Comforts for creatures: Renting a property in Spain with pets? Here are the rules

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Pet owners in Spain are confused about the new animal protection law.

The new protection legislation, which was approved in October of last year and amended in August, had also gone further than ever to make sure that our furry friends are recognised as "living beings endowed with sensitivity" and are therefore considered to be family members.

Spain is well known for being a country of animal lovers.

Since pets are generally seen as members of the family, it seems to reason that they should be welcomed without limitation in rental homes. Yet, a recent survey by real estate experts Fotocasa reveals that just 5% of rentals allow pets.

So what exactly does the law country?

The new animal welfare legislation, however, hasn't altered the Spanish Urban Leasing Law (LAU) in the slightest. Hence, landlords are still free to choose whether or not to allow pets in a rental apartment or home claims the president of the Association of Valencian Lawyers in Animal Safeguard and the Environment.

But here's the catch: Landlords can only forbid pets if the contract specifically states as much.

The renter may keep dogs if the rental agreement does not expressly state that they are not permitted, so long as they don't annoy the neighbours, and the owner takes good care of them.

It is wise to check the small print, though, as anyone who maintains pets if it is forbidden in the lease is technically breaching their rental agreement.

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