(*) Pets in apartments

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Pets in a country where tolerance against these beings appears to be very low. The development of animal rights compared to most Western European countries regrettably remains behind.

To what extent is a pet allowed in a residential park? Is a majority decision of the owner’s association valid regarding evacuation of a pet? Can a supervisor from a municipality decide about the evacuation of a pet? What are the rights of animals in Turkey?

To be clear: Pets can not be evacuated either by a majority vote of the owners association or by a decision of the Municipality. The court is the determining authority on evacuation of pets from their homes in a residential park. In other words; an owner’s association or supervisors from the Municipality (the so called 'Zabita’) do not have any authority. Any homeowner can decide whether he keeps a pet in his apartment and how many.

An owners association can only set up house rules regarding pets that stay in common areas, like the garden, the cellar, stairs or hallway. For example, that dogs should be on leash in the garden or that they are not allowed at the pool.

An evacuation of a (domestic) animal can only be accomplished through a court procedure. During a judicial process is assessed to what extent the environment or neighbors have burden (like noise or odors) from the animals and whether it is tolerable. Hereby the circumstances of the case should be examined under the Animal Law compared to the Apartments law and the provisions of the neighbors rights contained in the Civil Code.

The Animal Law, entered in 2004 (law number 5199) is unfortunately little known among the judges. This law explicitly states that animals in need of care and help can not be evicted from their home. In other words, the evacuation of animals that are accustomed to a home life or old or sick is punishable under this Act.




















But what about the pet rights compared to the provisions of the management plan?
For the reader who has no idea what a management plan is; the management plan of a residential park is registered at the Tapu office with stringency to all of the owners at the residential park. The management plan is deposited during the building of the residential by the contractor. A management plan consists of board rules, the rights and duties of all of the owners. A management plan may contain different rules, like the allowance of pets in the park. The deposited management plan is often confused with the house rules decisions taken by majority. House rules are based on majority decisions and these decisions are by definition not binding and may be destroyed or withdrawn at any time.

Even if a management plan of a residential park stipulates an adverse condition related to (domestic) animals, this does not mean that a pet should be simply evacuated from a residential park due to. The court is the determining authority on evacuation of animals from apartments in a residential park. Still, considering the provisions of the Law of the Animal rights, I remain adamant that pets who are accustomed to a home life can not be evacuated unless there are reasons of urgency.
 

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