As a break from the usual leasehold skulduggery, we draw readers attention to this nonsense: a banker couple are spending £50-80,000 to keep their lapdog in their penthouse.
Gabby and Florian Kuehn were given permission by the freeholder of Victory Place in Limehouse, east London – in the constituency of our patron Jim Fitzpatrick MP – 18 months ago when they bought their £1 million flat.
Now, the site’s management company has transferred to the residents and they have introduced a no pets policy.
Victory Place Management Company Limited, which appears to have seven resident directors, has taken the matter to the county court in what appears to be a most foolish and self-indulgent court action. Surely one of the seven would have had some sense?
It is singularly depressing for the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, which urges leaseholders to be self-governing without the intercedence of a monetising freeholder, to see leaseholders fall out over something so petty.
The Kuehns have been photographed in the papers today with assorted grisly canine puns in the headlines. So they are playing this to the gallery.
Is it reasonable that they have to part with Vinnie, their five-year-old Yorkshire terrier cross, because of the change in policy for pets at Victory Place?
But – perhaps it’s a personal thing – it seems to us a very tall order to tell owners to dump their dog.
Wouldn’t it have been possible to allow existing pets to stay, but admit no further ones?
Other dog requests have been refused by Victory Place Management Company Limited, it appears.
This is not to minimise the trouble pets can cause, particularly if they are left to fulfil their bodily needs in the flats’ corridors, or some other neglected corner.
One man who fully understands the importance of pets to flat owners – if only as a source of revenue – is Tchenguiz-trained Will Astor, the heir to the viscountcy and Samantha Cameron’s half-brother.
His Homeground / Long Harbour own and manage a portfolio of £700 million of residential freeholds.
Among the freeholders – which he either part owns, or owns with his family and others, or simply manages – is the Adriatic Land portfolio of freeholds.
Adriatic Land is the freeholder of many of the leasehold houses sold by developers such as Taylor Wimpey, Bellway and Persimmon.
Mr Astor’s excellent, automated Homeground website allows consents for pets … for a price, naturally.
Memo to beleaguered leasehold house owners: forget the doubling ground rents and your family’s impoverishment for a moment: is your dog or cat safe, or can you expect a call from Mr Astor seeking a fee?