It is common lately to find in home rental ads a notice about the prohibition of living with pets and pets. The owners, making use of their powers over the property offeredby the rent, incorporate this prohandbition to prevent dogs or cats from living in their homes.
Until now, the prohibition had to be interpreted, almost exclusively, through the civil regulations that regulate property, basically articles 348 of the Civil Code and 541-1 of the Civil Code of Catalonia, and concordant precepts: the owner of something has the right to dispose of it without more limitation than those imposed by law.
In this sense, we are of the opinion that failure to comply with a clause that prohibits living in rented housing with pets would have very limited force as a cause for contractual resolution and, from the point of view of possible damage to the home, in any case these should be demonstrated, beyond the coexistence or not of animals in the home.
Article 541-2 of the Civil Code of Catalonia established a new limiting element of the use of property in civil legislation, “in accordance with its social function”, which was already included in article 33 of the Spanish Constitution.
Now, this limitation of social use acquires a new perspective in relation to animals, with the approval of Law 7/2023, of March 28, on the protection ofanimal rights and welfare .
The Law aims to “regulate the recognition and protection of the dignity of animals by society” by implementing “legal mechanisms in order to promote animal protection and prevent the high degree of abandonment of animals” (Preamble). Among others, article 2.2.a) has as its purpose the law “to promote responsible possession and coexistence”; section c) of the same article, “fight against mistreatment and abandonment”; and section d), “promoting adoption and foster care”.
Article 24 says that “all persons are obliged to treat animals according to their status as sentient beings”, and that their owners must keep them “in decent living conditions”.
More specifically, Article 26 establishes that the owners of the animals have the obligation to “keep them integrated into the family unit”.
The law also defines penalties for infractions that may be committed in relation to non-compliance with the obligations arisingfrom them.
Starting next September, when the Law comes into force , its stipulations must be kept in mind in order to interpret and comply with housing rental contracts.
In this sense, article 6 of the Law on Urban Leases establishes the nullity of contractual stipulations to the detriment of the tenant.
Now is not the time to delve into the legal analysis of this issue, but it is a good time, in this space of vacatio legis, to start thinking about whether this prohibition of living with pets in a rented home is legitimate.
 Published in the BOE number 75, of 29 March 2023.
 It will enter into force, in accordance with the Ninth Final Provision, six months after its publication, that is, on September 29, 2023.