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Keeping pets in a council home

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We understand that keeping pets can offer significant benefits to our residents. We have a pet policy for our tenants and you must fill in an application form to keep a pet in your home.

Your tenancy agreement states that you must ask for and get written permission before keeping any pets in your home. This also includes pets you intend keeping outside in the open or in cages or enclosures. Permission is not required for you to have a registered assistant such as a guide dog, but you must tell us.

If we grant you permission, there are clauses in your tenancy agreement that you need to keep to, for example you must not:

  • Allow your pet to cause nuisance to neighbours or anyone within the locality    
  • Breed animals at the property    
  • Keep any breed of fighting or dangerous dog or any illegal breed of animal

You can find all clauses in section 6 of your tenancy agreement ‘pets and other animals’.

You will be charged for any damage caused to your home by your pets.

We will normally give permission for up to two domestic pets of the following kind:

  • Domestic cats and dogs    
  • Other small domestic animals such as rabbits, chickens (but not cockerels) hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, gerbils and rats  
  • Small birds such as budgerigars and canaries    
  • Fish   
  • Non-poisonous insects and spiders  
  • Non-poisonous snakes and reptiles under two feet in length (fully grown)

We will normally refuse permission in the following circumstances:  

  • Dogs, other then registered assistance dogs and cats are not allowed in multi-storey block in any circumstances   
  • Dogs and cats are not normally allowed in flats or maisonettes unless there is direct access to a private garden  
  • Applications to keep pets in Sheltered flats such as De Wint Court, St Botolph’s Court and Derek Miller Court will not normally be granted, however we will use our discretion as to the benefits of pet ownership particularly when someone is moving into these flats and has a pet they wish to take with them    
  • Permission will not be given to keep a dog that is prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or any similar legislations, or any other wild, dangerous or poisonous creature or any animals covered by the Dangerous Wild Animal Act 1976   
  • Permission will not be given to keep livestock, including horses, ponies or similar animals expect chickens

Keeping dogs

You must have your dog permanently identified by microchip, neutered and wear a collar.

You must clear up any fouling including in communal areas and public spaces, as well as your garden.

Dogs can suffer from behavioural problems when left alone for periods of time. This can cause nuisance, if they bark continuously. It is advisable to make alternative arrangements for your dog if you are away from your home for regular periods of time.

Keeping cats

You must have your cat permanently identified by microchip and neutered.

Cats can spray, soil and have unplanned litters so, the easiest and most cost effective way of dealing with this is to have them neutered.

You must clear up any fouling including in communal areas and public spaces, as well as your garden.

You must seek permission to fit a cat flap. Cat flaps may not be fitted to uPVC doors.

Keeping small mammals 

You must limit small animals such as rabbits, guineas pigs, rats, mice, gerbils and hamsters to manageable numbers.

In the cases of rabbits and guinea pigs they can either live in a hutch out in your garden or in your home as a house pet; however they are prone to chewing in order to keep their teeth in good condition so beware of this if keeping a rabbit inside your home.

You should avoid letting your pets breed by keeping same-sex or neutered animals.

Keeping birds

You can keep birds in your home if you live in a flat or a house. However, did you know it is illegal to keep a bird in a cage where it is unable to fully stretch its wings in every direction? Please be aware of this when purchasing their habitat.

You must keep their home free from droppings. In cases of keeping birds outside you should make sure you have adequate outside facilities for the birds and that you can look after them properly.

Keeping reptiles and spiders

Often these sorts of pets have specialist needs. You must ensure that their particular needs are met. Information about reptiles is often found in the pet stores where spiders and reptiles are sold. It will be you responsibility to research their requirements

Keeping chickens (not cockerels)   

We don’t encourage you to keep this sort of livestock at a council home. If you wish to keep chickens you must have the appropriate facilities and know how to meet all care and welfare needs. You must also ensure that the animals will not cause nuisance or distress to other people nearby.
You may not keep cockerels.

Do I need a license to keep a pet? 

To keep certain pets you must, by law, obtain a license. If you wish to keep a pet that you need a license for, we will ask to see the license before granting permission for you to keep the pet.

What happens if my pet(s) are causing a nuisance?

If someone tells us that your pet is causing nuisance, we will contact you about it and warn you if you are breaking your tenancy agreement.

We will ask you to put the problem right immediately to avoid breaking your tenancy agreement again. If you do not put the problem right and your pet continues to cause nuisance we will take formal action against you and withdraw permission for you to keep a pet.

Anyone mistreating or neglecting their pet will be refused permission to keep any pet and will be reported to the RSPCA.