Animals in Condominium: owners' rights and limitations to know


Emma Potter

In recent years, the presence of pets in condominiums has become increasingly common, turning into a non-negligible issue of civil coexistence.

We analyze the current legislation regarding the limits, prohibitions, obligations and responsibilities of dog and cat owners within condominium contexts.

Starting from the 2012 reform of the civil code, which recognized the value of pets for the psychophysical well-being of people, we will try to clarify which rules must be respected to guarantee peaceful coexistence and respect for everyone's rights.

The right to the company of animals in a condominium

Starting from the assumption that Italian law protects the right to keep pets in condominiums, a fundamental principle arises: no condominium regulation can prohibit owning or keeping pets within one's homes.

Art. 1138 Civil Code
Condominium regulations

The rules of the regulation cannot prohibit owning or keeping pets.

This means that dogs, cats, but also small rodents, domestic birds and aquarium fish can legitimately be part of families living in condominiums.

However, this freedom is not absolute and encounters limitations necessary to guarantee coexistence and mutual respect within shared housing facilities. The condominium regulations, although they cannot prohibit the presence of animals, can establish specific rules to prevent them from causing disturbance or damage.

Limitations and obligations for the movement of animals in the condominium

The condominium regulations may impose specific restrictions regarding the movement of pets in common areas. These restrictions are designed to safeguard the safety and well-being of all residents, including those who do not own pets.

For example, dogs may be required to be kept al leash and, where necessary, with the muzzle, when they are in the common areas of the condominium. Furthermore, it is possible to prohibit animals from being left free or unattended in spaces such as gardens or internal courtyards, to prevent any accidents or disturbances.

A particularly debated issue concerns the use ofelevator by pets. There is no univocal rule: while some jurisprudential rulings have recognized the right to use the lift, others have left room for internal regulations that may limit this use for hygiene or safety reasons.

Rentals and pets

In the rental context, the conditions for keeping pets are generally set out in the rental agreement. Even if the condominium cannot impose bans, the owner of the property can insert specific clauses that limit or prohibit the presence of animals.

Violating these clauses can lead to legal consequences, including the possibility of termination of the rental agreement and possible eviction.

Respect for the peace and responsibility of the owners

Animal owners have a duty to ensure that their companions do not disturb the peace of others or do not pose a safety hazard to residents. This means taking all necessary measures to prevent nighttime barking or potentially harmful behavior.

In the event of damage or disturbance, animal owners are legally responsible, both civilly and, in some cases, criminally.

The responsible management of animals in condominiums is essential to prevent conflicts and ensure peaceful coexistence between all condominiums. Existing regulations aim to balance the right to companionship of animals with the need to maintain order and respect within residential communities.