As Promised: Pet Law in New York City!

While most of LawHelpNY’s housing resources focus on the housing rights of humans, our non-human companions enjoy some legal protections, too!

In NYC, tenants who have lived openly and notoriously with a pet may be able to defeat a no-pet clause in a lease.  Residents of NYCHA buildings can have one dog or one cat up to a certain size.  Read all about it in the City Bar’s pamphlet, Companion Animals in NYC Apartments.

Animals are an important source of companionship and support for lots of New Yorkers, but they play a crucial role for the elderly and disabled.  They can play a role in managing anything from vision and hearing difficulties to anxiety and other mental health problems.

Unfortunately, some landlords do their best to evict service animals, citing no-pet clauses in leases.  Federal and state law both require that landlords provide reasonable accommodations so that disabled people can fully enjoy their housing; that means that the no-pet clause has to give way for an appropriate service animal.  For more on the housing rights of disabled people, check out our subtopic on Disability and Housing, which has a number of guides on reasonable accommodations–what they are and how to get them.

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