Pet Policy

Policy reference number: CW-POL-NM1
Version number: 2
Date applies from: 01.10.2015

UNCONTROLLED IF PRINTED

Aim of Policy

For the purposes of this Policy City West Housing Trust is referred to as ‘the Trust’.

The purpose of the Pet Policy is to provide guidance to staff and customers on the type and breed of animals permitted within Trust properties.

The Policy further specifies conditions required to be met in order to keep a pet within Trust properties.

Policy

The Trust recognises that keeping pets can offer significant health and social benefits to their owners. However, irresponsible ownership can cause a nuisance and affect the quality of life for other customers, and suffering for the animal(s). It is also recognised that some buildings may not be suitable for some pets and in certain circumstances may be designated ‘pet free’ areas.
Animals not allowed
The Trust will not allow customers to keep animals which fall into the following categories.
• Any mammal, bird or invertebrate that requires a license under The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and subsequent amendments of these acts.
• Any hybrid of domestic dog that requires licensing and those identified in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and subsequent amendments of these acts.
• Any hybrid of domestic cat and those identified in the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 that requires licensing.
• Any animal that is classed as wild or dangerous by law or by virtue of a conviction.
• Larger types of farm animals e.g. cattle, goats, pigs, cows, roosters, horses, ponies, donkeys – This is not an exhaustive list; a full list can be produced upon request.
• Any type of bird of prey e.g. Eagle, Kestrel, Buzzard, Owl.
• An aviary or pigeon loft.
• Poisonous snakes, spiders, reptiles and insects.
• Primates including all species of monkeys.

It is an offence to own or keep any dangerous dog, unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs, and is in compliance with the requirements. In any event it is an offence to breed from, sell or exchange (even as a gift) such a dog, irrespective of whether it has been placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

Animals Allowed
• The Trust will allow customers to keep animals:birds – although customers wishing to keep more than two birds will have to seek permission from the Trust;
• cats;
• dogs;
• fish;
• guinea pigs;
• hamsters/gerbils;
• mice;
• rabbits;
• chinchilla;
• ferrets;
• non-poisonous snakes and spiders;
• exotic pets such as reptiles, lizards, and frogs;
• rats;
• tortoise/terrapin; and
• smaller farm animals, e.g. chickens – this will be subject to permission being granted by the Trust.

This is not an exhaustive list. Any other requests to keep animals not on the list must be made in writing.
The number of animals allowed to be kept in Trust properties will be considered subject to the type and size of property in question.

Properties with communal access (high rise flats)
No pets will be permitted. These are designated ‘pet free’ areas.
Assistance dogs and pets for medical purposes are exempted. Documentary evidence will be required to be produced at the local area office.

Where existing customers, who live in a property with communal access already have pets in their home, the Trust will allow them to remain for the duration of the pet’s life on the provision that the customer signs a good pet agreement and the pet in question does not a cause of nuisance or annoyance for anybody living in the vicinity.

Properties with communal access (low rise flats) including sheltered and supported schemes
Pets from the approved list will be allowed subject to permission being granted by the Trust.

Assistance dogs and pets required for medical purposes are exempted. Customers will be required to provide documentary evidence at the local area office.
Where existing customers, who live in a property with communal access already have pets in their home, the Trust will allow them to remain for the duration of the pet’s life on the provision that the customer signs a good pet agreement and the pet in question does not a cause of nuisance or annoyance for anybody living in the vicinity.

Properties without communal access (e.g. maisonettes, flats, bungalows) Customers in flats or bungalows without communal access will be permitted to keep one small/medium dog or one cat in a flat, regardless of the size of property. Consideration should be taken in respect of the property size and the dog breed size/weight e.g. a Rottweiler, Alsatian, or Saint Bernard is classed as a large dog breed.

Customers in these flats will be permitted to keep in addition to one dog or one cat, two small animals e.g. bird, hamster.

Hutches will not be permitted in communal gardens.
Houses

Customers in houses will be permitted to keep two dogs or two cats or one dog and one cat.

Customers in houses will be permitted to keep in addition to two dogs or two cats and two small animals e.g. bird, hamster.

Conditions
Customers are required to comply with the conditions of the Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991, the Control of Dogs Order 1992, the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Customers are responsible for the health and welfare of their pets under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This requires proper day to day management and care of the pet. If customers have any questions about the care of their pets they should contact their vet or a suitable accredited animal welfare organisation.

Customers may be required to rehome their pet if the Trust receives consistent and justifiable complaints regarding the keeping and supervising of animals (see the Removal of Pets section).

Customers wishing to breed animals must first make an application to the Trust through the running a business from home policy. A decision will be made by the Trust depending upon the nature of the breeding and the capacity for causing a nuisance for anyone living in the vicinity.
Animals must not be tied up or left unattended for long periods of time in gardens.

Animals should not be left in the property when the tenant is away for long periods of time, unless clear arrangements have been made to provide adequate care. In general this will require the animal to be boarded elsewhere but close supervision by a neighbour/friend may be adequate for some animals.
Animals must not be left unattended at any time in communal garden areas or balconies.

Hutches are not permitted in any communal areas (Gardens, Hallways etc.)

All dogs must be micro chipped from 6th April 2016.
Animals must not be allowed to cause damage to a Trust property, internally or externally.

All customers with a pet are required to sign and adhere to a good pet agreement.

Removal of Pets
City West will investigate complaints of nuisance caused by pets at a property and will use a range of methods to resolve issues such as, making referrals to pet training courses, assisting in re-housing an animal and as a last resort legal action.
Permission to keep an animal could be withdrawn if the animal causes nuisance or is a danger.
Nuisance and dangerous activities include:
• excessive barking;
• dogs roaming without a lead;
• allowing dogs on balconies or in communal areas;
• cat or dog owners not removing their animal’s droppings to a bin or allowing the animal to use grassed areas to foul and failing to clear the fouling immediately;
• leaving litter trays or animal waste in communal areas or hallways;
• a dog owner failing to report if their animal is registered under the Dangerous Dog Act;
• keeping animals over the maximum number permitted;
• unpleasant odours from property due to pets;
• the keeping of other animals such as rats, mice, rabbits or hamsters with inadequate facilities;
• reports that dogs are being used to intimidate people; and
• dog breeding without permission.

The Police will normally deal with incidents where a person has been attacked (e.g. bitten). A Community Safety Officer should deal with incidents where there is no actual injury but the animal’s behaviour gives fear of injury. Such incidents will be dealt with in accordance with the Breach of Tenancy and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) procedures.

The Trust will withdraw permission where the animal or the keeping of the animal is causing damage to a property. Customers will be required to take appropriate action to rectify the damage and take appropriate steps to prevent further damage to the property. The cost of repairing the damage will be rechargeable to the tenant. Such incidents will be dealt with in accordance with the Breach of Tenancy, ASB and Rechargeable Repairs policies and procedures.

Cruelty and Neglect
Where a member of staff witnesses cruelty or neglect they will report this to the RSPCA and the Neighbourhood Officer.

If the Trust wishes the animals to be removed from the property while the RSPCA locates the owners, the society will seek written acceptance of boarding and veterinary liability from the landlord.

Abandonment of Animals – Tenanted Properties
In cases other than those outlined above, if the Trust believes that a tenant has left a property with pets within it and the tenant has no intention of returning, it will contact the RSPCA. In this situation there may be a case for further action under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In these instances, a lock change will be undertaken with the RSPCA present.

Applicants for Housing
Applicants for housing are asked to indicate on their application form if they own or intend to keep pet(s) so that suitable offers of accommodation can be made

How the Policy will be delivered

This Policy will be communicated to staff via the intranet. It will be published on the Trust’s website for customers and stakeholders and news stories will draw attention to its publication.

If staff become aware that there are problems with effective operation of the Policy or associated procedures, they should report this to the policy owner. This feedback will be incorporated into the policy / procedural review process.

Related Documents

The following procedures need to be followed to implement the Policy:
• ASB Procedure;
• Breach of Tenancy Procedure;
• Rechargeable Repairs Procedure; and
• Running a Business from home procedure.

Email to a friend