If you’re searching for pet-friendly apartments in the NYC area, you might be asking yourself, can my landlord evict me for having a dog in New York? While the prospect can be quite overwhelming, the answer isn’t all that straightforward.
Whether you have a dog, cat, or any other pet, most New York housing will not allow pets. Some apartments have a strict “no pet” policy to prevent damage to the property, and some limit the number of pets per unit to keep tenants from adopting too many furry friends.
Even if a New York landlord allows pets in their building, they’ll require tenants to keep them confined to the units. This means that your four-legged friends cannot roam freely or be left unattended on balconies.
We understand that the rules and regulations can be a bit confusing, so we’ve gathered a list of laws that you’ll need to consider when renting with pets in New York.
NYC Pet Laws and Regulations
The NYC Pet Law was established in 1983 to address the landlord’s pet bans in apartment buildings that led to disputes between landlords and tenants. It applies to all renters living in buildings with three or more apartments, and the owners of co-operative apartments in all five boroughs of New York City.
This includes the condominium owners in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens, but it does not apply to condo owners in Manhattan and the Bronx, or the buildings owned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).
When it comes to pet policy, rental agreement documents are usually quite clear—however, this isn’t always the last word on whether or not you can own a pet. It’s interesting to note that the NYC Pet Law has a legal loophole that allows you to keep your pets in your New York apartments legally—despite a “no-pets” clause in the residential lease.
According to the clause, a landlord cannot impose a “no-pet” policy if:
- The tenant has disclosed the presence of the pet “openly and notoriously.”
- The landlord or their agent have known about the pet for three months or more
- The landlord does not follow through on the court proceedings within three months of learning about a pet’s presence in the apartment.
- Your pet does not create a nuisance, such as damaging the property or creating serious health issues for the other tenants’ health and safety.
Renting with Pets & Pet Eviction Notices
It’s common for New York housing leases and rental agreements to include a “no-pets” policy—but if you already have a pet, the NYC Pet Law offers an override if you follow all of the apartment’s rules, and ensure that the pet doesn’t cause damage to the property or other tenants.
You need to completely disclose the pet’s presence, and make sure that it can be seen by the landlord or any agent of the landlord. In addition to this, you’ll need to start gathering proof of your pet living with you if the landlord decides to take you to court. The evidence includes the date you bought your pet home, the date and time when you took it through the lobby, and the names of anyone who saw him.
It would be best if you also considered the dates and times that the landlord or his/her agent visited your apartment and saw your pet. If your pet is considered an ESA, federal statutes require landlords to make special accommodations for people with psychiatric disorders who keep pets for emotional support.
In case of a pet eviction notice, make sure to review your lease to see if it mentions a strict “no-pets” clause. If not, you might just be in the clear. You should also check all of the local laws in effect, or you can seek professional legal help.
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still facing eviction for having a pet, our team at Bennett Movers can help you take care of everything. As a leading New York moving company, we can provide you with the necessary documentation and paperwork required by the court, banks, tenants, or even the local police department to ensure the eviction process is as smooth as possible.
Our team has over 25 years of experience and is fully licensed, insured, and equipped to deal with New York eviction. Ready to move? Browse our eviction services, learn more about the eviction process, and contact us today for a free quote.