Our approach to keeping pets
Lots of households in the UK have pets. We recognise there can be real benefits to individuals and families to share their home with a pet. However, we also need to take into account any potential impact on your neighbours, and any animal welfare or health and safety considerations that may arise. Therefore, you must have our written permission before you can keep a pet in your Octavia home. This is a condition of your tenancy or lease.
If we give you permission to keep a pet, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is your responsibility to look after your pet. You must keep them under control at all times and make sure they are not a nuisance to your neighbours.
Permission to keep a pet is not indefinite. If your pet causes nuisance or you fail to properly control or look after your pet, we will withdraw our permission. If the problems are serious and persistent, we will take action in accordance with our internal policies and procedures.
What you can expect from our service
We will consider all applications to keep a pet on a case-by-case basis. We aim to be reasonable, consistent and fair in deciding whether to give permission.
When we list a property on our choice-based lettings website Locata, we indicate whether pets are allowed at the property. This will help you decide whether or not to bid.
If you seek to move into one of our properties via a mutual exchange, it will be determined as per our procedure whether a dog can live in the property, as the organisation does not control the adverts that are posted on HomeSwapper.
We will review your application and let you know if we need more information before making a decision. When we have all the information we need, we will give you a decision in writing:
- within 2 working days if you have applied to move into an Octavia property
- within 10 working days if you are already our resident
If we receive nuisance reports involving your pet or concerns that you are not being a responsible pet owner, we will investigate and take appropriate action. This could include enforcement action.
If a pet is abandoned, we will take steps to protect the welfare of the animal. We will involve other agencies such as the local authority or animal welfare organisations where necessary.
You will need to complete a pet application form for each pet you wish to keep. You will need our permission before keeping the pet.
Applications to keep a dog
In general, if you want to keep a dog as a pet, because of animal welfare and neighbour relation considerations, we will only grant permission if the dog has been microchipped and you have exclusive use of your own garden.
Where dogs are not usually allowed at the scheme, exceptions will normally be made if you need a guide dog or assistance dog because you have a disability. You will need to provide a copy of the dog’s accreditation details with your application.
We will consider applications to keep therapy dogs on a case-by-case basis. Where dogs are not usually allowed at the scheme, you will need to provide sufficient medical evidence to support your application. Regretfully, without this, we will decline your application.
Other pet applications
Other pets that may be permitted are domestic animals such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and caged birds.
Where we give permission, you must ensure your pet does not negatively affect our staff and contractor’s ability to carry out their roles. You should keep pets in other rooms or outside when we visit you at your home.
We will not grant permission for any of the following to be kept as pets:
- Dogs specified under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
- Animals listed in the schedule under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, such as poisonous snakes and lizards
- Livestock, such as sheep, goats and cattle
- Any endangered species
We will also not grant permission where pets, or certain types of pet, are not allowed at the scheme or where we are bound by the conditions set out by a managing agent or freeholder.
We will write to you to let you know our decision. If we give permission for you to keep a pet, we will also send you information about what we expect of you as a pet owner.
What happens if your circumstances change?
Permission to keep a pet is specific to your current home and the pet on your application. It is also conditional on you being a responsible pet owner. If you want to replace your pet or keep it’s offspring you must request permission and complete a new application. If you want to transfer to another Octavia property, we will review the permission to keep a pet.
External pet housing
You will need our permission if you are erecting large external pet housing, such as a bird aviary or a large dog kennel. We will usually give permission if the pet housing is in your own garden, unless there are health and safety concerns about the size and location of the pet housing.
You are responsible for your pet, and for pets visiting your property. We take complaints about anti-social behaviour, nuisance and the mistreatment of pets, very seriously.
If we receive a report that your pet is causing a nuisance we will investigate to establish the facts. We will take action in line with our Anti-Social Behaviour and Neighbour Dispute Policy. If we find that your pet is causing neighbour nuisance and you do not take steps to stop the nuisance quickly, we will withdraw permission for you to keep your pet.
We will also withdraw permission where (but not limited to):
- you are using your pet for breeding
- you are neglecting or abusing your pet
- your pet is not under control at all times
- your pet damages our property
- your pet presents a threat or risk to other people or animals
If we withdraw our permission, we will usually give you 28 days to find a new home for your pet. However, if we have serious health and safety concerns we will ask that you remove your pet immediately and involve other agencies such as the RSPCA, environmental health, or the police. If you refuse, we will seek an injunction to force you to remove the pet from our property. We will consider further legal action if needed.
How to contact us
If you would like more information about keeping a pet, please contact our Customer Contact Team on 020 8354 5500. Alternatively, you can speak to your Resident Services Officer / Home Ownership Officer / Supported Housing Officer who can also advise you.