Cat in Appartment

The Legal Requirements for Keeping Pets at Home in Greece

Author: Athanasios Rozou
Published: 25/02/2012

Keeping of Pets in Flats is Allowed Provided That Certain Legal, Rental Agreement and Condominium Bylaws Requirements Are Met

Pet keeping in flats causes conflict between building residents. Either pet owners’ violation of basic welfare and health requirements, the nuisance caused by dogs barking and cats meowing at inappropriate times, or the whims of other residents sometimes trigger major quarrels that end up to police stations and courtrooms. For this reason, the Greek State has set legal requirements for keeping pets in flats and single-detached dwellings with Law No 4039/2012 (Government Gazette A 15 / 02.02.2012), as amended by Law No. 4235/2014 (Government Gazette Α 32 / 11.02.2014).

Legal Rules and Regulations Regarding Keeping Pets in Flats

According to Law No 4039/2012, in buildings that consist of two or more flats, tenants may keep pets under the following conditions:

  1. pets live in the same apartment with their owners
  2. pets do not stay permanently on apartment balconies or other open spaces
  3. pet welfare is protected while health requirements and quiet hours are respected
  4. pets have been microchipped, registered, and booklet veterinary record of good health

If these conditions are met, then flat building owners may not prohibit tenants from keeping pets, even if there is a clause in the condominium bylaws that forbids pets. In other words, the law overrides the bylaws.

Rules and Regulations set by Condominium Bylaws

The “Condominium Bylaws” (also known as the "Enabling Declaration", the "Master Deed", the "Declaration of Conditions", or the "Condominium Document") are drafted by a notary and signed by the real property owners (apartments, shops, parking spaces, etc.) of the condominium, usually when the premises are ready for habitation. While the notary keeps the original document, a certified copy is transcribed for the transcript books of the local Land Registry Office. The bylaws 1) govern the internal affairs of the condominium or flat building, 2) establish the responsibilities of the owners' association, 3) set the joint ownership and maintenance charges of common areas (CAM) of the condo, the decision-making process of the owners’ association meeting, the process by which the bylaws can be revised, pet restrictions, etc. All residents should respect these bylaws. If a tenant violates the bylaws repeatedly, then the landlord has the right to break the tenancy without penalty and evict the tenant from the property.

Condominium Bylaws Rules and Regulations Regarding Pet Keeping in Flats

Condominium bylaws may also limit the number of pets allowed per flat to two; but, according to the law No 4039/2012, this limitation only applies to cats and dogs. In other words, the law doesn’t limit the number of pets allowed in building flats; however, the bylaws may regulate a maximum two pets, cats or dogs, per flat. This regulation is valid only if it is contained in the transcribed document of the bylaws. It cannot be set just with an official decision of the home owners association, even if the majority or all owners agree.

Keeping of Pets in Common Areas of the Building

Furthermore, the law prohibits keeping pets in common areas of the condo; however, the owners’ association may make the unanimous decision to allow pets in the open space bellow elevated buildings (pilotis), the roof, the open space around the building, and the garden.

Number of Pets Allowed in Detached, Single-Unit Homes

Law No 4039/2012 doesn’t include a number regulating pets in detached, single-unit homes. Therefore, residents may keep more than two pets that have been microchipped, registered, and a clean bill of health under the condition that animal welfare is protected and health requirements and quiet hours are respected.

Fine for Violation of Animal Law

Violation of the above conditions, as set by the law, may result in a fine of 300,00€ per pet.

Our law firm has over a decade of experience in handling the legal matters arising from pet ownership. We love animals and most of us are pet owners! We would be glad to be of assistance.

Rozou and Associates Law Firm

Our Firm is located in Thessaloniki, Greece. We serve the districts of Macedonia and Attica (Athens). Our Mutual Consent Divorce service is provided countrywide.