Daisy Okas works for the American Kennel Club and obviously loves dogs, so when she was looking for an apartment for herself and Olive, her six-year-old beagle, there was no negotiation—she had to live in a pet-friendly building.
When Barbara Fox, president of Fox Residential Group in Manhattan, and her husband decided to move from their single family home into a building, they had to find one that would accept their four dogs and two cats as well.
Animal Fair magazine just named New York City—with its vast array of pet spas, hotels, and grooming salons—one of the most pet-friendly tourist destinations in the country, and both Okas and Fox found buildings that welcomed their furry family members. However, both say that finding a building that accepts pets in New York City is not as easy as it sounds—in many residential buildings, pets simply aren’t allowed.
Why wouldn’t a co-op building want to allow Fido and Fluffy to take up residence? “There are noise and mess factors,” says Fox. “And of course there’s a risk factor that a dog might harm someone.”
Michael Signet, director of sales at Manhattan-based brokerage Bond New York says that about half the buildings in New York are pet-friendly, but there aren’t any definite statistics. A number of buildings tentatively allow animals, but come with various restrictions. “Some buildings allow [dogs], but the owner must have a $500,000 liability policy in case the dog bites,” says Signet. “They may also require that a dog weigh under 20 pounds, or may allow each household to keep only one dog.”