Ask an Expert: Exiled & unhappy in the service elevator
By Teri Karush Rogers |April 3, 2012 - 1:04PM
Q. I rent in a high-rise building with a very well-behaved German Shepherd that has NEVER hurt anyone or behaved aggressively.
Recently, my building instituted a new rule that says dogs over 25 pounds have to ride the service elevator. This is apparently in response to parents who don't want their children sharing an elevator with a dog bigger than their precious tykes.
Whether you lived in a co-op or rental building, the rule would probably withstand legal challenge because "there is a rational basis for the policy--a concern regarding the safety and perceived threat of large dogs in a confined area," says Roberts.
It's also unlikely that the inconvenience to you is material enough, in the eyes of a housing court, to justify breaking your lease, says Roberts.
As a matter of policy, notes Roberta Axelrod, a real estate broker and asset manager with Time Equities, while there are no laws (yet) prohibiting discrimination against dogs over a certain weight, it would have been more politically palatable for your landlord to relegate all dogs to the service elevator.
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