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At Stonewater, we recognise that pets provide a range of benefits to their owners, including companionship, a means to socialise with others, and a way to keep active.

Owning a pet isn’t for everyone and Stonewater also has a responsibility to ensure that we provide balance, making sure pet ownership does not impact on the rights of others to enjoy their homes and neighbourhoods. 

When we do grant permission to keep pets when renting, it is under the condition of our customers being responsible pet owners and ensuring that pets do not cause nuisance to those around them. Find out more in our Pet Policy below or read our guide to pet ownership.

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Our Pet Policy

In recognising the benefits of owning a pet and listening to the views of more than 1,500 customers, we have created a ‘pet friendly’ policy that covers all of our homes.

Our Pet Policy was written with the help of our customers and with reference to good practice guidance produced by the RSPCA, The Dogs Trust and Age Concern.

Two curly-haired dogs, one white and one brown, on black leather sofa

Can I keep a pet in my Stonewater home?

If you want to get a new pet or bring your existing pet to your Stonewater home, the first thing you need to do is let us know by contacting us. They will be able to help you with the process, explain the terms and conditions around pet ownership, and discuss any lease restrictions with you.

We will need to know some basic details about the pet(s), such as type, breed and size. This will help us both to work out if your home or the building you live in is suitable for your pet, as some of our homes are subject to lease restrictions which prevent us from being able to grant you permission. 

Before submitting your request to us we would ask that you consider a range of things to decide whether your home will be suitable for your pet:

  • The size and positioning of your accommodation
  • Your lifestyle and ability to care for your pet and meet its welfare needs

If we are happy that the property is suitable for your pet we will confirm our agreement with you in writing, along with the pet ownership guidance and terms upon which permission is granted.

Getting permission to keep a pet

Permission for pets depends on the type of animal you want to get.

There are some small pets housed in cages, bowls and tanks which you do not need written permission for, but you should still follow the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Animals you do not need permission for:

  • Fish (subject to the tank being less than 150 litres)
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Small birds
  • Mice
  • Small reptiles and amphibians (excluding exotic pets which require a licence)
  • Insects
  • Rats
  • Rabbits (in your own private garden or indoors)
  • Guinea pigs (in your own private garden or indoors)

There are some pets we will not grant permission for - such as dog breeds banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. See the FAQs at the bottom of this page to find out which animals we do not allow.

For all other animals you must ask our permission before getting your pet(s). Failure to do so will place you in breach of your agreement with us.

Once you have read all the information on this page, get in contact with us to ask permission.

Ensuring your pet’s wellbeing

Before you get your pet, it’s important to think about how you’re going to keep the animal safe and happy.

Dogs, for example, need to be walked twice a day to keep them healthy and obedient. Without exercise they will become bored, leading to behavioural problems such as chewing, excessive barking, jumping and hyperactivity. This can cause distress to the dog and nuisance to neighbours.

Think about:

  • The size and positioning of your home
  • Space for your pet to exercise and go to the toilet
  • Your own priorities and ability to care for your pet to meet its needs
  • Extra costs – such as food, equipment and vets bills

Customers are legally responsible for the health and safety of any pet, making sure it has the right environment and diet, behaves well, and is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. The animal’s need to live with or apart from other pets should also be considered.

You can find information on looking after various types of pets by visiting the RSCPA Pet Care pages.

You should also register your pet with a vet and get regular check-ups for your pet to keep them healthy. Many vets provide health care packages to spread the cost so you can keep up with regular appointments. Talk to your vet and see if they offer a health care scheme.

Being a considerate pet owner

While many of our customers have told us they welcome to opportunity to keep a pet in their homes, we also know that for some they feel anxious about having animals in neighbouring homes. 

At Stonewater. we want to encourage all those that do obtain a pet to ensure they are considerate and responsible in their pet ownership, from choosing what pet might best suit your home type and lifestyle to the simple things like ensuring that they do not cause noise disturbance or fouling. 

Our schemes and homes are for everyone to enjoy and we hope that by following some simple steps our communities will be able to continue to thrive.

Complaints and nuisance

The last thing we want to do is remove permission to have pets, but we also have a duty to protect customers who tell us that pets are making life difficult for them.

We would always encourage residents to work with each other first to resolve issues between themselves. If you cannot find a resolution, then you can report the issue to us and we will engage with the pet owner.

If a resolution can’t be reached and we don’t feel that the pet owner is engaging in the process, we may withdraw permission for a pet to be kept.

Where permission is withdrawn, customers will be notified in writing and a reasonable timeframe agreed to allow for rehoming. Legal action may also be taken in some cases.

We may also work with your local authority, Police, RSPCA or any other organisation that may support us to find a resolution.

Dog fouling

If your dog is fouling in your own garden and you are not picking it up, we will not investigate this unless it is part of a wider property condition issue. You can however report this to your local council under the guise of environmental nuisance.

If a dog is fouling in a communal area and the dog is known to belong to one of our customers, we will work with them to ensure they clean up after their dog. If the dog is not known to belong to one of our customers, there isn't much Stonewater can do.

Reports of nuisance or annoyance will be handled as anti-social behaviour cases and where complaints are received, we will work with residents to help them resolve the issues between themselves.


We’ve put together some FAQs about keeping a pet.

We've also put together some more in depth FAQs for if you're looking to get a pet and if you're worried about your neighbours having pets.

We encourage you to read them before making your decision on asking permission for a pet.

Are there any pets Stonewater will not give permission for?

We will not allow permission to keep any breed of dog banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act in our customers’ homes. 

The Dangerous Dogs Act bans the ownership, breeding, sale, exchange or advertising the sale of the following ‘types’ of fighting dogs:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasiliero

The Dangerous Dogs Act uses the word ‘type’ as the law does not only apply to pure breeds. Types are defined by the physical and behavioural characteristics of the prohibited dog.

XL Bullies

As of 31 December 2023, it is now illegal to sell, breed or give away an XL Bully dogs.

XL Bullies (XL bulldogs) are not banned by law, but some new rules have come into place to regulate ownership of them.

If you are asking for permission to keep an XL Bully, you must:

  • Provide evidence that you had this dog before the ban came into place.
  • Provide an exemption certificate for the dog as per legal guidance.

If you can’t provide these then permission may not be granted.

If you have any concerns about neighbours with XL Bullies or any of the above listed dogs such as owning, breeding, selling or having them in communal areas without a muzzle, please report this to the police.


We also will not give permission for:

  • An animal that would require a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
  • Birds of prey
  • Cattle, horses, livestock
Can Stonewater refuse permission for me to have a pet?

We have the right to refuse or revoke permission for a number, breed or type of pet if we believe that it is likely to cause a nuisance to other customers. If this happens, we’ll work with you to find a solution. 

We will not refuse or remove permission for pets without reason and we won’t refuse permission for a guide dog, welfare or assistance animal.

We won't grant permission to any resident to keep a pet who is subject to the following in the last three years:

  • If there is a history of animal neglect or cruelty
  • If there is a history of nuisance, annoyance or disturbance as a result of pet ownership

We won’t allow customers to keep a pet if they are on a time limited or lifetime ban on keeping an animal after prosecution by the RSPCA.

Can I keep an outdoor animal in my garden?

The following outdoor animals may be considered for permission from Stonewater.  All customers will be required to seek formal written permission before obtaining them and at the point of application Stonewater will consider the suitability of the home, scheme and neighbouring areas before approving:

  • Cockerels/chickens/ducks/geese
  • Micro pigs
  • Bees/beehives


Does my pet need identification?

It’s important that your pet wears a collar and a tag with your contact details when outside, so it can be identified and help you get it back if it gets lost. It is a legal requirement for dogs to wear a tag which bears the owners’ name and address.

Failure to do so can lead to a fine of up to £2000. Dogs must also be microchipped which your vet can do for you. Many pets can be microchipped including cats, dogs and rabbits - it’s a great way to keep them safe.

Microchipping can sometimes be done for free through animal welfare events and charities.