Home / Lifestyle / Dog-gone it! Here's how to share an apt. with your pooch

Dog-gone it! Here's how to share an apt. with your pooch

Owning a dog can be a great experience, but not for renters whose landlords aren’t exactly pet-friendly.FRANCK CAMHI

Owning a dog can be a great experience, but not for renters whose landlords aren’t exactly pet-friendly.

Owning a dog can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences, but unfortunately tenants can face complications when they bring animals into the home.

The good news is there are several things you can do to minimize the impact your new best friend will have on your ability to stay in your current home, and find a new one when the time arises.

Do your homework

The first thing you need to do is to dust off your current lease and see what, if any, policies it contains regarding pets.

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If your current landlord does allow dogs, there will likely be restrictions as to what types are acceptable. Many building owners do not accept dogs over 35 pounds or any breed they deem aggressive, such as pit bulls or Rottweilers.

Keeping an “aggressive breed” of dog will greatly limit the number of apartments for which you will qualify in the future as well. A simple Internet search will bring up breeds that are commonly restricted.

If possible, choose an apartment-friendly dog like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Havanese or French Bulldog. These breeds tend to weigh less, do not need an abundance of exercise, and usually do not bark excessively. As a result, they are more suited for urban living.

Be flexible

When looking for a new home, a dog will make the process more difficult; it’s a fact of life. Be upfront about your pet with potential landlords and your broker if you use one.

Give yourself plenty of time for the search process. In addition, be prepared to pay a pet deposit to cover any potential damage your pet may cause to the unit. These fees can start at $ 500 and can work their way up from there.

Don’t assume you can keep pets in a particular building because you see others on the premises. Landlords change their policies frequently and the pets you see may have been “grandfathered in” before the new rules were put into place.

Think small

Keep in mind that mom-and-pop landlords are often more pet-friendly than the larger management companies. As you are dealing with an individual, they are more likely to be flexible in their thinking and allow a pet than would a large corporation that has a firm blanket policy.

If possible, move during the winter months, which is the traditional slow season for the rental market. If a landlord is having trouble renting a particular unit (which is most likely during this season) then they may be more inclined to consider a new tenant with dog.

Protect yourself and your pet

When you do secure a place, it’s important to make sure the landlord includes a rider to your lease that states that you are allowed to keep a dog, and any rules or restrictions by which you must abide.

You will be well served having the terms spelled out in writing, should any dispute arise down the road.

Gary Malin is president of New York real estate brokerage firm Citi Habitats.

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Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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