Iceland relaxes pet ownership rules

The law on pet ownership in Iceland has been changed to make it easier for people and their pets to live in shared buildings.

From now on, people who wish to keep cats or dogs in a building with a shared entrance or hallways (for example any block of flats) will now only need the written permission of two thirds of the building’s other residents.

Previously, everybody in the building needed to give their written consent for a dog or cat to move in — which meant one individual could prevent everybody else from getting a pet dog or cat. Indeed, the problem was a surprisingly common one.

According to RUV, the vote passed parliament with 37 votes against three. At the same time, it was also decided that blind people, and other disabled people in need of assistance dogs, will be exempted altogether, thereby preventing one person stopping a blind person getting a guide dog — as has happened before.

The housing complaints commission will step in to mediate and judge in cases where a resident of a block is too allergic to dogs or cats to even walk along the same corridors as them.

The new law is not only good for apartment dwellers wanting to get a pet; but especially for pet owners looking to move home.

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