What you need to know if you have a pet
Renting an apartment in New York City with a pet can be a tedious process. Some landlords and management companies have strict no pet policies while others have breed and weight restrictions.
Let's talk about the weight restrictions. There are landlords who will only rent to you if you have a cat and will reject you if you have a dog, no matter how tiny your four legged friend is.
There are others that will accept your dog if your furry friend weighs in at 12 lbs or less.
If you have a larger dog you may want to start your search early. Some owners will have a 35 pound limit, others 40 pounds and very few will allow a 50 pound dog. Even with landlords and management companies that will accept larger dogs they will often have restrictions on what are considered aggressive breeds like Pitbulls, German shepherds and Dobermans. Getting one larger pet accepted, getting two accepted can be challenging.
In some cases your dog will need to be interviewed and documentation such as a certificate from a dog behavior school will be needed before you get a green light from a landlord.
If you have a dog that jumps at every sound then don't rent an apartment near the elevator or on the first floor where the noise level is higher.
Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities. Even if a lease says "no pets" or restricts pets, landlords are required to make what is called a “reasonable accommodation” to allow pets who serve as assistance animals, which includes animals who provide emotional support.
For new renters, some landlords will accept a person who has a "service animal" such as a blind person who needs a seeing eye dog; but will balk at "assistance animals" needed for emotional support. In either case, you will need to prove with the proper documentation that your pet is not a luxury but a necessity for you.
Landlords and management companies who accept pets may also charge a "pet fee." This can be anywhere from $500 extra security deposit to as much as the equivalent of an extra month's rent (to be held in the event there is damage to the apartment when you move). Others might take a non-refundable fee for expected wear and tear of having a dog in the apartment.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE
Smaller landlords with fewer than 4 apartments can just say no. This happens when the owner also happens to live in the same building.
HOW APTSTAR CAN HELP
Most people with pets hate moving because they know how difficult it can be. Let's face it moving is stressful. Moving with a pet that is like a family member can make it doubly so. I can help make this a smoother process for you. I know who accepts what type of pet and will help you prepare certain documents (if required) in order that you get a yes for the apartment of your choice. I always say: "there is a solution for everything."