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Keeping pets – our policy, information, and advice

Domestic animals (pets)

Secure, flexible (fixed term), and introductory tenants can keep pets. You don’t need to ask our permission to keep small domestic animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, fish, or cage birds.

Your responsibilities

Pets can bring a lot of joy to you, but they are a big responsibility and costs vary. Please think carefully before getting any new pet. Try the RSPCA’s pet cost calculator.

You must not keep an animal in sheltered housing or in a property with a shared entrance unless it’s a registered guide dog for the blind or a registered assistance dog for the deaf and you have our permission to keep it.

If you have any pets, you must keep them under control. Don't allow them to:

  • make a lot of noise
  • roam on the estate or in other gardens
  • foul on the estate, in shared areas, or on footpaths

You must clean up after your pet every day. This includes if it fouls in your own garden, another garden, or any public place. You can’t breed animals in your home or garden.

Keeping Pets

You must make sure that your pet doesn’t cause any nuisance or damage. If you don’t keep your pet under control, we can take action against you for breach of your tenancy conditions.

If we believe that you’re neglecting the welfare of any animal kept at your home, we will report the matter to the appropriate authorities where you could be liable for prosecution under the terms of the law.

Non-domestic animals

All tenants need our permission to keep any other non-domestic animal. We can refuse permission for any of the following reasons:

  • the animal is dangerous
  • the animal is a risk to others or to public health
  • it's cruel or unreasonable to keep the animal in your home or garden
  • the animal is likely to cause nuisance
  • keeping of a specific type of animal is illegal or does not meet certain legal requirements
Looking After Dogs
Looking after dogs - advice and guidance

If you have a pet dog, you must look after it properly and make sure it doesn’t cause a nuisance. A dog is a big responsibility and expense to care for, so please think carefully before getting one.

Exercise them – give your dog plenty of exercise but keep your pet under control. If they stray, they may cause a road accident or damage property. You’re legally responsible for your dog’s behaviour.

Clean up after them – never let your pet foul on the estate especially all areas where children play. Pick up the dog mess promptly and dispose of in a responsible manner. You’ll be liable for a fine for not doing so.

Don’t leave them alone for too long – it’s unfair to the dog and your neighbours if the dog is alone and barking.  When you’re away, arrange for your pet to be looked after by a reliable friend or family member or place your dog in a licensed boarding kennel. 

Maintain a healthy diet – obesity in dogs is a common problem and can shorten their life and cause them unnecessary suffering. Feeding them the wrong food can affect their heath too. 

Keep them well groomed – regular grooming keeps your dog’s coat in good condition. 

Get them microchipped – all dogs must be microchipped by a trained professional. Your dog’s microchip is given a number, which will show up whenever your dog is scanned. Your contact details are kept alongside the microchip number on a database, so that your dog can be returned to you if it’s lost or stolen. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t microchipped.

Get them neutered or spayed – we don’t allow our tenants to breed dogs or cats in their home.  Animal welfare charities and vets recommend that dogs are neutered or spayed to avoid unwanted puppies and to protect your dog from certain health problems.

Protect them against diseases, worms, ticks and fleas – vaccinate your dog against diseases, worm them regularly, and protect them against ticks and fleas to prevent your dog from getting ill and suffering.

Insure them – you’ll need to pay for treatment at the vets, so shop around for the best policy and make sure your pets are covered.

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803