How to find a pet-friendly apartment in NYC

NYC rental market is a tough one to crack, especially if you own a pet

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

A man hugs his puppy

New York’s real estate market is notoriously challenging. From the exorbitant prices to the lack of space, finding a place to live in NYC can be very difficult.  If you are a pet owner, though, be prepared to put a lot of work into finding an apartment to rent because the New York rental scene is notoriously unfriendly to pets, even though there are a ton of laws supporting pet owners. For example, NYC law states that if you’ve had a pet living openly with you for three months, the landlord cannot then turn around and tell you that pets aren’t allowed. However, the law doesn’t force anyone to institute a pet-friendly policy, which is why it’s so hard to find a place to live with your furry friend. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you find the best pet-friendly apartments in NYC.


Look at it from the landlord’s point of view

You might be annoyed that this is the first suggestion. It sounds a lot like it’s in support of landlords who have a no-pet policy. Or one that is only for appearance’s sake with so many restrictions, your pet would have to be sedated all the time. But that’s not what this is about. When you understand why a landlord might be wary of accepting pets, it will be far easier for you. Both to find pet-friendly apartments in NYC and to convince the landlord to accept your pet.

So, consider why a landlord might be less than pleased with allowing dogs. Maybe they’ve had problems in the past with a less-than-responsible pet owner who didn’t pick up after their animal. Or maybe their pets caused serious damage to the apartment. Perhaps their dog barked constantly and drove the neighbors crazy. These are all serious issues you need to consider when looking for pet-friendly apartments in NYC. Now understand that it’s very important to show yourself as a responsible pet owner. And it’s just as important to show that your dog is well trained and can live in close confines with other people without causing trouble.


Be prepared to settle for less

Finding a great apartment at an affordable price in New York is the stuff of dreams. But when you have a pet, you’re going to have to get used to the idea that you’ll probably have to settle for less.This can mean many things. For one, you might have to settle for an apartment in an area that’s further from your job than you’d like. Or you might have to move to an area outside of your ideal NYC neighborhood list. It could also mean that you have to accept a smaller place than you had hoped for. And you’ll certainly have difficulty finding furnished apartments that accept pets.

A beagle with it's leash tied on a bike in NYC

And you can definitely expect to pay more for the privilege of owning a pet. You might have to pay a higher rent, even though the landlord will never admit that the price has suddenly gone up because you have a pet. Or you might have to pay a far larger security deposit to cover any potential damages your pet might cause. If you own a breed of dog that’s a little larger, then be prepared to accept any apartment where the landlord says yes to Spike. This even includes English bulldogs, which aren’t anywhere near a large breed.


Don’t bother with buildings where there’s a no-pets policy

If the building has a no-pets policy, it’s going to be futile trying to convince a large company to accept your pet. It will be extremely stressful and time-intensive, only for you to meet with failure. You’re better off targeting buildings and communities that you know accept pets, or at least don’t state outright that they don’t allow pets.

dog and its owner sitting across the river in NYC

You might also have a good chance with individual owners of condos and homes. Especially if you can prove that you are very responsible, and your pet is a joy to be around. It’s not impossible for the landlord to fall in love with your pet, especially if they are a pet owner themselves. To save time on your search, you can approach a company like Blueground that has some pet-friendly apartments in NYC. While not all of their apartments allow pets, it’s easy to find the ones that do by using their website. They have a  filter that allows you to find apartments where you can move in with your furry friend with a single click. And they’re fully furnished and equipped too!

A shortlist of pet-friendly apartment buildings in New York:

  • Stonehenge 70 at 210 West 70th Street
  • The Westport at 500 West 56th Street
  • The Ritz Plaza at 235 West 48th Street
  • The Chelsea at 160 West 24th Street
  • 101W15 at 101 West 15th Street
  • Tribeca Tower at 105 Duane Street


Pretend you’re both applying for a job

The application process to rent an apartment in NYC is pretty rigorous and many people equate it with applying for a job. When you’re applying for a pet-friendly apartment in NYC, the competition is even stiffer, so you have to be ready. This means that the landlord will not only investigate you but your pet too. And in many cases, they’ll want to meet your furry friend before saying yes. This is to make sure that you’re being completely honest. After all, it’s not unheard of for people to state their dogs are lighter than they really are. Or to replace a pet they lost with another one but use the same name. This is all in an effort to get around pet policies.

a person around the corner petting a cat on the head

So, you have to provide proof that you truly are a responsible pet owner. A letter of reference from your current landlord stating that you are responsible and they haven’t had problems with your pet. Another letter from your vet stating that your pet is healthy and has been sterilized. Proof that your dog is professionally trained will go a long way toward getting you that highly sought-after approval. And when you bring your pet to meet the board or the landlord, make sure he’s on his best behavior. Otherwise, you’re going to have a lot of trouble finding any pet-friendly apartments in NYC that will allow you to move in. On the other hand, if your pet is the type that everyone falls in love with at first glance, then maybe an in-person interview is your best bet.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.