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We recognise that pets provide a range of benefits to their owners, including providing companionship, offering a means to make contacts and socialise with others and teaching children empathy and responsibility.
However, pet ownership is a privilege, not a right, and carries with it responsibilities and disadvantages. You need to consider whether your lifestyle or home is suitable for your pet and whether it can be housed securely and properly cared for.
Can I keep a pet?
The honest answer is that it depends on a number of things. Before you can move a pet into your home, we’ll need to know:
- Where you live, the size and type of your home.
- The size of your garden.
- How many pets you want to keep at your home.
- The type of pet you’d like to have.
Your tenancy agreement or lease agreement may help you to identify whether you are permitted to keep a pet in your home.
There are some general rules that we follow though:
- You must live in a house or ground floor flat with its own garden before you can keep uncaged domestic pets (such as a dog or a cat; unless there is a special exemption such as a guide dog).
- However, if you live in Scotland, having a garden isn’t essential.
You can’t keep an illegal animal because it isn’t safe - this is explained in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
We have provided some more information on different animal types below.
If you’d like to keep a cat in your home, you’ll need to ask for our permission first. If you have a cat, remember:
- We strongly recommend that you get your cat microchipped - this is so you can always prove that they belong to you and if someone else finds your cat they can easily return him or her to you.
- Please don’t put a cat flap in a door without getting permission from us first - if you do, we would have to ask you to pay to replace the door when you move out.
- Make sure your cat doesn’t annoy your neighbours or roam around communal (shared) areas - if we get complaints, we may have to ask you to find them another home.
- Please don’t let your cat have kittens as you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement.
If you’d like to keep a dog in your home, you’ll need to get our permission first. If you have a dog, remember:
- You should never leave your dog alone for long periods of time.
- It’s your responsibility to keep your dog under control at all times - this means no barking and disturbing your neighbours in the early hours of the morning or late at night.
- It's now a legal requirement for your dog to be microchipped - this is so you can always prove that they belong to you and if someone else finds your dog they can easily return him or her to you.
- You’re unable to keep any breed of dog banned under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.
- Please don’t let your dog have puppies as you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement.
You can usually keep small birds in a cage in your home but we would need to give you permission first. It’s actually illegal to keep a bird in a cage where it can’t fully open it’s wings in every direction, so it’s really important that you have a cage which is big enough. We would also like them to be able to fly outside of their cage every now and then too, but please remember you’ll need to clean up any mess that they cause.
You can usually keep fish in your home as long as you’ve got permission from us first. All we ask is that the fish tank is safe, sturdy and big enough for the fish you’d like to keep. You’ll need to keep the tank clean, the fish fed and, when you move out, please make sure you take the fish and tank with you.
We don’t usually allow customers to keep any kind of livestock (chickens, goats, pigs, horses etc.) in our homes. This is because our homes simply don’t have enough space and most types of farm animals need special equipment.
If you’d like to know more about keeping any type of animal please contact us.
- Small caged animals
Small caged animals
Small caged animals, like hamsters and gerbils, are usually okay as long as you’ve asked us first and that they’re kept in an appropriate cage. Please don’t let them breed and remember small animals can cause a lot of damage by chewing too, so be careful when they are out of the cage.
How do I request permission to keep a pet?
- First of all you must get permission from us before you move your pet into your house - if you don’t, you’re breaking the terms of your tenancy or lease agreement. We wouldn’t want to have to ask you to get rid of a pet.
- Complete our pet request form to provide us with a bit of information about you, and the pet you would like to keep.
What will we do when you request permission?
- We will assess your request to keep a pet and confirm our response in writing.
Your responsibilities if you have a pet
- If we say it is OK for you to keep a pet in your home, you’ll need to make sure your pet doesn’t cause damage to your home and that all pet mess is quickly cleaned up. If any damage is caused, it’ll be up to you to repair it at your own cost as soon as possible.
- You are responsible for cleaning up any mess your pet leaves in communal (shared) areas straight away.
- You’ll need to regularly treat your pet for fleas and worms - if you think your animal might have fleas, treat the problem straight away.
- You’ll need to keep your pet under control at all times and stop them from disturbing or annoying anyone else (such as your neighbours) - remember to be considerate of your neighbours as not everyone likes animals and we’ll always take any complaints from your neighbours very seriously.