‘Pet friendly’ and other mysteries of house rules

(Flickr photo by ashley rose)

For owners of dogs and cats seeking to move into an apartment, there’s nothing like finding a building described as pet friendly.

Friendly is one thing.  A warm embrace is quite another.

As BrickUnderground has noted, a new resident may well be dismayed to discover the distinction amounts to a gaping difference.

After a new rule was imposed for canines weighing more than 25 pounds, one tenant was relegated to riding in a slow-moving elevator with her German Shepherd.  And there was no way to challenge the measure.

Although most new rules in cooperatives and condominiums grandfather current owners, it is important for anyone contemplating a move into a new home to scour building rules for possible pitfalls for their Pit Bulls.

Let’s say the building permits washing machines. Find out precisely how they must be installed since mandatory measures can prove to be costly.

Also question the exact terms of any allowed sublets or pieds-à-terre.  If you contemplate subletting your co-op, how soon after purchase is it acceptable?  How long can one last?  How often may you rent out the place?  How much will the co-op charge you for the privilege and not just the first year?

In addition, when extra storage or parking are offered, are there waiting lists and how long might it take to reach the top?

Other issues that are more visible, but no less important, include application fees, moving times and fees, the amount of a security deposit, quality of the property manager, deferred maintenance projects, frequency of board rejections as a gauge of future resale issues, employee turnover and extent of the board’s acting responsibly as well as convivially.

Some information will require more sleuthing than what your attorney can find on paper or what your broker knows.  So, don’t be shy about engaging any lobby personnel, the building superintendent and other residents as they enter or depart the building.

Think of the effort extended as the best insurance you can buy for living in a new home with no unpleasant surprises.  And fail to undertake the project only at your own risk.

Tomorrow: A for effort

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple,  you can privately search all available listings for a new home.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Web site

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