Even as condos and co-ops around the Northeast have loosened pet restrictions to increase marketability during the recession, not all New Jersey buildings and HOAs 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 New York City, 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, say industry pros. As dog ownership has increased, new developments, particularly condos, have become more dog-friendly for economic reasons.
“Landlords realize that dogs are not causing the physical damage that a lot of people said they were," says Bob Marino, a dog ownership advocate. "A dog walking in a carpeted hallway causes no more damage than the parent with a baby carriage—probably less damage. And dogs, except when they're very old, rarely urinate or defecate in a hallway or lobby area. Landlords also realize that not only are you getting more prospective renters and buyers with relaxed pet rules, but you can charge them more money for rent. You charge them a $30 a month fee.”