The Perils of Finding a Pet-Friendly Apartment in the City — and the Agents Who Can Help


    For the last 11 years, Gabriele Sewtz and Rob Schlederer, real estate brokers at Compass and dog owners, have been helping pet owners find places to live in the city.

    “Sometimes people think that a large building won’t allow pets, but in many cases small buildings won’t allow them either,” said Sewtz.

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    Tell The Gabriele Sewtz Team what breed your dog is, and they can tell you the best neighborhoods to choose from. They also provide buyers with detailed information about the best dog-friendly buildings.

    But it’s more complicated than that.

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    “Pets allowed” doesn’t always mean that all dogs are allowed. Some buildings have a breed restriction — pit bulls and German shepherds are considered problematic. Some might have a weight limit — the larger the dog, the harder it is to get approval.

    And just because you see someone coming out of the building with a dog under their arm does not mean that your dog can move in. Building pet policies change over time and while existing dogs are grandfathered in, new rules apply to any new dog on the block.

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    The good news? “Pet policies tend to loosen in softer real estate markets,” says Schlederer. The Gabriele Sewtz Team can help a seller minimize the potential risk of an application being turned down by his building because of a dog. They’ll put a portfolio together about your pet, and submit it to the seller at the beginning of the offer process. “Then the seller or landlord can decide if they’ll entertain the offer if they are certain a dog meets the pet policy,” said Sewtz.

    Many co-ops, condos and building owners require proof of immunization, and some will ask for references from a certified dog trainer. The Gabriele Sewtz Team helps buyers and sellers navigate the terrain.

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    Schlederer says some buildings actually have their own appointed dog trainer or pet psychologists, while others will ask you to go through a “dog interview.”

    “We find out for the buyer just how many people will be interviewing the dog,” said Sewtz. “We tell buyers to run the dog in the park beforehand, so he’ll simply lay under the table the whole time — and be sure to bring toys and treats.”

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    Having done over 550 transactions in the last 11 years, the team has never had a buyer rejected over his furry friend.

    And that, in dog-speak, is nothing to bark at.

    For more information, visit the team’s website.

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