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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.

If the pet you would like to keep is a therapy pet, we will require you to submit the relevant documentation.

If due to medical conditions or a disability you require an assistance animal, you do not need to seek permission. However, we would be grateful if you could complete the Request Form with the correct information, clearly indicating that your pet is an assistance animal, so we may update our records.

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

If you own an XL Bully dog, you will need a certificate of exemption to legally keep your pet beyond 31 January 2024.

We have provided some more information on different animal types below.  

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.

Request permission to keep a pet