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Would you still buy this house?

(48 Posts)
CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 19:30:29

We have reserved a new build house, love the house, love the location but we are at signing contracts stage and have hit a snag. I want to pull out and look elsewhere, my partner thinks I am over worrying and has also been told this is standard for new builds. Can the mumsnet jury tell me what you would do please.

In the land registry document a covenant is listed stating that you may own a REASONABLE number of domestic pets. We have 3 pets that are very important to us and so I asked for clarification as to what a reasonable number was as this is quite subjective.

The response was that no number would be specified but as long as there are no complaints this would not be enforced.

Being a worrier I asked to see the complaint procedure and asked for confirmation that it would only be enforced in the event of a VALID complaint.

The legal response is that complaints would not be investigated as the developer does not have the resources or expertise to investigate complaints.

My worry now is that I see 3 as being reasonable, someone else may think only 1 is reasonable. If they were to complain that I have 3 there would be no investigation as to wether my pets are indeed a problem it would just be taken at face value and I could be forced to rehome them, which I wouldn't do so then maybe lose the house. My partner thinks there probably will never be a complaint and if there is we can defend it, but it isn't sounding like we could according to the responses.

Am I worrying too much and all new builds state similar or is this unusual? And would you buy the house?

It seems crazy that a house I am buying and will own the freehold to has stricter rules than my rented property!

CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 19:31:23

Should have said we will lose £750 if we pull out and potentially delay moving but there is no shortage of available homes in the area we are buying.

SpringSnowdrop Mon 12-Feb-18 19:34:38

You sound sensible to really explore this at this stave just in case. Are they pets that go in and out like dogs ? I think the type of pet can affect how likely they are to be heard / have any impact generally

KitKat1985 Mon 12-Feb-18 19:37:00

What pets do you have? I would have thought it was very unlikely anyone would complain about 3 pets unless they were noisy / smelly etc.

PlateOfBiscuits Mon 12-Feb-18 19:37:17

Are you expecting there to be a complaint? Have you ever had one before (noise etc)?

Achafi Mon 12-Feb-18 19:38:46

My MIL had this problem. Bought a new build, moved in with her 2 dogs, neighbours complained to the developers. It got really nasty with them having meetings behind her back and she ended up moving. It cost her ten's of thousands and months of misery.

EmmaC78 Mon 12-Feb-18 19:38:55

What type of pets are they? 3 rabbits in the garden is probably reasonable but three noisy dogs probably would not be?

Felyne Mon 12-Feb-18 19:39:08

"The legal response is that complaints would not be investigated as the developer does not have the resources or expertise to investigate complaints." - pets aside, what if YOU have a complaint about something else? That response pretty much tells you how far you'd get with it, doesn't it?

bookgirl1982 Mon 12-Feb-18 19:39:51

I'd think you are worrying about nothing. In our last house there were lots of restrictions (things like not having satellite dishes or sheds) that everyone ignored and even when someone complained the developer didn't do anything.

LizzieMacQueen Mon 12-Feb-18 19:45:19

Out of interest does it say no caravans on your drive? No businesses to be run etc.

I think it's just standard terms & conditions, and, as you've already established the developer has neither resource nor time to investigate compliants, it's safe to go ahead.

BUT, maybe you are (subconsciously) looking for flaws - is there anything else on the market you prefer?

CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 19:50:25

I'm not expecting there to be a complaint as such however, drip feeding slightly, we are a same sex couple and the fact is not everyone likes that. We have previously had malicious complaints to the RSPCA and social services due to someone not liking this and they were investigated and closed. I can't help but think what if someone near the new house dosnt like a same sex couple moving into their area and does the same.

And yes it does also say we can't run a business or have a caravan, or any commercial vehicles. but we don't do any of those so that's not bothered us.

I think my job dosnt help my paranoia. My username most likely gives away that I'm a midwife and you absolutely do not put your name to something unless you a million percent sure that it is correct and you are happy so signing a contract that I'm not certain about worrys me whereas others may not care about it.

CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 19:52:26

Oh and it's 1 dog and 2 cats. Dog is elderly and at the end of his life and we won't be getting another as we both work too much to manage a young dog. The cats are indoor only cats. So no reason to complain unless it's a malicious one which is why I don't mind signing if they would just say that they would only enforce valid complaints but they won't say that.

Mooycow Mon 12-Feb-18 19:53:12

Ours said no caravans on drive , no satellite dishes and randomly no rotary clothes airers? Been here 13 years and have all 3 , you are right to make enquiries about what is a reasonable amount of pets .

Coco30 Mon 12-Feb-18 19:56:06

I wouldnt buy it, Its your home you should be able to have as many pets as you like. Ridiculous.

OlennasWimple Mon 12-Feb-18 19:56:42

Can you get an addendum added to the contract that says that they can only enforce the clause after a certain procedure has been followed?

QforCucumber Mon 12-Feb-18 19:58:39

Ours says no vans on the drive or satellite dishes or fences/trees between our lawn or the path. Everyone contravenes these. I don't think anyone even reads them properly.

Botanistinhiding Mon 12-Feb-18 19:59:19

I’ve got 3 pets, a dog and 2 indoor cats - you’re worrying overly imo - the puppy stage is the most annoying with dogs as they’re unpredictable and your cats don’t go out so how could they bother anyone?

I’m appalled that you’ve had malicious reports in the past.

Surly they mean that they’d rather you didn’t setup as the main branch of the local cat/dog rescue sort of thing?

Coco30 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:01:04

Also does it have a fee you have to pay yearly? Only I know where I live covenants like that are adhered to and if broken you get a warning letter then a fine. They are very strict here even leaving your bin out you can get fined for. Gladly I am only renting looking to buy soon. But covenants and restrictions are something I would go over with a fine tooth comb when buying a new build. The people where I live are fed up with them.

Bluntness100 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:04:52

I also think you're over worrying, I think if your pets were a nuisance then you'd have cause for concern, because it would not be w reasonable number if you can't control them. I think thr clause is to prevent the folks who like to live in a menagerie. Your pets are not a nuisance and you can control them. The clause isn't uou cant have any pets.

Bizzarely I once owned a town house which said no chickens and no public house to be run front it, it was over a hundred years old. Fortunately we didn't intend to do either, 🤣

SadieHufflepuff Mon 12-Feb-18 20:09:27

You sound like a really responsible and loving pet owner. I would personally go ahead with the house move. You said you're not expecting any complaints and I can't see why an elderly dog and two house cats would annoy anyone. People probably won't even realise you have cats unless they actually come into your house and who would complain about a cat? If a complaint was submitted against you when your pets hadn't done anything annoying and you had to respond, explain that your pets have not been a nuisance and you think it's malicious. I can't imagine you would ever be kicked out your house for false complaints but if you were, please do not rehome your pets.

Easilyflattered Mon 12-Feb-18 20:09:44

Ours didn't stipulate number, but it was along the lines of no chickens, goats, miniature pigs etc.

I can't think that one dog and two cats is excessive. I honestly think you're fine

CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 20:16:04

I agree I'll probably be fine. My concern is the management company have basically said they wouldn't investigate a complaint they would take it at face value. So if I do get a malicious complaint and we've had them before purely because of our relationship then they will try to force me to rehome my pets, which I won't do. It seems too big a risk to me and I'm naturally risk adverse. I do love the house but I'd lose it before risking my pets and just because they won't ever cause reason for genuine complaints doesn't mean I would have any right to defend myself in the event of a malicious one.

CatchingBabies Mon 12-Feb-18 20:19:35

And I've spent weeks going back and forth with solicitors asking them to change the wording to say valid complaint or to put in writing that they would only enforce it if the complaint was valid or to specify the number they see as reasonable etc. They will not budge at all and won't change anything or put anything in writing so I'd be vulnerable. I told them I will pull out if they won't specify valid complaint at the least and they still won't budge so now it's accept it as it is or pull out and we can't agree on what to do.

KitKat1985 Mon 12-Feb-18 20:21:39

I really think it would be okay CatchingBabies. 1 elderly dog and 2 indoor cats doesn't sound like something any reasonable person would complain about. And realistically wherever you live there's a chance you may live near gits who make malicious complaints, or complain to the council about your animals, so there's that risk of unfounded complaints wherever you live.

PenguinsandPandas Mon 12-Feb-18 20:24:15

I don't think a complaint against cats would be taken very seriously and very much doubt anyone would complain. A dog that barks all day might get complaints but that's the same risk anywhere. Also depends how close neighbours are etc, how calm dog is. We are next to a yappy little dog and hear it 10 minutes a day which is fine but if someone say couldn't sleep repeatedly due to a dog barking I think they probably would complain. I wouldn't regards 2 cats and a dog as excessive. I think the excessive will be more if its say 50 pets.

Wouldn't worry to much about it unless its a very noisy dog.

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