BARKING DOG DISTURBANCES
You are trying to kick someone out of their apartment because their dog barks too much. Said like that, it puts your case in perspective from a judge’s viewpoint. You know that the barking dog is keeping the neighbors awake at 2:00 a.m., or that the unattended, whining dog on the balcony is interfering with the neighbors’ quiet enjoyment of their apartments. You know that because you have the irate phone calls, the complaining notes and even a neighbor’s letter refusing to renew. The means to turn what you know into a successful eviction is called evidence.
Do you want to win in court? Then you have to use your common sense.
- A dog barking too much occasionally isn’t that unreasonable.
- If it isn’t important enough to come to court, it’s not that important.
- If someone can’t remember when it happened, it wasn’t that serious.
- If someone waits a week to do anything, it wasn’t that bothersome.
- If only one family is complaining, it may be an overreaction.
The earlier they’re on board, the better. Speak to them personally. Tell them your lawyer said (always blame it on the lawyer) no witnesses, no case. Witnesses need to write it down – keep a log: date, time, duration, how loud. This also calms the angry neighbors, because now someone is doing something to address their problem. You have a plan.
Your staff and courtesy officer can testify to barking. Have them complete incident reports. You still need neighbors to testify. It’s the neighbors whose quiet enjoyment of their apartments is being disturbed. Unless your staff is on-site at night, they can’t help with night barking, because they must actually hear the barking. You need at least two witnesses, each from a different apartment. The more witnesses, the better your case will be. One witness alone is subject to a tie in testimony. He said, she said. You lose all ties.
All notices should be within 90 days to show the barking is a continuing disturbance and not an infrequent lapse. Immediately serve a Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure. If the barking continues after the Notice expires, a termination notice can theoretically be served, but you need to seriously consider serving another Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure notice. If the barking continues after the second cure notice expires, check with your witnesses. Did they keep logs? Will they testify? If yes, then contact your attorney about the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance without Opportunity to Cure (the Seven Day Notice to Terminate).
Involve your attorney early. Have your attorney do all the Seven Day Notices of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure
SOME PROOF THAT IS NECESSARY PRIOR TO TERMINATING THE RESIDENT FOR THE BARKING DOG
- Witnesses who will testify in court that they heard the barking AFTER the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure expired and are prepared to show the judge proof (logs and/or incident reports).
- Police reports where the police indicate in the reports that they heard the barking and it was unreasonably loud AFTER the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure expired.
- Animal control reports in which the animal control warden indicates in the report that the dog was unattended and/or barking loudly AFTER the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure expired.
- Tape recordings of the dog barking AFTER the Seven Day Notice of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure expires.
- Written admissions by the dog owner that the barking is unreasonable, i.e. an apology note from him.
- Multiple Seven Day Notices of Noncompliance with Opportunity to Cure to show that you gave several chances for the resident to save his home.
- Notices within a reasonably close span of time to show this was a not several, isolated incidents in an entire year. This barking was a continuing, serious, unreasonable disturbance of the neighbors.
- Do not accept money after learning the dogs are still barking, if you are going to give a Seven Day Termination notice for that particular barking. Accepting money after learning of a noncompliance is a waiver of that noncompliance. Remember in accepting money the key is when you LEARN of the noncompliance, not when you serve the Seven Day to Terminate.
- Do not accept money after serving a Seven Day to Terminate.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A STRONG CASE, YOU WILL LOSE. EXPECT THE RESIDENT TO DENY THE BARKING IS FREQUENT OR LOUD AND TO HAVE HIS FAMILY OR FRIENDS TESTIFY TO THAT. REMEMBER THE JUDGE WILL NEED TO BE CONVINCED THAT THE DOG BARKING IS SO UNREASONABLE THAT HE WILL TAKE THE RESIDENT’S HOME AWAY.
- The Curable Noncompliance Examined PART 1
- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW