Family Housing Association (Birkenhead & Wirral) Ltd, Marcus House, Marcus Street, Birkenhead, Telephone: 0151 647 5000

 

P E T   P O L I C Y

 

 

Aim

The Association recognises that keeping pets can greatly enhance the quality of life for many tenants.  This aim of this policy is to ensure that our tenants can keep pets, where this is appropriate to the type of accommodation they live in, but to ensure that their neighbours’ enjoyment of their home is not affected.

 

Pets that can be kept without obtaining permission

Certain pets are very unlikely to cause problems for neighbours and therefore can be kept without obtaining permission from the Association.  They are:

 

Obtaining permission from the Association

For all other pets, residents must obtain permission from the Association before bringing the pet home.  The Association will grant permission provided that the Chief Executive (or in his absence the Operations Director) are satisfied that the pet will not be allowed to cause a nuisance through:

Before the Association grants permission, the tenant will be required to sign an agreement detailing what the Association expects of them in relation to their pet.  The agreement will also make it clear that the Association can withdraw the permission at any time should the tenant’s pet become a nuisance.  Failure of the tenant to comply with their agreement could result in enforcement action that could include eviction from the property.

 

Appropriate Accommodation for Pets

The Association has a variety of accommodation including houses and flats.  Some properties have gardens, others yards and some have shared gardens.  Where a property has exclusive use of a garden or yard it would normally be appropriate for the tenant to keep a cat or dog. 

Where a property shares a garden, care must be taken to safeguard the enjoyment of the gardens for all the residents.  Where permission is granted for a tenant to keep a cat or dog where they share gardens, the agreement that the tenant will be required to sign will include restrictions to prevent fouling of gardens and nuisance from animals roaming freely.

Another significant factor when deciding whether a tenant can keep a dog in a flat is the size of the dog and lifestyle of the tenant.  Where a dog would be likely to be left alone in the flat for long periods, permission would not normally be granted, as the dog would be likely to cause a noise nuisance.

 

Keeping pets without permission

Where the Association learns that a tenant has been keeping a pet without permission, the Association will:

 

Damage Caused by Pets

Tenants keeping pets must make good any damage caused by their pets.  Most damage caused by pets is due to lack of supervision or control of the pet.

 

Number of Pets

Where the Association grants permission for a tenant to keep a pet, this permission relates specifically to the animal applied for.  If the tenant wants to replace a pet that has died, or keep an additional pet, a further application must be made.

Keeping Dogs

Dogs can be very rewarding pets, but they also have the potential to be the most disruptive to neighbours due to noise, intimidating behaviour, smell and hygiene. 

When keeping dogs, residents must ensure that:

 

Keeping Cats

Cats can be great companions for residents but if they are allowed to roam free they can create a real neighbourhood nuisance.  When keeping cats, tenants must ensure that:

 

Breeding

Breeding of any animals on Association property is not permitted.  Pets must not be offered for sale from Association property.

 

Health and Welfare

Tenants are responsible for the health and welfare of their pets.  Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, this is called a duty of care.  This requires proper day-to-day management and care of the pet.  Routine healthcare must include regular control of parasites (fleas & worms), vaccinations and neutering where appropriate.  When applying to keep a pet, tenants must provide details of their vet.  Where the Association is concerned regarding the welfare of a pet it may involve external organisations such as the Police, RSPCA or local authority.

 

Outside Accommodation

If a tenant wishes to construct outside accommodation, they must first apply for permission from the Association.  Where tenants want to create ponds in gardens, they must first apply for permission from the Association.  In both cases the tenant should provide details including the size, type of construction and the animals that would be kept.

 

Leaving Pets when Tenant is away

No pets should be left in a property whilst the tenant is away, unless clear arrangements have been made to provide adequate care.  Dogs would normally be expected to be boarded elsewhere, whereas smaller pets may be cared for by close supervision by a neighbour, including visits at least daily.  It is illegal to leave a pet alone for a significant length of time.