AgentIndustry News

Can FHA laws protect New Yorkers from pet restrictions?

Pet Friendly Realty connects clients with therapists to determine emotional support qualification
  • In New York City, 75 percent of rentals and 45 percent of condos ban pets, according to Pet Friendly Realty.
  • There are two sets of rules for fair housing as they relate to allowing service animals: One is for medical needs, like blindness, and the other -- considered a level below -- is for emotional issues.
  • Assuming the renter or buyer is prequalified, Pet Friendly Realty will ask clients to go to a small network of psychotherapists for formal assessments.
  • Once a client is approved for an emotional support animal, any building is now a pet-friendly building, according to the real estate firm's founder.

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Many argue their pet is essentially a member of the family, but those same animal-lovers find themselves running into restrictions at condos and rentals -- especially in New York. In the Big Apple, 75 percent of rentals and 45 percent of condos ban pets, says Pet Friendly Realty. The new agency, lead by real estate lawyer Hal Eisenstein, is determined to keep pets housed with their adoring owners in accordance with fair housing rights. “There’s nothing worse than a family being separated from their pet because of building policies,” Eisenstein said. “Experiencing firsthand the emotional hardship this can cause, I wanted to help others by educating them on federal housing protections they may qualify for and assist them in using these laws to smooth their transition.” Where it all started Eisenstein first began exploring the idea of fair housing laws and pet restrictions when he started the Emotional Support Animal Center, designed to help diagnose people who wante...