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Pet owners are less likely to suffer depression, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure than their pet-less peers, but pet ownership seems like a luxury for many New York City renters. The local real estate market certainly doesn’t make it easy on apartment dwellers, but there are ways that you can enjoy the perks of pet ownership in a New York City apartment.

Look For Pet-Friendly & Pets Allowed Apartments

Both pet-friendly and pets-allowed apartments will allow tenants and owners to keep pets. Pet-friendly dwellings are the best options, as they embrace pets and make life comfortable for them with extra features like on-site doggy daycares and pet waste stations.

Pets-allowed apartments tolerate pets, although management will typically only approve pets that adhere to breed and weight restrictions. These restrictions may be relaxed if you can show proof that your pet would suit the apartment, such as references or obedience training certificates. You could also be hit with a pet deposit or an additional fee for keeping your pet on the premises.

Know the Pet Law

New-York-City-DogsImage via Flickr by Crosa

If you’ve got your heart set on an apartment with a no-pet clause, then it’s essential to know the NYC Pet Law, which might override this regulation. According to the law, a tenant or apartment owner cannot be evicted if they have “openly and notoriously” kept a pet for three or more months, the landlord and his agent knew or should have known about the pet, and the landlord had not started a court case to enforce the no-pet clause. The Pet Law applies to tenants living in buildings with at least three apartments, the owners of cooperative apartments in all five boroughs, and condo owners in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

You have some control over the first two requirements. You shouldn’t hide your pet during repairs or maintenance or pretend he’s a stray that you’re trying to rehome. If you own a dog, you should walk him during high-traffic times to make your neighbors aware of him. However, the third requirement is where things get risky. It’s difficult to judge whether a landlord will start proceedings to have you evicted, so your plan could backfire. However, you’ll have a better chance of your landlord turning a blind eye if you choose an appropriate pet that isn’t disruptive or destructive.

Be a Good Neighbor

Apartment dwellers need to be considerate to those around them. That means considering not just your impact on your neighbors, but your pet’s impact as well.

If your dog has a problem with barking, try strategies like getting a barking collar or signing him up for obedience classes. He might also bark out of boredom, so make sure he gets plenty of exercises and has toys to play with. Ask your neighbors whether your pooch is annoying them, as lonely dogs often bark when their owners are out.

Apartment cats and dogs are also best kept indoors, so they don’t annoy neighbors or hunt local wildlife.

So don’t despair, pet owners. With some careful research and consideration for others, you needn’t give up your pet to live happily in a New York City apartment.

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