Tenants usually conceal their pet ownership from landlords due to simple negligence or fear of rejection of their tenancy application. Later, if residents complain to the landlord about pets in the tenanted apartment, the landlord may be surprised and break the lease.
The landlord has the right to break the lease without penalty and evict the tenant from the premises if there is a clause in the tenancy agreement that prohibits keeping pets or in the condiminium bylaws (also known as the "Master Deed", the "Enabling Declaration", the "Declaration of Conditions", or the "Condominium Document") that regulates the number of pets per apartment with the tenant keeping more pets than this number. If there is no clause in the tenancy agreement regarding pet ownership and if the tenant has fewer than two (2) cats or dogs (the law limiting the number of pets applies only to cats and dogs), then, regardless of the existence of condominium bylaws, a break notice of the lease by the landlord and granting of eviction order (summary judgment) by the court would be invalid. In that case, the tenant should file at the court: (a) an opposition to quash the eviction order; (b) an application for the suspension of the implementation of the eviction order until the court issues a judgement on the opposition; and, (c) an application for the issuance of a court temporary order that will suspend any act of eviction by the landlord until the court grants a decision on the main application of suspension mentioned in (b). Hearings are then scheduled for all the aforesaid legal actions of the tenant. If the landlord files an eviction lawsuit instead of a motion for an eviction summary judgement, then the tenant should show up at this hearing to present his evidence at which time the judge will determine whether the eviction is valid.
To avoid stress, anxiety and conflict in the landlord-tenant relationship, a pet owner definitely should notify the landlord of his intention to keep pets in the leased premises prior to signing the tenancy agreement. He should also request a clause that allows pet ownership. If the tenant owns more than two (2) cats or dogs, then he should search the condominium bylaws for a possible rule governing the number of pets per apartment. If no condominium bylaws are known, then a lawyer research the Transcript Books of the local Land Registry Office for a transcribed, certified copy of these bylaws. If he finds one, then he should read it carefully to find out whether a clause regarding pet keeping is included. Lawyer’s paperwork doesn’t raise the total cost of the procedure that much and is essential for the proper drafting of the tenancy agreement and the legal protection of the tenant, especially if more than two (2) cats or dogs will be kept at the leased premises.
Should the tenant decide to keep pets in the rented apartment during the tenancy, if no regulation clause was included in the tenancy agreement and fewer than two (s) pets will be kept, I believe that notification of the landlord is not mandatory. Either way, if the terms and conditions of Law No. 4039/2012 are not met, then the landlord has the right to break the lease without penalty and evict the tenant from the premises.
You can read more about the rules and regulations of pet ownership in Greece by clicking here.
Our law firm has extensive experience in handling the legal matters arising out of troubled tenancies and pet ownership. We would be glad to be of assistance.