Animals are now considered “sentient beings” in Spain, so does this affect landlords being able to prohibit pets in rental properties?
The new law 17/2021 in Spain which came into force on January 5 sees animals no longer considered “real estate or things” and recognises them as “sentient beings” or living beings endowed with sensitivity.
The regulations modify the Civil Code to adapt it to the true nature of animals and the relationships of coexistence that are established between them and human beings. Some Twitter users have wondered if the new rights relate to the clauses that some owners of rental flats put in place that prohibits renters from having pets in the property.
According to 20minutos, sources from the General Directorate of Animal Rights say that the new law does not contemplate anything related to these clauses so, for now, the owners of rental apartments will be able to continue not allowing animals.
Some users have described this as “abusive” to impose these types of restrictions when accessing rental housing now that animals are considered “sentient beings” by law. Others, however, argue that a dog can “destroy a house” and that it is “normal” that the owners do not want to have them in their apartments.
One Twitter user wrote: “Hey, correct me if I’m wrong, but with the new legislation your animals are part of the family nucleus, therefore they cannot prohibit you from having them with you in the rental housing. Has this abusive clause in contracts ended?”
Although the new law does not mention anything on this subject, it does expand the rights of pets. For example, a judge will have to decide the future of the animal in the event of annulment, separation or divorce. It also decides what to do with an animal when its owner dies or circumstances in which an owner would lose possession of an animal, among other things.