Some tenants have raised concerns about whether they will be able to stay in their PCH home once the Government’s ban on XL Bully dogs comes into force at the end of this year.
The Government has ruled that the XL Bully breed will be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 from 31 December 2023, and it will be illegal to own an XL Bully dog after this date if you do not have a Certificate of Exemption.
This means it will also be illegal 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 dog in public without a lead and muzzle
PCH would like to reassure all tenants, leaseholders and shared owners that the organisation does not wish to evict anyone for owning an XL Bully, nor does PCH wish for tenants’ dogs to be euthanised if this is avoidable.
PCH has a Pets Policy to encourage responsible pet ownership by tenants, leaseholders and shared owners, and to minimise any issues being caused to other tenants or neighbours.
This policy explains PCH will not grant consent for any breed of dog banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act to be kept in a resident’s home.
However, it is possible to keep a banned dog breed if you successfully apply for an exemption from the Government and provide the relevant documentation to us to demonstrate this is in place.
Tenants will need to follow clear Government guidance if they wish to keep an XL Bully in their PCH property, and there is information available here explaining how to apply for a Certificate of Exemption.
Applications must be submitted before 31 January 2024.
You will also need third party public liability insurance for your dog, and to pay a fee to the Government for each dog you want to keep.
The process of obtaining exemption includes ensuring the dog is:
- Neutered (confirmed by a vet)
- Kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public
- Kept in a secure place so it cannot escape
- Owned by an adult over the age of 16
Once a tenant has the Certificate of Exemption, they will need to present it to PCH, along with a copy of their third party public liability insurance, and ask us for permission to continue keeping the dog in their PCH property.
Tenants will also be asked to sign our Responsible Dog Owners’ Agreement.
This applies to existing tenants only; PCH would not give permission for any prospective new tenants to move into a property with a banned dog breed.
Phil Burgoyne, Interim Head of Neighbourhoods, said: “We appreciate dog owners are concerned at the impending Government ban and what it could mean for their tenancy agreement with PCH but want to stress it isn’t our intention to evict any of our tenants for owning an XL Bully, or to cause any dogs owned by our tenants to be euthanised so the owners can stay in our homes.
“There are clear Government guidelines set out for owners to follow if they wish to keep an XL Bully dog, and if our tenants follow these and present the Certificate of Exemption to us, they can continue to live in their PCH home with their dog.
“As a responsible social housing landlord, we have a duty of care to all our residents, as well as to our staff, particularly when they are working in residents’ homes to carry out repairs, and an obligation to follow Government guidance on matters including banned dog breeds, which we will be doing.”
PCH has a Pets Policy setting out our approach to pets being kept in our homes and this policy has recently been updated, with the revised draft policy currently out for consultation.
We welcome any comments on the proposed policy and you can share your feedback by taking part in a survey online here until 11pm on Wednesday 6 December.
There will also be some workshops running about the guidance on Monday 11 December, and you can sign up through the survey if you would like to take part in these workshops and share your views.
If you have any questions, please contact your Housing Officer to discuss further.