Pets Allowed? Economic Pressures Change Some Rules—But Not All

Even as condos and co-ops around the Northeast have loosened pet restrictions to increase marketability during the recession, only a limited segment of New York City buildings have jumped on the bandwagon.

Co-ops, most of which do not have strong marketing concerns, have continued to ban or place heavy restrictions on animals (principally dogs) out of concerns over nuisance barking, property damage and dog bites.

This is in contrast with condos, where pet policies are developing along two diverging paths. Newer condos, which need to appeal to a wide segment of buyers, have generally thrown out the welcome mat for dogs. But in some older condos, tighter controls on animals have been put in place within the past year, according to Linda Cohen Wassong, a realtor at The Corcoran Group in Manhattan, who specializes in finding housing for pet owners. “In the past, condos had always been friendly to pets, except if you were renting. But now there are restrictions at some of them,” she says.

More Dogs Than Ever

While some buildings are putting dogs on a tighter leash, a combination of market forces and sheer doggy demographics are working against the restrictions, says Bob Marino, president of the New York Council of Dog Owner Groups (NYCdog).

Compared to five years ago, says Marino, “[Dog ownership] has gone up tremendously. We now have 1.4 million dogs in New York City. What has happened that as emerging areas get wealthier—like Long Island City, to name one example—dog ownership has exploded. We have a dog owner group in Long Island City and it’s at 500 members.”


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  • nice article.
  • My question is how to best enforce a dog policy - i.e. how do you ensure shareholders/tenants "register" their dog and pay the fee? Our building does not have cameras or a doorman, so it really would be "on your honor" and unfortunately I am not sure of everyone's honor?! Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  • Reba, In addition to NYCdog, I was on my condo board for 11 years and have been a real estate consultant for 31 years. My advice is to speak with your managing agent about dog policies and enforcement. It is to everyone's advantage for dog owners to comply with reasonable rules. If NYCdog can help anyone reading the Cooperator, please contact me at Regards Bob
  • Is there increased cost for maintenance for common areas when there are pets?
  • Is it legal in NYC for a co op board to implement a new rule where they charge an additional fee (in my case, fifty USD a month) for tenants who have pets (particularly pets who have lived with the owner for 3 months or longer)?