Two dogs in a cage.
File photo. Credit: Zuzia Whelan.

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Dublin City Council is currently allocating 124 new social homes in Whitehall. But any prospective tenants with pets need not apply.

The advert for the social homes screams in bold capital letters: “NO PETS ALLOWED”.

Save for some breeds of dog, council tenants are usually allowed to keep pets, says independent Councillor Mannix Flynn.

A blanket ban on pets is not reasonable, says Flynn. “I believe that it is an infringement of civil rights and human rights.”

A spokesperson for Tuath Housing, the housing charity that will manage the homes, says that it isn’t responsible for the all-out ban on pets.

“The management company for Broomhill House establish the House rules and the Managing Agent is responsible for implementing and enforcing the rules on pets,” says the spokesperson for Tuath.

The spokesperson directed questions about who controls the management company to Dublin City Council.

Dublin City Council didn’t respond before publication to queries, including whether the ban applied to all pets, why the rule is necessary, and whether it is in place because the homes are leased.

It’s unclear whether the homes – developed by Luxembourg-based Irish Social Housing Property II SARL – have been leased long-term or bought outright for social housing.

Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan says that people who have pets and are offered one of these homes are faced with an impossible choice between keeping their pets and securing a stable home.

It is a devastating dilemma says Boylan, who is a dog owner. “That idea of having to choose, I couldn’t do it.”

Flynn, the independent councillor, says that social tenants should be allowed to have pets, as long as the animals are not causing a disruption to others.

A Devastating Dilemma

Boylan says she first encountered the issue of pets being banned from social housing a few years ago, when a woman who had a dog had been allocated a home by a housing charity, Clúid.

Clúid at the time had a strict rule that no pets were allowed, says Boylan.

She was surprised at how strictly the housing charity implemented the rule, she says. “It seemed to be a very hard and fast rule.”

The woman was devastated at having to give up her dog, she says.

“I’m sure they have exceptions for guide dogs and possibly support dogs,” she says. “But there are a lot of people who use dogs for emotional support that don’t have official status.”

Boylan raised the issue of people struggling to find accommodation where they can keep their pets in the Seanad in February, citing figures put out by Dogs Trust.

Accommodation issues are among the top three reasons why people surrender their dogs, said a spokesperson for Dogs Trust.

Through work with dog wardens, the trust has learnt that a huge increase in dogs surrendered to pounds is largely because owners can not find rented homes that allow pets, said the spokesperson.

If more properties were dog friendly, it would ease pressure on pounds and rescue centres, they said. “As the number of dogs being surrendered would lower and the number of people in a position to adopt would increase.”

Boylan has heard stories of people sleeping in their cars because they do not want to give up a pet they love, she says.

With the eviction ban lifted, it is likely that more people will have to surrender pets because they have to move on and can’t find accommodation that accepts them, she says.

Children growing up in social housing shouldn’t be deprived of the opportunity to have a family pet, she says. “Children learn empathy through having pets.”

What’s the Solution?

A spokesperson for Tuath, the housing charity that will manage the new complex, says that the organisation doesn’t have a blanket ban on pets.

“Tuath Housing has a strict no dangerous dog policy for all our homes,” she says. Apart from that they make decisions on a case-by-case basis and depending on the rules set by management companies.

“It is often the case, like that of Broomhill House, that the Management Company have a no pets rule and as members of the Management Company we must be compliant with the house rules,” she says.

In 2021 Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan proposed legislation that would stipulate that tenants should ordinarily be allowed to keep pets, unless there was a specific reason why the property was unsuitable.

“It’s time to bring renting in Ireland into the 21st century and end blanket bans on pets for renters,” she said last year.

“The blanket ban on pets by many landlords and even approved housing bodies is simply unfair and it is an erosion of renters’ rights and ability to live the life they want,” she said.

Laoise Neylon is a reporter for Dublin Inquirer. You can reach her at

Join the Conversation


  1. Absolutely right too. I have experience of tenants not cleaning up or controlling their animals. Who wants to live in a sea of dog shit?

    1. So your solution is to penalise everybody who has a dog?, sounds like you live a real miserable life.

  2. So these homes are going ahead? The residents have been protesting the building of these units for a few years and we’ve been left in the dark about whether the building will be going ahead or not.

    1. So sad pets should be allowed in this day and age I hope the powers to be wake up and stop this cruelty when so many animal shelters are crying out for rehoming the precious animals .I hope the government will get involved in this sorry saga

  3. The homes have been released under Choice Based Letting with Tuath managing them. They are nearly ready for occupancy

  4. Ireland needs to wake up with how animals are treated. We are so behind the rest of Europe where dogs are welcome nearly everywhere. The amount of dogs in pounds and rescue centres all over the country is off the charts. Owner surrenders due to accommodation banning pets is now one of the biggest contributors to this. It is heartbreaking for both the animals and the owners and puts huge strain on the rescues left dealing with fall out. It shows a complete lack of empathy, compassion and humanity and causes untold suffering and misery to all involved.

    1. Agreed, however owners of dogs who surrender them for any reason should not have a dog in the first place, what if they had to surrender their child? they are gutless heartless sheep who refuse to fight back against these aholes who tell them how they should live, and in these cases poor animals suffer.

  5. Disgraceful like a prison not allowed to own any animal in your own home.. This will cause awful hardship for people who own any animals awful treatment…. What’s next when you can go to the bathroom… More dogs are going to be put down because of this treatment….

    1. Dogs can be problematic with other neighbors, it’s not just social, a lot of landlords don’t want dogs either.

      Management companies don’t want dogs either in their apartment complexes either.

      No dogs = less complaints

      1. If a neighbours dog is causing a problem for another neighbour then it’s a problem to be solved by both owner and neighbour/s in question, nobody else’s, the rule in this case is simple and that is that the owner of the pet causing a problem must address the complaint and fix the problem. if the problem can’t be fixed then and only then the owner will have to make a decision as the pet is their responsibility, if nothing is done to fix the problem within an agreed time between the owner and the neighbour, the management company rule no pets allowed applies to that owner and action taken by the management that is their job, to manage, not dictate, and the sooner people wake up and stand up for themselves and in this case their pets the better, then you won’t have to know who has a “Problematic dog” I will add if you’d like to police Problematic alarms coming from some of my Problematic neighbours I’d look forward to your comments about that

  6. “Choosing between your dog or a stable home is an impossible choice”
    I have heard it all now.

  7. I was staying over in a friends house, social housing, I noticed it was just noise all the time, dogs endlessly barking. Dont know how she sticks it.

    1. Very sad for people if they get to that situation. Nobody should be in the position to choose between a beloved member of the family and much needed housing. I would like to know who came up with this clearly someone who has no empathy.

  8. It is outright discrimination to disqualify people, families, their children, from being on a list for much needed homes, because they are responsible dog owners. Personally I have been exposed to these House Rules in an apartment block but I have stressed the emotional needs satisfied by our dog Rosie and have managed to keep her and her predecessors. There is no disruption to other tenants. I have occasion to visit a social housing complex for older people in Dublin 4. We need dogs to help people to not isolate, as so easy happens, and engage with others. If one lived in England the whole attitude to dogs is different. Pubs, coffee shops often include them. It is good to find the list of coffee shops/pubs that will accept dogs on Google. This is progress. Loneliness is a killer … I cannot bear to think of dogs being surrendered to pounds. Rosie came to us from Maggie in Ballymun. She is so confident now and an integral part of us continuing to engage with life. Children reared with dogs also benefit.

    1. Hi Michelle
      I have experienced the same while abroad for years and when I came home I discovered that one whinger somewhere types on a piece of paper no dogs, no walking on the grass etc and everyone in Ireland then complies and as long as people accept this they deserve everything they get, I feel terrible sorry for the animal’s the way they are treated in Ireland

  9. It should not be a blanket ban, responsible pet owners should not be penalised for the sins of others. There should be rules for pets just as there are rules for tenants. I have a house in apartments, I allow pets and they are well behaved and do not cause any problems. I couldn’t live without my pets and don’t expect my tenants to have to.

  10. I have a 3 bed house looking to downsize to a one bed apt ive no kids but i have a dog i was asked only a couple of days ago to make a choice between my dog or one of these apt i choose my dog absolutely disgraceful

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