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Renting in Spain when you have a pet: What are my rights?

There are millions of petowners in Spain, many of whom often wonder what the law states with regards to renting a property with their furry friends

Renting with a pet in Spain
Image: Adriana Morales / Pixabay

Spain is a country of pet-loving people, and it seems that almost everyone here has either a dog, a cat, or a budgie cage on their balcony.

In fact, there are a whopping 13 million pets registered in Spain and around one quarter of all Spanish households have one or more pets. Ninety-three percent of these are dogs while six percent of these are cats. The other one percent includes smaller animals in cages. 

Pets have become even more important during the pandemic, keeping so many people company when they can’t socialise or go to group activities like they once could. In Spain, a dog became even more sought-after, when the confinement rules prohibited residents from leaving their houses to even go for a walk or exercise, unless they had a dog.

The number of pets in Spain has risen by around 40 percent in the past five years alone, meaning there are now more pets in Spain than children under 15. 

READ MORE: Why Spain now has ‘more pets than children aged under 15’

Many foreigners choose to move to Spain with their pets, and after all the paperwork, the pet passports and the necessary vaccinations, one of the primary concerns for pet owners is, how easy is it to rent with a pet in Spain?

Despite the number of people that own dogs or cats in Spain, it can be difficult to find a landlord who is willing to allow pets. Landlords are often concerned that pets may cause damage to the property, particularly to the furniture, if the property is furnished. They may also be concerned about noise and how this may affect neighbours.

Can a landlord really prohibit you from bringing a pet to live with you?

Property rental site Idealista says that neither the Horizontal Property Law, the Civil Code nor the Criminal Code, specifically state that you cannot own a pet in a rented property.

The site explains that the Urban Lease Law however does state that “housing leases shall be governed by the agreements, clauses and conditions, determined by the will of those involved”.

Even though this law doesn’t specifically prohibit pets, it means that you must abide by the rules and clauses that you agree upon with your landlord in your contract.

So, if your landlord has included a clause prohibiting pets in their property, then you won’t be allowed one. Sometimes a landlord will specify which types of pets they will allow, for example, animals in tanks or cages are fine, but they won’t allow bigger pets who can roam freely around the house.

On the other hand, if there is no specific clause banning pets, it means that you are free to have one, even if it’s not specifically mentioned.

There can sometimes be another hurdle to overcome besides the landlord though, which is the community association, who look after the building, in case the property is in an apartment block. So, even if your contract doesn’t state anything to the contrary, you may want to check with the association first, just in case.

What happens if I bring a pet into the property anyway?

If you decide to bring a pet into your property and go against what the landlord has stated in the contract by prohibiting them, then the landlord has the right to terminate your contract and you and your pet may have to find somewhere else to live.

If the rental contract doesn’t state that you can’t have pets and you have one, most of the time it will be fine. The only time you can run into problems is if the animal causes a nuisance because of noise or damages the property or communal areas. In this case, and if the landlord finds out, or if neighbours report you, the landlord also has the right to evict you.

If you are lucky enough to find a property with landlord who accepts pets, it’s worth holding onto it, as these are hard to come by. The landlord will also be happier having long-term tenants than being forced to find new ones every year. 

READ MORE: Travel between EU and UK: Pet owners warned about four-month waiting period

*Tip: Spanish property search engines such as Idealista or Fotocasa include a ‘pets allowed’ filter – se admiten mascotas – which can help you to dig up the rental properties that allow you to move in with your furry friends. 

What if I’m a landlord letting out a property?

As a landlord, you have a legal right to prohibit pets from living in your property, however you must make sure to include this in your contract, otherwise, tenants are allowed to have them. 

Under article 4.2 of the Urban Lease Law tenants are obliged to abide by agreements, clauses and conditions stated in the contract, so make sure it’s clear. 

There may be some benefits to allowing pets in your property, however. Tenants often have a hard time finding properties that will allow pets, so when they do find one, they are much likely to stay longer and be better, more loyal tenants if they can keep their furry friends with them. 

Member comments

  1. I would like to challenge the statement in the beginning of this article:
    “Spain is a country of pet-loving people”.
    I am in tears almost every day when I walk my dog in the campo or in the national parks.
    People have dogs in chains or small cages that the poor creatures never get out of. They dogs walk around in their own poo and are never taken for a walk. Often I see them being fed a ton of food (and water) every 2 weeks. Then they are just sitting there without any contact to another living being for 2 weeks, until the owner comes by for 10 minutes again.
    I have talked to some expats here that are also aware of the problems. Some of them have tried to report it with the result that the police came and shot the dog. I dont know what is worse. I have never seen such cruelty to dogs anywhere in Europe and I have been most places. Some places in Italy are about the same. However imporoving. Here there seems to be no hope.
    I have been here in Spain for 2 months now and could easily point out more than 100 of these dogs. I have stayed near Cortes de la Frontera and now near Alozaina. Whoever wrote this article should take a walk and see for her/him self.
    Best regards
    Stig Günther (Denmark)
    PS: I can provide pictures and video if you need to see it for yourself.

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PROPERTY

Home insurance in Spain: How does it work and what does it cover?

Home insurance in Spain has policies which may differ from what you're used to in your home country. Here's why Spanish home insurance may surprise you in terms of what it covers, what it costs, key info and whether it's worth getting.

Home insurance in Spain: How does it work and what does it cover?

If you’re moving to Spain and purchasing a property or even renting, one of the first and most important factors to consider is purchasing home insurance.

According to the latest data available, approximately 23 percent of households in Spain are uninsured. That percentage corresponds to around 6 million homes.

But with low prices and the wide range of situations Spanish home insurance covers, there’s little reason not to get it.

Contracting home insurance is only essential in Spain when you acquire a mortgage. The current Mortgage Law requires you to take out this insurance if you are going to buy a house with a loan and is an essential requirement for banks to grant you the money.

If you’re renting in Spain, you’re not obliged to contract home insurance, but it still may be a good idea.

Your landlord may have buildings insurance, but you may still want to take out some type of insurance to protect your own belongings or the contents of the property. 

In the UK, home contents insurance covers your personal possessions against theft, fire or other damage, while buildings insurance covers the structure of your property if the tiles on your roof are broken in a storm for example, the outside is damaged by fire or a tree falls on part of your property.

In Spain, home insurance works slightly differently. Like in the UK and other countries there are different types of insurance. 

READ ALSO: Is getting rental default insurance worth it for landlords in Spain?

What types of home insurance are there in Spain?

The most basic is seguros de daños or damage insurance which is similar to buildings insurance in the UK. This will only protect the structure of your property. This would be damage caused by major events such as fires, explosions, flooding, acts of vandalism or subsidence and you should still check the smallprint to be sure of the conditions. With flooding for example, most insurers cover flooding damage caused by rainfall greater than 40 litres per square metre per hour.

The second tier is seguros multiriesgo or multi-risk insurance. This covers both your building and its contents and is one of the most comprehensive types of home insurance in Spain.

This type of insurance not only covers big incidents like fire or theft, but it also covers a whole range of minor issues, which is very different from the type of contents insurance in the UK.

Home insurance is only essential in Spain when you acquire a mortgage. Photo: Louis Hansel / Unsplash

It can cover for everything from a blocked sink to a burst pipe in the wall or a broken radiator. Sometimes it may even cover the breakdown of your white goods such as washing machine and fridge, depending on how old they are and what your specific policy says.

It’s also especially useful for flat owners as it covers against damage to your neighbours’ property if something inside your apartment is at fault.

For example, if your shower or toilet breaks and starts leaking into the flat downstairs, your insurance should cover the damage to your neighbour’s ceiling so that you won’t have to fork out a fortune for fixing someone else’s property.

Many major cities in Spain have historic quarters and some of its nicest-looking apartment buildings are some of the oldest too, so it’s particularly useful if your property is old and prone to needing fixing regularly. 

The third and highest type of home insurance coverage in Spain is all-risk home insurance, which has extended coverage that includes robbery on the street, damage to extra storage rooms outside the main property or coverage for cosmetic damage.

What you need to know

Keep in mind that when you do claim or after you have claimed a couple of times, it’s normal that the insurance company won’t want you to be their client anymore and will terminate your contract.

This shouldn’t be a problem, however, you will simply contract a new home insurance policy with a different company. It helps to go with a broker so that they can present you with different options to choose from, so you know what’s the best.

Be aware that every insurance company will have a slightly different policy so just because a certain item may have been covered on your old policy, it doesn’t mean that will be on the new one or be covered to the same amount of money.

What are some of the most popular home insurance companies in Spain?

There are many different companies that offer multi-risk insurance policies in Spain, both international and national companies. Some of the most popular are:

  • AXA Home Insurance
  • Generali
  • Zurich
  • Mapfre
  • Caser
  • El Corte Inglés 

How much does home insurance cost in Spain?

As the multi-risk policies cover so many different aspects, you would imagine that they’re very expensive. Surprisingly though, these are quite affordable at under €200 per year according to the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU).

The price isn’t too different from what you’d pay in the UK. Money Supermarket says that a combined home and contents insurance policy in the UK costs around £140 per year, but usually it will cover a lot less. 

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