Are you a pet owner renting in NYC? If so, you may have some questions about apartment hunting with a furry friend.
First things first; landlords ARE allowed to prohibit pets in their buildings, unless they are certified medical or emotional support animals. If you are apartment hunting with a service animal, be sure to have all your documentation in order for your rental application! Legally, landlords cannot discriminate against you if you have a service animal. But what are the rules for non-certified pets? It really depends on the landlord and building. Here are a few things you need to know.
Can landlords charge a pet-fee?
A pet fee is a one-time fee that landlords charge to tenants with pets to cover any damages the pet may cause to the apartment. In NYC, pet fees are legal, but they cannot be more than one month’s rent.
Can a landlord ask for a “pet-deposit”?
A pet deposit is a refundable deposit that landlords charge to tenants with pets to cover any damages the pet may cause to the apartment. In NYC, pet deposits are NOT legal because the maximum deposit landlords can ask for is 1 month’s rent. Instead, landlords can require tenants with pets to pay a non-refundable pet fee.
Do all buildings require a pet-fee?
No. In fact, the majority of buildings in NYC are pet-friendly and fees are not very common. Many new development buildings are even being constructed with dog runs and other pet amenities. Landlords may impose a fee for large breeds or if an applicant has multiple pets.
Can my landlord deny my application because I have a pet?
Unless your pet is a service animal, the landlord CAN reject your application because you have a pet. Landlords may also deny applicants with certain breeds or types of animals (reptiles, fish etc.).
What are common pet rules in NYC buildings?
Every landlord is different, so you should reference your lease to see if they have any specific pet rules. Common stipulations may be that your pet should have identification tags, be leashed when outside your unit, and that you are required to pick up after your pet.
My building is animal-free but I want to get a pet. Can I get a pet and not tell my landlord?
Unfortunately, getting a pet in an animal-free building is likely breaking a term in your lease. If your landlord learns of this information, they could use it as grounds for an eviction. Additionally, many renters elect to rent in animal-free spaces because of allergies or other concerns. So even if your landlord doesn’t know, it could disturb your neighbors or cause them to report it.
Do you have a pet? Does your building charge fees or have any pet rules? Be sure to share an anonymous review on openigloo and help the next renter who considers your building!