Enjoy living with your pets in New York City

real estate, tips for buyers and renters  /   /  By junjieshi

Pet owners know that finding a place with their animal can be difficult. In New York, this is especially true, as landlords have a lot of power due to an undersupply of apartments and an oversupply of tenants. Obviously people find apartments for themselves and their pets, but how exactly do they do so? Well, the answer to this seems a bit intense, but it seems to be how it goes at the moment.

Applying for an apartment with a pet becomes like applying for a job. You know your pet well, you know he or she is good and that you look after him or her well. The landlord doesn’t know your pet, though, and some people have fears of certain animals.

What some potential tenants are doing now is getting references for their pets

These references come from previous landlords who know what the animal was like in the apartment, from veterinarians who have seen the pet, from animal trainers, from friends and family who have experience with the pet. Having someone else say that your animal is a good boy or girl, behaves themselves and that you are responsible owner goes a long way.

Some landlords have a dislike, almost hatred of animals. I’d suggest not trying to fight with to get your pet into the apartment. It won’t end well, and chances are it will be a fight for the most part. A landlord that starts out disliking animals probably isn’t going to change their mind. Rather, they’re more likely to watch and wait for a reason to kick you and your pet out. There are landlords that love animals and are open to negotiation concerning pets.

A landlord may love animals, but have had bad experiences with pets and their owners in the past. That’s why some landlords are concerned about a pet in the building. Not because of a dislike of animals but issues with pets in the past. Showing the landlord that your pet is house-trained and that you are a responsible owner then will keep their pet from making mischief or will pay to fix anything goes a long way.

Not all breeds of animal are welcomed, even in apartments buildings that are pet-friendly. Aggressive and larger breeds of dogs are often discouraged; as older or younger tenants may be scared. A large dog may be very friendly, but this friendliness isn’t always welcomed. If I were a tenant going about my day and had someone else’s dog jump on me in a friendly way, I’d be annoyed despite the dog’s intent. Personally I like animals, but I wouldn’t want your animals to knock me over. For an older person, a big friendly dog can be a danger. Can you prove to the landlord your animal won’t be an issue to other tenants? If you can, do this in the references you send in.

For those who are disabled or have a medical condition where an animal is for company and therapy, it can be easier to find a place. For this, use a reference from a medical professional to say why you need the animal and how it makes a positive impact on your life. Some people attempt to fake having a medical condition to get a pet into their apartment, but I’d say not to do this. It may seem like a good idea, but this is easy to see through. Potential tenants have been reported to send a plain paper letter, with no letterhead, to landlords saying “I suffer from depression and need a pet”. It’s easy to make a claim, but harder to back it up. If you’re going to make a claim about your pet, be prepared to back it up with references from a professional.

So, in short, when applying for an apartment with animals in New York, get references for your pet. Don’t fight with a landlord who is adamant against pets in the apartment, and be willing to take more time to find a place. It may mean not getting the apartment you want, or your ideal apartment, but keeping your pet and having them in a welcome home is a good thing.

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