LeFrak bucks trend, cracks down on pet owners at BPC complex

UPDATED: While more landlords are adding pet-friendly amenities and policies in an effort to lure renters, at least one big New York City landlord is fighting the trend. DNAinfo reported that the Lefrak Organization has moved to limit pets in its 1,712-unit Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City.

In new lease and renewal notices, the landlord informed residents it is banning more than a dozen breeds, outlawing dogs that weigh more than 40 pounds, instituting a $250 annual pet fee, limiting tenants to two pets per apartment (at a combined total of 40 pounds) and requiring that cats be declawed. Needless to say, pet-owning tenants are up in arms, and rent-stabilized tenants fear they’ll have to choose between their affordable home and their pet.

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However, resident Jeff Galloway, a lawyer who also runs the Battery Park City Dog Association, told DNAinfo he doubted LeFrak could evict existing tenants that didn’t comply.

A statement from Gateway Residential Management to The Real Deal clarified that pets have never “officially been permitted on the premises.” The landlord is simply instituting a policy by requiring all pets to be registered with the leasing office. It confirmed that existing tenants’ pet situations will be grandfathered in.

Still, the move is somewhat of a surprise given that many big landlords, including the Related Companies, have moved to expand pet offerings to attract dog-toting New Yorkers. Even in New Jersey, where landlords are traditionally less amenable to pets, more apartments are working to allow for pet ownership. [DNAinfo] — Adam Fusfeld

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