Pets

Pets can be a great source of companionship and can enrich our lives. While we understand that you may want a pet, we need to consider the impact this can have on your property and neighbours.

 

This is why we’d like to ask you some questions to make sure your property is suitable.  Please answer these questions to determine if you can have a pet.

Please also note that before giving permission, we will need to consider whether your pet may cause a nuisance to your neighbours.

Remember – if you have a pet you will need to make sure that you are keeping to the terms of your tenancy agreement. You are responsible for providing a suitable living environment and daily diet for them and looking after their health.

You are not permitted to keep dogs classified as dangerous under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This includes the following breeds: pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo argentines and fila brasilieros. You are also not permitted to keep farm or wildlife animals (including cockerels), primates, large/venomous reptiles or dangerous spiders.

If you have any questions about keeping pets in your home, you can speak with our customer service team on 0303 123 1890.

Please see below for helpful information including animal charities and volunteering (remember that just because you may not be given permission to have a pet doesn’t mean you still can’t help out animals in need).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pets?

We will not grant permission for someone to have more than 1 cat and 1 dog, 2 cats or 2 dogs. Our properties are not large enough to accommodate more than that. We want animals to live long and happy lives, and that includes having enough space to be themselves.

Please note, you are not permitted to keep farm or wildlife animals – this includes cockerels.

Remember all animals, even smaller ones such as fish, hamsters, birds, require an investment. The more animals you have, the more this will cost!

Can I have an assistance dog?

We will always grant permission for a customer to have an assistance dog, as long as this has been properly determined by a professional (such as a doctor or therapist).

Assistance dogs are specifically trained to help not only blind people, but also people with hearing difficulties, epilepsy, diabetes, physical mobility problems and more. Assistance dogs carry out a variety of practical tasks for people as well as providing emotional and psychological wellbeing and improve the confidence of disabled people who use them.

Assistance dogs are not pets and are treated as “auxiliary aids”. They are highly trained to the owner’s requirements.

What happens if I don't get permission?

It is stated in your tenancy agreement for you to obtain written permission from us to keep a pet (via email is fine). As a result, if you get a pet without our permission you are in violation of your tenancy agreement and (especially if it is an animal exhibiting dangerous behaviour and hurts someone) you could lose your home. We don’t want that to happen. So please complete the questions and get our permission before getting a pet.

Barking dog/animal welfare concerns

A barking dog may not necessarily be experiencing neglect or ill-treatment. It may have separation anxiety. The RSPCA has some helpful information on their website here, as well as some help here on how to address the issue.

If your neighbour’s dog is barking they might not be aware if there is a problem. Try to let them know that you are concerned about the dog and ask if everything is okay, rather than confront them. If that does not work, or you do not feel comfortable talking to your neighbour directly, contact your local Environmental Health Department. They will investigate to see if a nuisance is being caused. They may ask you to complete diary sheets.

If you do have concerns over an animal’s wellbeing or any abuse and/or neglect that may be occurring, contact the RSPCA. They can be reached on their 24 hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

Visitors

If a visitor is bringing along a pet (usually a dog) we ask you to let us know beforehand. This is so we can make a note on our system that a pet is visiting and for how long in case someone from Guinness needs to visit you (some of our staff may ask you to put the animal in a different room whilst they are working) or your neighbours voice a concern about an unfamiliar animal.

In order to make it fair to our customers who have not been granted permission to have a dog, if your property does not have direct access to the garden/street area, meaning that the only exit is via a communal area, we ask that your visitor does not bring their dog to visit. However if you’d like to discuss this further please contact us on 0303 123 1890 because we will not refuse permission unreasonably.

We ask that the maximum length of stay for the visiting pet is 3 days, e.g. arriving on a Friday and leaving Monday morning.

Also we’d like to remind you that the same behavioural requirements set out in the tenancy agreement must be complied with, i.e. the dog must not cause a nuisance, pose a danger to anyone, foul in communal areas, etc.

Veterinary care and additional services

PDSA

The PDSA is a charity that runs animal clinics to provide veterinary care for sick animals owned by those in receipt of certain benefits. Those who are eligible are offered reduced neutering prices. Click here for more information.

RSPCA

You may not know that the RSPCA has clinics and practices across the country offering reduced cost veterinary assistance to pet owners who meet their criteria. Click here for more information.

Blue Cross

Has veterinary services available to pets whose owners are on certain means-tested benefits. Through these partnerships, they have reduced the cost to the owner to as little as £50. Click here to see if you meet the criteria.

Dogs Trust

Works with over 1,200 vets across the UK to provide subsidised neutering for dog owners living on means-tested benefits. Through these partnership, they have reduced the cost to the owner to as little as £50. Click here to see if you meet the criteria.

The Dogs Trust also offers free microchipping (which is legally mandatory for all dogs and your responsibility to have done). Click here to see where your nearest Check-up & Chip event is.

Cats Protection

Supports thousands of people each year to neuter their cats with their financial assistance schemes. If you need financial assistance for neutering your cat, Cate Protection may be able to help through their means-tested neutering scheme. Find out about their current regional and national campaigns here or call their neutering helpline number for assistance on 03000 12 12 12.

Volunteering

Cinnamon Trust

Is a charity providing support for elderly and terminally ill people with pets and operate all over the country. The organisation relies on volunteers to walk dogs, transport pets, and foster pets whose owners have difficulty caring for them. This is a great opportunity for customers who are not able to have a dog themselves assist someone in need, get to know some people in their community and combat loneliness. Please visit their website here or contact via telephone on 01736 757 900.

RSPCA

Your local RSPCA may be looking for volunteers to help walk dogs or assist with some other tasks, including helping transport sick or hurt wildlife. Find what opportunities your local RSPCA have available here.

Blue Cross

Another national charity that may have volunteering opportunities in your area. See what’s available here.