Rental vs Pets 😺🐶 Can it be an obstacle?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions and one of the biggest adversities we face when searching for a good rental for clients with pets. On one hand, we have landlords' concerns about a possible extra wear and tear due to the presence of animals in the property, especially if the space rented is furnished. On the other hand, we see tenants being limited in their home searches due to restrictions on animals, that are often considered family members. Can our pets be one more obstacle when you already have to worry about rent prices, location and equipment of a property when looking for a rental? Let's talk about it.


01. Renting with pets in Portugal

Law-Decree Animals in Lease, What Does the Law Say?


There is no specific law on the prohibition or not of pets in rented properties. A bill created by the PAN (People-Animals-Nature) Party that aims to ensure equal access to tenancy for those who own pets was put to the vote in the Parliament, but was eventually rejected in December 2019.


Although the Portuguese Civil Code states that “No one can be discriminated against in terms of access to tenancy on grounds of sex, ancestry or ethnic origin, language, territory of origin, nationality, religion, belief, political or ideological convictions, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability”... no information about animal companions is mentioned.


Therefore, the property owner can choose whether or not to accept tenants who have pets. It should be noted that there is no legal rule that prevents the landlord from introducing a clause prohibiting the keeping of a domestic animal in the leased property.


Savvy Cat Realty Recommends: When the landlord is reluctant to accept you as a tenant because of your furry friend, why not talk and meet halfway?


Depending on the situation, if you are put in a position where the landlord presents a prohibitive clause on the contract, as described above, we suggest trying to negotiate the removal of said clause or add an extra clause with an additional bond to cover any possible damage done by your pet in the future.


To learn more, ask your Savvy Regional Advisor or at contact@savvycatrealty.com


02. Rules & other restrictions for pets in Leased Homes

The landlord's will is not the only point to consider. What should you know?


  • Limited Number of pets allowed in apartments : Another restriction that doesn't depend on the landlord is related to the number of animals allowed in an apartment. By law, you can have up to 3 dogs or 4 adult cats, without exceeding a maximum of 4 adult animals. However, at the request of the keeper, and upon a binding opinion of the municipal veterinarian and the health delegate, you may be allowed to have more pets, provided that all the health and animal welfare requirements legally required are verified.

  • Condominium rules : Even if the landlord agrees, the condominium may prohibit pets. If you are in an apartment complex, you need to check your condominium regulations for any prohibition of animal companions / pet limit number or if there are any restrictions in communal areas. This rule supersedes the landlord's will and the decision becomes the responsibility of the condominium. To be valid, this regulation must be registered in the land register similar to the title deed of horizontal property.

  • General Noise Regulation: Most neighbors will have no problem with pets, unless your pet is noisy and/or disruptive (it must be taken into account that from 10 pm to 7 am it is necessary to ensure the comfort and harmony of the neighborhood.). If you have a noisy animal, we advise you to train them before moving or you may be facing a complaint or risk receiving a fine. By law, these types of fines can range from €500 to €2500 in case of negligence and from €1500 to €5000 in case of deceit.

  • Assistance animals: By law, a landlord cannot deny a lease to someone with an assistance animal, such as guide dogs or any other pets provided that there is a medical and legal justification that the animal is essential for the tenant's health condition.


03. Conclusion


You should always seek authorization from the landlord for the presence of your pet in their property.

Some people don’t inform the landlords that they have pets and try to keep it a secret, but that is a gamble that might bring you future complications and will most definitely create a tense and unpleasant relationship with your landlord or neighbors.

Bad experiences with tenants with pets in the past has led to some landlords to refuse all together any tenants with animal companions. There is a Portuguese saying that goes “Por causa de um, pagam todos” (‘because of one, everyone pays’), which fits perfectly in these situations.


Don’t be discouraged though! While some landlords can be reluctant to accept your furry friend, they can be open to include clauses that also protect their property. It’s always a question of suggesting that to your future landlord.


If bringing your pet is an absolute must for you, please be informed of your rights and duties first. Better yet, why not ask us for help? Savvy Cat Realty is a pet-loving company (our name says it all!) and will do everything in our power to help you and that reluctant landlord meet halfway. It's perfectly possible to fulfill the dream of having one or more pets at your rental and fill your new home with love!


Hope this article was helpful, any questions you might have feel free to contact us! We are always available at contact@savvycatrealty.com if you need any assistance ;)

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