2006_12_pennsouth.JPGSometimes people just don't like dogs, and one of those people is Jeanne Farley. Farley is suing her apartment's management company to, as she tells the Daily News, "get rid of the dogs and play by the rules." Sixty-four year old Farley has a fear of dogs (cynophobia) points out that the rules at Penn South does have a ban on dogs and her lease says "no animals of any kind" (!!) are not allowed. She says, "I can't go in the elevator if there's a dog in there, and I'm afraid to go in some of the hallways. I've never been bitten, but the growling, the teeth and the jumping just scares me."

We'll wait to see if Farley get the management company, Mutual Redevelopment Houses, to enforce the rule. It'll be hard for MRH to kick out any dog owners, though, given this law, via a commenter on a post about Stuy Town cracking down on pets:

TENANT'S RIGHT TO PETS

The right to keep a pet in New York City apartments was
strengthened with the enactment of Section 27-2009.1 of the
Housing Maintenance Code in 1983. The tenants to whom this
provision applies are:

o Tenants in privately - owned multiple dwellings (three or
more residential units)

o Mitchell-Lama tenants

o Tenants in city-owned (HPD) buildings

Tenants living in New York City Housing Authority buildings
(NYCHA), however, are not protected, although NYCHA regulations
have eased.


Reasons for the Law

The current law was enacted by the New York City Council
concerned that multiple dwelling leases prohibiting the keeping
of household pets had led to, "widespread abuses by building
owners or their agents, who knowing that a tenant has a pet for
an extended period of time, seek to evict the tenant and/or his
or her pet often for reasons unrelated to the creation of a
nuisance". The Council went on to declare, in the law, that pets
were kept for legitimate reasons of "safety and companionship"
and because of the continuing housing emergency it was "necessary
to protect pet owners from retaliatory eviction" by landlords
desiring possession of apartments. It concluded that enactment of
the provision was necessary "to prevent potential hardship and
dislocation of tenants within this city."


What the Law Says

Section 27-2009.1 states:

Where a tenant in a multiple dwelling openly and notoriously for
a period of three months or more following taking possession of a
unit, harbors or has harbored a household pet or pets, the
harboring of which is not prohibited by the multiple dwelling
law, the housing maintenance or the health codes of the city of
New York or any other applicable law, and the owner or his agent
has knowledge of this fact, and such owner fails within this
three month period to commence a summary proceeding or action to
enforce a lease provision prohibiting the keeping of such
household pets, such lease provision shall be waived.

Sometimes the law is called the "pet waiver law." It requires the
landlord to enforce any existing provision of a current lease
prohibiting pets within three months of the tenant's taking
possession of an apartment, or Obtaining a pet, or forever lose
the right to do so. In this context, "enforce" means the landlord
must start an eviction proceeding in Housing Court based on the
"no pets" clause in the lease. Failure to start such proceeding
would render the restrictive clause unenforceable.

So, maybe Farley might only be able to charge bills to a shrink to help her cope with her fear?