This policy sets out Genesis’
approach to dealing with pets. The policy recognises both the
positive effect pet ownership can have on the general health and
well-being of individuals, but also the nuisance pets can cause if
not managed appropriately.
The main objectives of this policy
are to ensure that:
- pets are kept in line with the
- responsible pet ownership is
- complaints about nuisance are dealt
with efficiently and effectively
- advice and support is offered to
customers where rehoming the pet is the most appropriate
- all Genesis customers are treated in
a fair and equitable way.
Pet nuisance: This
includes, but is not limited to:
- roaming and unattended animals
- fouling in communal areas and
gardens and not being cleaned up immediately
- excessive noise, e.g. barking
- unpleasant odours emanating from a
- aggressive animals.
We permit customers to keep pets in
accordance with the conditions set out in their occupancy
agreement. In all circumstances, the customer must have written
permission to keep the pet(s).
Cats, small caged animals, caged
birds, fish and reptiles in tanks may be kept in line with the
terms of the occupancy agreement. Permission may be granted for a
maximum of two pets.
A dog may be kept in a house or
flat/maisonette only if a property has a private
garden and its own separate entrance, and only with our
If a cat is kept in a house or
flat/maisonette without easy access to a garden or without its own
entrance, it must remain in the owner’s premises at all times.
Where a customer chooses to have a
permitted pet, they must fulfil the following conditions.
- All animals must be kept in proper
care and control and must not cause a nuisance to other
- Animals must not be allowed to foul
in public or communal areas. Any fouling must be cleared up
immediately by the pet’s owner
- Animals must not damage Genesis
- Dogs must be kept on a lead in
communal areas and must not enter children’s play areas.
The following activities are not
permitted under any circumstances:
- Keeping livestock, wild animals,
poisonous, or endangered species
- Keeping dogs classified as dangerous
under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
- Running a business such as breeding
animals, or operating boarding kennels from a Genesis property
In exceptional circumstances, we may
allow a customer to keep a dog where they do not meet the criteria,
or more than one dog, at our discretion.
Complaints about pets
Complaints about pets fall into two
- Complaints about pets being kept
where they are not permitted, for example, keeping a dog without a
private entrance or garden.
- Complaints about nuisance being
caused by the pet.
Both of these complaints constitute a
breach of tenancy.
On receiving a complaint about an
animal kept without permission, we will investigate. If the
complaint is upheld, we will ask the customer to re-home the pet
within 14 days. We will provide advice on rehoming through
referrals to relevant organisations such as the RSPCA and other
local animal shelters and charities.
If the customer fails to re-home the
pet, we may take legal action to resolve the issue.
Where a complaint is made about a pet
causing a nuisance, we investigate the complaint in line with our
anti-social behaviour procedure. In the majority of cases, we aim
to resolve the situation informally and by agreement. Where this is
not possible we will consider a range of options for resolving the
- withdrawing permission to keep the
- restricting the number of
- liaising with the local authority’s
Environmental Health department and/or Dog Warden making
responsible pet ownership part of an Acceptable Behaviour
- making responsible pet ownership
part of a good neighbour agreement
- serving an injunction to oblige the
owner to start or stop taking certain actions, or to remove the
- terminating the tenancy and taking
possession proceedings where tenancy conditions are breached.
All instances of animal cruelty will
be reported to the RSPCA.
Any complaint received regarding a
suspected banned breed of dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act will be
reported to the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team who can arrange for
the dog to be identified.
Where the nuisance has caused threat
or injury to a member of staff, the staff member records the
incident using the internal incident reporting procedure.
Assistance animals are specially
trained animals to assist individuals with disabilities. Assistance
animals – primarily dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind, hearing
dogs for the deaf, or dogs for the disabled - will always be
permitted. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits anyone renting or
selling a property from discriminating against a disabled person:
this includes discriminating against a person with an assistance
Certain estates, blocks of flats or
specific types of accommodation may be designated as pet-free.
This information will be made clear
to customers, particularly during the viewing and sign-up
Leaseholders, shared owners,
Leaseholders, freeholders and shared
owners have different rights to own pets, which are governed by the
Genesis recognises the benefits that
pets can bring to customers in supported housing. In addition to
the accommodation being suitable for the pet in question, the
customer should also be able to demonstrate that appropriate
arrangements are in place to care for the pet should they become
ill or hospitalised.
However, not all supported
accommodation is suitable for pets. Permission whether to grant
permission for dogs and other pets will be at the local manager’s
discretion and in accordance with the occupancy agreement.
Animal hoarding means keeping large
numbers of animals without having the ability to properly care for
them. Where customers are found to be hoarding animals, we will
involve all relevant agencies such as Social Services and the RSPCA
Permission to install a cat flap will
not be granted if it compromises the fire safety or security of the
door. Staff should refer to the property improvements policy for
Dogs must by law wear a collar with
their owner’s name and address on it when in a public place. Cats
should also wear a collar to enable them to be identified.
Microchipping should also be encouraged through communication of
its benefits, and referrals to local vets. From 6 April 2016 all
dogs in England, Scotland and Wales will be legally required to be
microchipped and their details registered on an authorised
All pets must be vaccinated and
regularly treated for fleas and worms. Tenants may be required to
provide evidence of this from their veterinary surgeon.
Diversity and inclusion
A Diversity and Inclusion Assessment
has been completed as part of this policy review and a copy is
available on request. To request a copy please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or for
further information on our commitment to equality and diversity at
Genesis please visit our
Related internal documents
- Dealing with requests to keep a pet
- Anti-social behaviour policy
- Property improvements for tenants
and leaseholders policy
- Occupancy agreements
Legislation, regulation and guidance
- Allotment Act 1950:
This Act makes it lawful for the occupier of any land to keep hens
or rabbits, regardless of any restrictions in an occupancy
agreement, as long as this does not constitute a health and safety
- Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
s.3: This act makes it an offence for any dog to be
dangerously out of control in a public place. ‘Dangerously out of
control’ is defined as behaviour that could injure someone. This
act makes it an offence to keep a Pit Bull Terrier, a Japanese
Tosa, a Dogo Argentino or a Fila Braziliero without a Certificate
of Exemption. These dogs must also be muzzled on a lead and in the
charge of someone over 16.
- Clean Neighbourhoods and
Environment Act 2005: Under this Act, failure to clean up
after a dog is an offence subject to a level 3 fine. Many local
authority environmental health department officials issue
on-the-spot penalty notices to deal with dog fouling.
- Animal Welfare Act
2006: This Act places a duty of care on pet owners to
provide for their animal’s basic needs. These include the need for
a suitable environment; a suitable diet; to exhibit normal
behaviour patterns; and to be protected from pain, injury,
suffering and disease.
- Equality Act 2010:
makes it an offence for anyone renting or selling a property to
discriminate against a disabled person.: this includes
discriminating against a person with an assistance animal.
- Anti-social behaviour, Crime
and Policing Act 2014: This act amends parts of the
Dangerous Dogs Act as follows:
- The Act now also covers incidents on
private property in addition to public spaces. This includes
customers own homes and both front and back gardens.
- It will now be an offence for a dog
to attack an assistance dog (Guide Dog, Hearing Dog etc).
- Prison sentences will be increased
for those convicted of some offences
- Police or an appointed local
authority now have powers to seize a dangerously out of control dog
in a private place. The existing legislation already covers public
- The Microchipping of Dogs
(England) Regulations 2015: Makes the microchipping of
dogs in England, Scotland and Wales compulsory.
- RSPCA - ‘Housing: Good Practice
- The Dog’s Trust - ‘Renting to Pet
- Department of Communities and Local
Government (March 2010) - ‘Tackling Anti-social behaviour’.