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For many people, pets are an important member of the family and can help mental and physical health.

Many of us at Radcliffe Housing Society have pets too, so we know how special they are.

When you can’t have a pet

Most of our tenants are allowed to have pets. The most common reasons for not being able to keep a pet are:

  • You live in one of our independent living schemes;
  • You have a restriction in your lease or covenant (we’ll let you know if this applies when you ask for permission);
  • You live in a block of flats where a ‘no pet’ policy is in place;
  • We have to make sure all pets are only kept in places that are suitable for them, are cared for and kept in a way that doesn’t disrupt the neighbours.
  • The pet you have or trying purchase is determined an illegal breed.

If we become concerned about the number of pets you have and it’s causing a problem, we’ll talk to you about this.

If your pet disrupts other tenants and you don’t take action to resolve it, we’ll have to take action and this could mean asking you to remove your pet.

You must obtain our permission before you get a pet, if you:

  • Live in a self-contained flat, maisonette or shared house and you’d like to have a pet (except small pets, such as hamsters, gerbils and goldfish)
  • Want more than one cat or dog and you live in a house or bungalow with a private garden
  • Want to run a pet related business from home e.g. grooming, dog walking, pet sitting
  • Want to install dog or cat flaps; we must check the flaps will not impact the door’s fire safety

Animals you can and can’t keep as pets

Animals you can keep as a pet:

  • Most cats and dogs (see what you aren’t allowed below);
  • Small animals such as rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs;
  • Small birds;
  • Fish;
  • Registered guide dogs and assistance dogs.

It’s against the law to keep these animals under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Conditions will apply and permission to keep the animal will depend on you keeping to the arrangement. It is also against the law to sell, abandon, give away or breed a banned dog. Animals you can’t keep as pets include:

From 31 December 2023 in England, it is against the law to:

  • sell an XL Bully dog.
  • abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray.
  • give away an XL Bully dog.
  • breed from an XL Bully dog.
  • have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle.

Our residents who own an XL Bully dog need to apply for a ‘Certificate of Exemption’ to legally keep your pet beyond 31 January 2024.

  • You will find more details about how to apply for this certificate on the government website here
  • You will be committing a criminal offence and breaching your tenancy agreement if you do not hold a Certification of Exemption on 1 February 2024. 

We will not allow any banned dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act to be rehoused within our homes or as part of a new housing application.

RHS will not allow tenants to keep:

  • Animals likely to cause an environmental nuisance including farm animals
  • Dogs listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
    • Pit Bull Terriers
    • Japanese Tosa
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • Dogo Argentino
    • American XL Bully
    • Any animals registered under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, including:
      • Any type of bird of prey, such as a kestrel, owl or buzzard
      • Certain types of poisonous snakes, spiders, primates and monkeys
      • Wild animals
  • Any animals within our guest rooms
  • Bees or Wasps

Assistance 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 dog. An assistance dog is trained to perform specific tasks to help a disabled person.

If you have any queries on the above, please contact us on 01732 459144, or email us at

Pet Permission Form

Download our 2022/23 Annual Report


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