Keeping a pet

Pets can be a great source of companionship and enrich our lives. While we understand that you may want a pet, we do need to consider the impact this can have on your property and neighbours. That's why you need to check with us to see if you need permission, before getting a pet. If you login or register on MySovereign you can get an instant answer to your pet request.

There are certain animals that we won’t give you permission to keep, including some breeds of dog, as well as wild, farm and poisonous animals, or endangered species.

But, of course, we'll treat guide, hearing and enabling dogs as special cases.

What are my responsibilities if I have a pet?


You’re responsible for keeping your pets under control and appropriately cared for. They shouldn’t roam unsupervised, be a nuisance to neighbours or foul any other property.

You must make sure your pet doesn't damage our property, if it does we’ll have to recharge you the cost of any repairs. If you allow the nuisance or damage to continue we may take legal action which could result in you losing your home.  

What kind of pet can I keep?

The information below will help you find out what kind of pets you can have in different types of property. If you’re not sure whether you can keep a pet, you can check now using our pet permission form.

I live in a flat or maisonette

You can keep up to three caged birds (not poultry) or three small caged animals (such as hamsters) or a number of fish in an appropriate aquarium.

If you wish to keep a different kind of pet (including dogs and cats) then you’ll need written permission from us.

I live in a house or bungalow

If you live in a house or a bungalow, you’re also allowed up to three caged birds (not poultry) or three small caged animals (such as hamsters) or a number of fish in an aquarium.

You can also have up to three cats or dogs as long as you have a separate and private garden and your own (not shared) entrance.


Why’s the scheme I live in ‘pet free’?

Some of our schemes are ‘pet free’ for safety reasons, such as where there are shared corridors and in some of our schemes for older people. Unfortunately we can’t give permission for you to have a pet in these properties.

Can I keep poultry (chickens, ducks or geese) in my garden?

You must ask us for permission to keep poultry on your property. You must also check with your local council about any rules that may prevent you from keeping poultry, such as by-laws and planning restrictions.

We’ll need to see the council’s written permission before we can consider giving you permission to keep poultry. If your property is suitable we may give permission for you to keep up to six birds.

What are my responsibilities if I want to keep poultry?

The birds must be suitably housed. Please check the current recommendations for keeping poultry issued by the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.

You must keep all poultry feed in closed containers so that it doesn’t attract vermin.

If you no longer wish to keep poultry or you move from the property, you must return the garden to its original state.

What happens if someone complains about my pet?

If we receive a justified complaint about your pet’s welfare or the impact it has on others, we’ll ask you to find an alternative home for it. If you fail to find a new home for your pet, we may take legal action which could even result in you losing your home.

What do I do if I suspect an animal’s being neglected?

If you suspect that a neighbour is guilty of cruelty or neglect towards an animal then you can report this to the RSPCA
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