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Love me, love my pet

People and pets often create a family. But if one is intending to rent an apartment in New York, it can take much due diligence to find a place that will allow pets. Many landlords do not allow animals due to concerns including the possibility of damages and liability for any dog bites or nuisance issues to others.

A bit of preplanning and proactiveness can help tenants find the perfect place to rent with a four-legged friend. Knowing the laws in New York regarding rentals and pets can make all the difference.

Pets permitted

In New York City, unless the rental agreement expressly prohibits pets, tenants may bring in an animal as a roommate. Even if a lease does proscribe pets, in multiple dwellings excluding public housing, a landlord may have waived the no-pets clause. This can happen if the renter has been keeping a pet openly and without secrecy for three months and the landlord was aware but did not act.

Disabled tenants also may defeat the pet clause. Any animal ban will not apply to service dogs of deaf or blind people. In addition, New York law excepts animals that provide emotional assistance to people with certain mental illnesses.

Negotiating for pet permission

However, if the above situations do not apply, a would-be tenant may want to consider finding a landlord that is or could become amenable to keeping the human-pet relationship strong. A tenant may be able to get pet acceptance by paying a pet deposit on top of the standard deposit. The pet owner can offer to agree in writing to spay or neuter the pet or make other arrangements.

Avoiding litigation between tenant and landlord is possible for the diligent rental seeker who wishes to keep a pet, with the proper arrangements. If an agreement is successfully forged, the tenant then needs to comply with any promises made to avoid disputes.

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