Pets in council homes

We know that for many tenants keeping pets in their home is important, and we appreciate that many pet owners are responsible and take good care of their pets while considering their neighbours at the same time. Here is what you need to know if you are thinking about keeping a pet in your council home.

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Permission to keep pets

You are allowed to keep the following pets without permission:

  • One cat or one dog
  • Any small caged animal or bird normally kept as a pet such as a hamster or budgie
  • Fish

If you live in a flat or maisonette and do not have your own garden (a shared garden does not count) you must not keep more than one dog or cat (not both). You may only keep an additional dog or cat if you owned the pet before 1 April 1996 and had a council tenancy at the time.

You can keep a pet in your home but you must make sure you keep it under control. This is because pets can sometimes cause problems such as barking and making a mess, which can annoy your neighbours.

Dangerous animals

You need to apply for a licence from the Council to keep an animal that may cause injury or damage, for example, a poisonous snake or an alligator. The Council can refuse to give you a licence if it thinks that you may not be able to control the animal or you cannot provide suitable accommodation that is escape-proof.

Read more about keeping exotic, dangerous or wild animals

Your responsibilities as a pet owner

You must keep your pet under control. This is because pets can sometimes cause problems such as barking or making a mess - this can annoy your neighbours. Please remember - you are responsible for the behaviour of people visiting your home, and that means you must also must make sure that their pets do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours or neighbourhood either.


  • Keep on lead: When walking on the estate with your dog you must keep it on a lead, and don't let your dog enter fenced play areas.
  • Dog barking: If your dog’s barking causes a nuisance, we may serve a notice on you to stop the noise. We may also fine you if your dog doesn’t stop.
  • Dog fouling: Letting your dog foul pavements or verges of estate roads or any other shared areas and not clearing it away is very inconsiderate. There is a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling in Haringey, and Street Enforcement Officers can issue £75 fixed penalty notices or prosecute. Anyone caught will receive a £75 fixed penalty notice or be prosecuted.
  • Micro-chipping: Ensuring that your dog wears a collar and an identity tag when outdoors is a legal requirement. However they can fall off or become damaged. By micro-chipping your dog, you will ensure that the animal can be identified and returned to you if it strays. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin, between the dog’s shoulder blades and is no more painful than the average vaccination jab. The microchips are permanent and should not need to be replaced. Find out about local providers if you would like your dog chipped. The Council also offers this service for £15. Contact the Dog Warden Service on 020 8489 1000 for an appointment.
  • Dangerous dogs: Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, if you own a pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino or a Fila Braziliero, you must keep it muzzled and on a lead at all times in public places. You must also have the dog micro-chipped have the dog insured against third party liability and have it neutered.

It is also a criminal offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place. This includes any instance during which an injury of any sort occurs or there is a fear that an injury might occur.

Homes for Haringey staff and visitors to your home

Strangers coming to their home can often disturb animals. To reduce stress to the animal and show consideration for your visitors, including our staff, it may be appropriate to keep pets in another room while the visit takes place. Anyone staying or visiting your home who has a pet must keep it under control and not allow it to cause a nuisance or annoyance to anyone.  

Reporting problems with animals

Residents who allow their pets to disturb or annoy neighbours could be guilty of anti-social behaviour.

  • To report problems such as persistent loud barking, fouling of footpaths or animals out of control, please contact the Council’s anti-social behaviour line on 020 8489 1335.
  • To report stray dogs in the area, please contact the Council’s enforcement service on 020 8489 1000.

More information about keeping pets

To discuss keeping a pet in your council home, please contact our Customer Contact Centre on 020 8489 5611 or email us at

Read more about animal welfare

Find out about dog ownership from the Dogs Trust website (external link).


Page last updated:

June 1, 2022