How we are making it easy for you to have a pet

2 min read

Why do we care about pets?

We believe that pets are a great contributor to wellbeing and a feeling of home. Not only do our residents have a need for pets, but many people require service animals to help them live well.

“Great!”, I hear your cry.

“Residents should have all the pets!”

It would be wonderful if it was that simple. There has to be a limit somewhere. We can’t allow people to traffic animals, and we have a responsibility to provide housing that gives every resident an opportunity to live well. Also, the government have a list of banned animals, particularly with dangerous dogs.

To help understand what goes on, we ask residents to apply for permission to have a pet with details of the animal. This is built into your tenancy agreement. Of course, any animal required to assist with disability will be handled appropriately and within legislation.

There’s a lot to ‘pets’, once you scratch beneath the surface…

The current situation

Permission to have a pet is decided by local housing expert. The main problems and pains we have seen are as follows:

  • Residents get caught in a contact loop between our internal team.
  • Colleagues often don’t get all the information they need up front, increasing the amount of time it takes to resolve the request.
  • Data on the pets our residents have is lacking in some areas, meaning visiting officers/colleagues don’t have the information they might need.
  • A large proportion of low-level ASB is related to animals and noise.

Have you experienced anything like this? If you would like to help us improve our services please register your interest.

What we are doing to make things easier

We are using a specific testing website called ‘Alpha’ (the website you are on now) to test how digital solutions can help us tackle resident and internal problems. On this site we have created a ‘start’ page for various services, including applying for pet permission. This is where specific information and guidance is available to you before you even begin the process. The page will outline what you need to do before you need to do it, reducing surprises along the way.

On this ‘start’ page you will be able to navigate to an application form that will capture all that our local housing experts will need to make a decision. We think this will save a lot of time and confusion by removing steps and stumbles in the experience.

We are making a fuss about ‘pet permissions’ not only because our love for fluffy (and not so fluffy) creatures, but because it allows us to test solutions to common issues across the business. We call these ‘Service Patterns’. Keep an eye out for more examples in upcoming blog posts.

Head of Service Design