Landlords embrace renters’ pooches

October 10, 2012 11:45AM

Throughout the county, multi-family landlords are embracing renters’ canine companions in an effort to stay competitive, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While many rental apartment complexes previously favored tenants without pets, rental communities are now incorporating dog parks and dog washing stations into their facilities. The change comes as renter demographics change and new construction makes the rental arena more competitive.

“We could continue to say ‘no’ [to dogs] and lose [tenants] to our competitors,” said Jay Olander, CEO of Landmark Apartment Trust of America, a landlord of more than 10,000 units in the Southeast. Landmark no longer limits the size of canines its renters are permitted to keep in their buildings. The limit used to be 10 pounds.

As previously reported, the LeFrak Organization has run against this trend by instituting a policy requiring all pets to be registered with the building leasing office and, according to a statement, has never officially permitted pets inside. The group tried to enact and later backed out on a ban on certain dog breeds and a pet-ownership fee. Early last month, a report emerged that a Gateway Plaza resident had filed a lawsuit over dog troubles.

It can cost up to $8,000 to install a dog-washing station, the Journal said, while the price of dog parks varies. [WSJ]Katherine Clarke