlord is not helpful and I do not have a good relationship with the man - I am 70 and he is confrontational. I am going to get a new strong fence. Can I claim part of the cost from the landlord of the property. Haven't yet contact the police but thinking of it.

Our Response:
It's the dog owner's responsibility to keep their dog under control. Talk to your local community policing team, or your environmental health department for further advice on this, they will be able to take action under one or more of the pieces of legislation referred to in the above article.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jul-18 @ 1:50 PM
This is such a useful thread.Thank you. I have been searching everywhere for advice.My tenant neighbour's bull dog has systematically destroyed the bottom of my wooden fence over the last 2 years and frequently entered my garden where it destroys plants and pots. Even though it has grown bigger it digs holes and is able to flatten itself really thin to squeeze under my fence.Also I have a shared access pathway which I can't use because I don't know when the dog is there.Can I demand that the tenantensures that the dog is retained so that I can use the pathway whenever I want? The landlord is not helpful and I do not have a good relationship with the man - I am 70 and he is confrontational.I am going to get a new strong fence. Can I claim part of the cost from the landlord of the property. Haven't yet contact the police but thinking of it.
Vision - 27-Jul-18 @ 9:37 AM
Li - Your Question:
The people in the corner house of the main road have a garden gate which opens onto the street where I live. The gate is a wrought iron type. Their dog (Labrador mix) puts its head through the bars of the gate, barking, growling, snapping its jaws. Although this dog is ostensibly on private property, it is a danger because it could reach passers-by. Is it ok to report the dog as out of control?

Our Response:
If you feel it's a danger to passers by, then report it.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jul-18 @ 12:48 PM
The people in the corner house of the main road have a garden gate which opens onto the street where I live. The gate is a wrought iron type. Their dog (Labrador mix) puts its head through the bars of the gate, barking, growling, snapping its jaws. Although this dog is ostensibly on private property, it is a danger because it could reach passers-by. Is it ok to report the dog as out of control?
Li - 19-Jul-18 @ 9:26 PM
Neighbour has acquired a small dog which is 5 years old . Had it about 3 weeks now . Her kids torment it needlessly I have shouted a few times already!! But the main issue is the dog bites her kids . Not just a wee nibble !!! Brings blood ...It has also bitten my child . But wasn't that bad . I just don't know what to do ....
Tammy - 13-Jul-18 @ 5:06 PM
My partner and I moved into a house last June that has no garden, only a small concrete courtyard (the size of a standard living room I'd say) at the back with french doors that open out on to it. It is shared between us and another flat that has a door that opens up on to it. In about November time this neighbour got a chihuahua - Didn't tell us, but we thought it's fine she seems to be taking it out every other hour for a pee then back in, should be okay, we don't use it anyway. Summer has come and this woman constantly keeps the dog out, but with the heat, we want to keep our french doors open too. We can’t however, as this dog continuously barks and growls at us through the window when the curtains are open, and snarls and tries to get in whenever the doors are even a little open. Today her door was shut, so I opened both doors - She opened her door 15 minutes later and the dog shot out and actually got half into my property snarling at me. She yelled at it (there's no real training, just yelling its name all the time) and I went to close the doors. She said oh don't close your doors, he's alright and I tell her that the dog continuously tries to get in, and my partner has dog allergies so I can't risk it (also true). She shrugs and walks back into the house mumbling to herself with the dog, 5 minutes later he's back snarling at my window (with the door only a fraction open). It's happened nearly every day last 2 months or so, it growling and her yelling at it to stop, for it to do it again later. I know it's lack of training and the dog isn't used to us, but what can I do? She's aware of the issues but doesn't address them - What are my rights?
BeckyL - 5-Jul-18 @ 4:48 PM
Ema1812 - Your Question:
My neighbours are private landlords. And moved a couple in who have openly told us they bought 2 dougue de bourdeux dogs to mate and sell puppies. But as the dogs have become grown young year old dogs they are barking and trying to push my panels in on fence every time my baby girl who not even 2 yet who plays with her toys. We have asked politely and aggressively and they can't even control them they get left out all day and night and aggressively bark. I'm scared that they will break my panel fence down and maul us. What's the procedure what do I do? I don't want my children to be prisoners in their own homes

Our Response:
As the article above states, there are various pieces of legislation relating to dogs and several different orders that can be issued. Please contact your local council (dog warden/environmental health) or the police.
ProblemNeighbours - 2-Jul-18 @ 2:42 PM
My neighbours are private landlords. And moved a couple in who have openly told us they bought 2 dougue de bourdeux dogs to mate and sell puppies. But as the dogs have become grown young year old dogs they are barking and trying to push my panels in on fence every time my baby girl who not even 2 yet who plays with her toys. We have asked politely and aggressivelyand they can't even control them they get left out all day and night and aggressively bark. I'm scared that they will break my panel fence down and maul us.What's the procedure what do I do? I don't want my children to be prisoners in their own homes
Ema1812 - 1-Jul-18 @ 11:46 AM
Smithy - Your Question:
I'v recently moved into a property on central Street st.helens but my new neighbour as got a puppy that barks at all hours of the morning + it's keeping me awake most of the night as I'v only just moved in I don't really want to upset anyone every now + again I don't mind but it's getting beyond a joke now it's every night for some reason

Our Response:
Try our guide on Dealing with barking dogs here
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Jun-18 @ 2:58 PM
T - Your Question:
I have recently bought my first house, am young at 25 years old, and am very happy in my new home. I don’t have any pets, and either does my direct neighbours, however there are dogs in the nice area I live in which I am totally alright with as I am a ‘dog person’ and have had dogs in my family since birth. However. someone keeps bringing their dog for a walk, and like clockwork allows them to poo on my front garden lawn when i’m out. I love dogs, but i’m not willing to clean up after someone else’s dog on my lawn. I have a suspicion of who it is as I was preparing to cut the lawn 2 weeks ago and a lady and her dog crossed the road and avoided talking to me when she seen me come out my house and allowed her dog to poo on the field nearby, but can’t be certain. I haven’t made any enemies, have excellent neighbours and am a very unconfrontational professional! What should I do on this very difficult matter as I don’t want to accept having to constantly clean dog poo from someone else’s dog every day!

Our Response:
You could ask other neighbours if you know who it is and consider dropping the dog owner a note (here's our template ). Perhaps order a little "No Fouling" sign to put in lawn? That might get the message through. Or you could erect a CCTV (assuming it's not a communal area) - perhaps if the dog owner knows they are being filmed, they will choose to go elsewhere.
ProblemNeighbours - 13-Jun-18 @ 2:49 PM
Bella - Your Question:
My neighbor has a Staffordshire bull terrier, beautiful dogs if been bought up right. Unfortunately the dog barks constantly whenever someone enters or leaves the block of flats. All us other 5 residents work so this is frustrating. The sad thing is the dog is dangerous and has attaked 4 other dogs and nearly killing 3 of them. The council, rspca and police have all been contacted on numerous times and by many different people concerned for there pets and especially concerned about our children over the last 3 years and guess what.nothing has been done. Will it take a child to be seriously harmed before action is taken? The owner still lets the dog out without a lead and no mussel and it’s owner is unapproachable. Help!

Our Response:
Why haven't the police done anything? If necessary make a complaint about the police and/or the council that have not taken sufficient action under the various pieces of dog-related legislation.
ProblemNeighbours - 12-Jun-18 @ 11:58 AM
Chez - Your Question:
At our wits end here! Around a year ago an elderly lady moved into the ground floor maisonette. We are a small block of 4 maisonettes- 2 ground floor and 2 forst floor. The lady bought a small dog with her. Immediately the dog started barking whenever the lady left the home. She never takes the dog out. This constant barking can be anything from 4 to 8 hours whilst she is out. This means the residents in the other 3 maisonettes suffer whenever the owner is out. Two of the other three units are owned by older people not working. This vonstant noise problem is made worse as the dog is inside the property and the walls between units are very thin. Its impossible to concentrate, think or rest when the dog is barking in 6 hour shifts!! Recently the dog has been put in the rear garden late at night and proceeds to bark until it is allowed back in- last night this was constant barking between 1am and 4am. As the other residents bedrooms back onto this garden it was impossible for them to sleep. This lack of consideration for others is shocking! Two different neighbours approached the lady in a friendly manner last year concerning the problem - but got nowhere. In one case she became quite hostile and insulting. Two sets of neigbours have even spoken with the family of the lady- who promised to do something. Nothing has happened to date. Possibly the lady is deaf or she doesnt care about the noise? The dog appears totally traumatized and clearly very anxious at being left alone. In the meantime we are living with constant barking and feeling that we can do nothing more. We need positive help to stop this- its affecting people's health and sleep.

Our Response:
We hope the above article helps you, but you could also try Problem Dogs: Who to Contact for more help.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:12 AM
I'v recently moved into a property on central Street st.helens but my new neighbour as got a puppy that barks at all hours of the morning + it's keeping me awake most of the night as I'v only just moved in I don't really want to upset anyone every now + again I don't mind but it's getting beyond a joke now it's every night for some reason
Smithy - 10-Jun-18 @ 2:20 AM
I have recently bought my first house, am young at 25 years old, and am very happy in my new home. I don’t have any pets, and either does my direct neighbours, however there are dogs in the nice area I live in which I am totally alright with as I am a ‘dog person’ and have had dogs in my family since birth. However ... someone keeps bringing their dog for a walk, and like clockwork allows them to poo on my front garden lawn when i’m out. I love dogs, but i’m not willing to clean up after someone else’s dog on my lawn. I have a suspicion of who it is as I was preparing to cut the lawn 2 weeks ago and a lady and her dog crossed the road and avoided talking to me when she seen me come out my house and allowed her dog to poo on the field nearby, but can’t be certain. I haven’t made any enemies, have excellent neighbours and am a very unconfrontational professional! What should I do on this very difficult matter as I don’t want to accept having to constantly clean dog poo from someone else’s dog every day!
T - 9-Jun-18 @ 11:20 PM
My neighbor has a Staffordshire bull terrier, beautiful dogs if been bought up right. Unfortunately the dog barks constantly whenever someone enters or leaves the block of flats. All us other 5 residents work so this is frustrating. The sad thing is the dog is dangerous and has attaked 4 other dogs and nearly killing 3 of them. The council, rspca and police have all been contacted on numerous times and by many different people concerned for there pets and especially concerned about our children over the last 3 years and guess what...nothing has been done. Will it take a child to be seriously harmed before action is taken? The owner still lets the dog out without a lead and no mussel and it’s owner is unapproachable. Help!
Bella - 9-Jun-18 @ 9:51 AM
cat lover - Your Question:
Hi my neighbour just got a dog a staffie a couple of evenings a go it came onto my property and attacked my cat chased her outside my back door in front of my three old granddaughter scaring her and causing damage to property the next day while my son was cutting my grass the dog suddenly appeared in front of him having been scared by the mower it attacked him it also left poo in our garden when we confronted the neighbour all she could do was give us abuse and claim it was up to us to keep her dog out not for her to keep the dog in as the fence belongs to us despite the part where the dog got in having been taken down by her children because their ball had come over my fence despite us mending it they would constantly take it down but not put it back there is also another gap the dog can get through thats her fencing as its to the bottoms of her garden its in my deeds that im not responsible for it but she wont even entertain this I dont want to harm the dog but my cat is old and I fear this dog could kill her what are my rights over this ?

Our Response:
It is not your responsibility to keep your neighbour's dog out of your garden. Responsibility for this lies with the dog owner. It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere including in a private place such as a neighbour’s house or garden or in the owner's home. A dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them. Contact the police.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Jun-18 @ 2:25 PM
At our wits end here! Around a year ago an elderly lady moved into the ground floor maisonette. We are a small block of 4 maisonettes- 2 ground floor and 2 forst floor. The lady bought a small dog with her. Immediately the dog started barking whenever the lady left the home. She never takes the dog out. This constant barking can be anything from 4 to 8 hours whilst she is out. This means the residents in the other 3 maisonettes suffer whenever the owner is out. Two of the other three units are owned by older people not working. This vonstant noise problem is made worse as the dog is inside the property and the walls between units are very thin. Its impossible to concentrate, think or rest when the dog is barking in 6 hour shifts!! Recently the dog has been put in the rear garden late at night and proceeds to bark until it is allowed back in- last night this was constant barking between 1am and 4am. As the other residents bedrooms back onto this garden it was impossible for them to sleep. This lack of consideration for others is shocking! Two different neighbours approached the lady in a friendly manner last year concerning the problem - but got nowhere. In one case she became quite hostile and insulting. Two sets of neigbours have even spoken with the family of the lady- who promised to do something. Nothing has happened to date. Possibly the lady is deaf or she doesnt care about the noise? The dog appears totally traumatized and clearly very anxious at being left alone. In the meantime we are living with constant barking and feeling that we can do nothing more. We need positive help to stop this- its affecting people's health and sleep.
Chez - 8-Jun-18 @ 8:58 AM
hi my neighbour just got a dog a staffie a couple of evenings a go it came onto my property andattacked my cat chased her outside my back doorin front of my three old granddaughter scaring her and causing damage to propertythe next day while my son was cutting my grass the dog suddenly appeared in front of himhaving been scared by the mower it attacked himit also left poo in our gardenwhen we confronted the neighbour all she could do was give us abuse and claim it was up to us to keep her dog outnot for her to keep the dog in as the fence belongs to usdespite thepart where the dog got in having been taken down by her childrenbecause their ball had come over my fence despite usmending it they would constantly take it down but not put it back there is also another gap the dog can get through thats her fencing as its to the bottoms of her garden its in my deeds that im not responsible for it but she wont even entertain this i dont want to harm the dog but my cat is old and i fear this dog could kill her what are my rights over this ?
cat lover - 7-Jun-18 @ 3:15 AM
Kel - Your Question:
Hi, I run a small building company. Where I presently work, the house owner has a beautiful dense tree lined garden. the Neighbour has two dogs, and there has always been a problem with these dogs entering my clients garden and defecating on their lawn. They also escape through the rear boundary, into another garden and then onto the road. The older dog also growls at me when I try to chase him back into his own garden, but I don't think he would actually attack anyone. Now that the rear of their house is a building site, I've done my best to erect a temporary fence but the dogs still keep finding their way onto the road. The neighbours are insisting that my client instruct us to put up a permanent fence which would mean either losing several feet of their garden or cutting back the trees significantly. Aesthetically it will not look pleasant in my Client's garden.I'd love to know legally the rights of the dog owner (as the building site could be dangerous for the dogs) and for my client. Who is responsible for keeping the dogs out of the garden and how can it be enforced? All help appreciated!

Our Response:
This depends firstly on the ownership of the fence itself - i.e if there are specifici instructions in the deeds about maintenance and upkeep of a fence. Note that a property owner does not necessarily have an obligation to erect a fence unless to keep in livestock. A dog owner does have a responsibility to keep their dogs in their own property, so in the absence of other knowledge, we'd say the dog owners should erect a fence of their own on their side of the boundary sufficient to keep their own dogs in.
ProblemNeighbours - 1-Jun-18 @ 1:35 PM
Hi, I run a small building company.Where I presently work, the house owner has a beautiful dense tree lined garden.the Neighbour has two dogs, and there has always been a problem with these dogs entering my clients garden and defecating on their lawn. They also escape through the rear boundary, into another garden and then onto the road. The older dog also growls at me when I try to chase him back into his own garden, but I don't think he would actually attack anyone. Now that the rear of their house is a building site, I've done my best to erect a temporary fence but the dogs still keep finding their way onto the road. The neighbours are insisting that my client instruct us to put up a permanent fence which would mean either losing several feet of their garden or cutting back the trees significantly. Aesthetically it will not look pleasant in my Client's garden. I'd love to know legally the rights of the dog owner (as the building site could be dangerous for the dogs) and for my client.Who is responsible for keeping the dogs out of the garden and how can it be enforced? All help appreciated!
Kel - 31-May-18 @ 9:24 AM
Gav - Your Question:
After advice my neighbours have 5 annoying little dogs they are put out in the garden from 7-30am for 15-20 minutes a day constantly barking this goes on for the full 20 minutes 6-7 times a day at viarious times these dogs are put out you can also hear them constantly barking in the house been onto there landlord but they won't do anything they say I must contact council these people never take the dogs for a walk or clean up the dog poo from there garden is there anything I can do

Our Response:
The landlord should do something if your neighbour has contravened the terms of tenancy agreement. Environmental health may investigate the noise and/or cleanliness issues. See our guides on this website for more information.
ProblemNeighbours - 16-May-18 @ 11:32 AM
After advice my neighbours have 5 annoying little dogs they are put out in the garden from 7-30am for 15-20 minutes a day constantly barking this goes on for the full 20 minutes 6-7 times a day at viarious times these dogs are put out you can also hear them constantly barking in the house been onto there landlord but they won't do anything they say I must contact council these people never take the dogs for a walk or clean up the dog poo from there garden is there anything I can do
Gav - 14-May-18 @ 8:15 PM
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