Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Carnivourous Predators in your Condo Building?




Tonight, I met with a couple who are thinking about selling a condo in a building in a great part of town.  It's big, has a balcony, the kitchen is fabulous, and when it's all staged and ready for prime time, it should fly right off the shelf. 

Or maybe not?

This wonderful unit is in a building that would not let Mr. Snowball, my blue-eyed white kitty, into the building as a guest, let alone as a resident.

The only problem is that by having a no pets at all policy, they are excluding a huge part of the buyer pool.  In three decades, I've never ever had someone tell me to find them a place in a no pets building.  But lots of my clients have pets.

No dogs, or at least no huge dogs, I can understand.  Dogs bark, and a few might even hump legs on the elevator or make messes in the halls and lobby.  But cats?

All the cats do is sleep, softly meow and handle any mice in that might show up in the building.  They are after all carnivorous predators!  And they don't put mouse meat into the gravel Cat Chow that we feed them!

If you are on the condo board of a no-pet condo, keep in mind that you will increase the value of the units in the building if you have a sensible, balanced pet policy - at least cats, and maybe even small well-behaved dogs. 

Think about it.


If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help!  I am licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  You may call, email or text me at:, 202-549-5167





Comment balloon 50 commentsPatricia Kennedy • April 11 2012 08:19PM


No Pets = No Sale.

  Condos that prohibit pets are excluding many, many potential Buyers.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Pat, Only a few condos in our Baltimore area allow pets. It has stopped many people from moving. They will stay in their house or apartment ...never giving up their kittys or pups.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago


I have yet to run into a condo association that completely disallows pets. Restrictions, yes, but never a prohibition. This is a tough situation for many buyers. And I've never had a buyer want a totally pet free building. I have had more issues with wanting a smoke-free building, which I get!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 8 years ago

AND (this is just my opinion, mind you) you'll get a better class of people if you allow pets.

Years ago we went to Arizona with a cat, 2 dogs, and 2 kids. Places either wouldn't take the kids or wouldn't take the pets. One place said we could all move in except the largest dog - and we should just have her put to sleep.

I told the man that I thought it would be a good idea if he had himself put to sleep. Then we left.

Tell Mr. Snowball for me that I think he's one of the most beautiful carnivorous predators I've ever seen.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 8 years ago

Many condos here in Atlanta have a limit on how many pets you can have, what breeds and their weights.  Some even want to know about your bird, if you have one.  A bird!  This definitely affects the buyers looking to purchase.  These restrictions also affect renters regardless of whether they are renting from a private condo owner, or in an apartment complex.  I am sure their are a few that don't allow any pets at all, but they are not the norm. 

Posted by Pat Mistretta, Atlanta Lofts and City Living (PalmerHouse Properties & Associates) over 8 years ago
I cannot breathe that great around cats but pets are still IT in my book!
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 8 years ago

This is so true, Pat...they really are limiting buyer pool and hence the value.  Thankfully, my building allows I guess that's good for the future when I eventually sell...and now, good for my 2 furry babies.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 8 years ago

Good morning Pat,

That is a first, I have not run into a no-pet policy - who wouldn't let in that pretty kitty of yours!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 8 years ago

Pat That is one of worst rules ever. I find it hard to believe that even someone who does not like pets would  buy into a building with a rule like that. That type of policy certainly limits the pool of buyers. 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 8 years ago

Pat, I agree with you completely.  This all came around because of the noise from barking dogs that bothered their neighbors.  So, they just went with the easiest solution, no pets, rather than trying to solve the real issue.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 8 years ago

Pat, people can get away with their love of pets sometimes, and some of the dogs that people have as pets are just too big for many a complex. Cats are a different story and as long as the litter box is cleaned, it is still the right of the property owner. More people have pets than do not.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

While no pet policies are rare here, there are some that exist and it is a huge deterrant. So many people have pets, and anyone who excludes them is certainly hindering sales potential.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

You're right, Pat, more people have pets than not.  On the other hand, I guess it's the right of the property owner or condo association to say "no pets" - last time I checked, they were not a protected class under Fair Housing.  I don't think we have any no pets policies in condos around Crofton, so I've never faced this issue with clients.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 8 years ago

I think if you are renting out a place, the no pet policy is okay.  If you are selling, not so much.  Good post!    

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 8 years ago

There are always two sides to every story, I see both sides of this, I agree with you normally you don't know a cat is there unless you are inside a unit, but I also understand that once you make an exception to a rule (allow only cats) then someone will want to push that out further.  Rules are rules and made to be followed.

Have  A Great Day - (Yes, I'm an animal lover)

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) over 8 years ago

Oh, and the hardest to sell are age-restricted buildings that do not allow pets. You condemn all those older people to living without a furry companion, what a shame. The general public does not realize what a big draw-back that is when it is time to sell the condo.

Posted by Tanja Cisliek (Future Home Realty) over 8 years ago

Pat how could anyone say no to Mr. Snowball? :)

No pets really hinder sales in most  cases.  People have the need  for pets, and I have seen even in the case of renters finding a  pet friendly place to live can be a real challenge.

Some condo boards do go too far I don't think they consider the big picture that is; how certain restrictions affects valuation overall.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 8 years ago

Pat...Extremely restrictive pet policies have been an anchor on condo sales in this most difficult condo market these days. 

A more balance policy based on common sense would help many condo owners (and sellers) in our market.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 8 years ago

Here in Manhattan, no pet policies are actually not as uncommon as you'd think.  I've had buyer's actually say that they would prefer a no pet building.  When speaking with people about the no pet policy, they mention that the increased insurance premiums to include pets in the building are a large component of why they have the policy. 

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 8 years ago

I can certainly understand both views, which is why there are both types of condos. If everyone was responsible who owned a pet I think the no pet policy would go away, but we all know that isn't the case.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago

I am not aware of any condos in this area with a no-pets policy.  Perhaps someone on the condo board has a severe allergy?  As for me, I will stick with my cats, dog and horse-friendly home!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach ( (757) 560-0881) over 8 years ago

I understand that if you let one in, then all have to be considered...I can imagine the discussion the association had of goldfish..yes, turtles, yes..hamsters..yes...birds...yes and then someone with a lawyer are discriminating against cats...A blanket NO pets unfortunately keeps the peace in today's litigious society

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 8 years ago

I have never heard of a condo with a no pet policy.  I agree completely with you that they are indeed hurting the value of their own units.  You have to wonder if they considered that when they were coming up with the bylaws.

Posted by Larry Gatti (The Gatti Group at Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

Patricia, pet owners are on the rise. I agree, buildings and rentals with a no pet policy severely limit potential renters. They should have a cat and a small dog policy.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

Right now, I would think that condo associations would be re-thing old bylaws, inventing and seeking new ways to help owners sell their properties, being minding their P & Q's legally, and more.  Condo sales and the condo associations themselves are coming under increased scrutiny from all angles.  In the scheme of things, pets would seem a minor issue to tackle.  Why not reconsider their rules and improve their chances to help their owners and also be a healthier association??


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 8 years ago

I think that if every pet owner were very concientious about the cleanliness and behavior of their pets, we would not have to have a no pets rule. The few ruin it for all.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) over 8 years ago

Very few Condos in our service area allow pets..  Being an animal lover I feel that's not fair!

Posted by Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940 (Long Island Cash Home Buyer) over 8 years ago

There are all too many pet restrictions in co ops and condos here in  New York. I will disagree just a teensy bit that some idiots do not keep their litter box clean, but your point is one I agree with- we should be far more pet friendly and consider security deposits or other remedies other than outright prohibition. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

Over the years, I've seen some properties ease up on their no-pet policies.  Mostly, to allow dogs ... but, still no cats?

Posted by Carie Shapiro (North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Pat, there are a lot of condo associations around here with a no pet policy. It stops many buyers from choosing those condos. The limited number of sales in the buildings actually bring the prices of the units down because they stay on the market so long. 

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Platinum Realty) over 8 years ago

I recently sold in a condo that had more questions about the pet on the purchase application then about the buyer. The pet's DOB, dates of vaccines, name of veterinarian but had no questions about the buyer's income or employment.

Every building has their priorities ,-)

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 8 years ago

Pat- I so agree!  I can see putting perhaps a weight restriction in the condo rules but the smaller pets for the most part are a great comfort to their owners. When we first moved to Florida and needed to rent a house the leasing agent said we'd have to "get rid of " our 2 small dogs.  I almost reached across the table for her throat!  

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Us baby boomers love our furkids! I can see that restriction as a huge impediment to sale.


Posted by Candice A. Donofrio, 928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text (Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker) over 8 years ago

I've never heard of such a policy. Makes you wonder if it's an old folks establishment.

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 8 years ago

Hi, Pat.  I haven't seen that around here, but nothing surprises me.  We don't have a large condo presence in this area.  I have noticed that rentals are becoming no pets more and more.  Pretty kitty.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 8 years ago

Hi Pat,  Enjoyed your slightly biased post !!!   LOL  Some buildings have adop-ted a system of allowing certain pets on certain floors !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

Wow that is a surprise - definitely limiting their pool to a very small amount of people. 

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 8 years ago

What would they do if it was a helper pets, monkies, dogs, cats, and horses?

Posted by Jack O'Neal (HomeSmart Elite Group) over 8 years ago

Hi Pat, Sadly, the directors of an association that wishes to curtail the furry family members from taking up residence there do indeed limit the owners buyer pool and may actually cause a loss of comparable property value. That could even be an interesting court case one day. 

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 8 years ago

That's a gorgeous cat, Patricia!  And yes, it truly is a carnivore when you stop to think about it.  The most unusual home dweller that I have come across, was a family that had 2 large Iguanas, and a couple of Ferrets.  The Ferrets were a kick in the pants.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

I so agree! I know almost no one now days who has no pets. We're just a pet-loving society. Condo boards: Let them in!


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Cats (and dogs) are "companion animals" and we need them for our over all health.  There are so many studies how petting a cat reduces stress, and how dogs can lift loneliness.   There should be expections made.  Wonder if this building would discriminate against a seeing-eye dog??  Or a dog that was needed to detect seizures in their owners -- they have dogs that can do this, stuides have shown.   Years ago, I used to live in a no pet apartment complex.  Guess what?  They now allow pets -- lost too many renters.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 8 years ago

We're pretty good around here. Just some restrictions on number and size.  Pets are part of a family and should NOT be excluded.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 8 years ago

@ Carla, exceptions are the law!

The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act protect the right of people with disabilities to keep emotional support animals, even when a landlord's policy explicitly prohibits pets. Because emotional support and service animals are not "pets," but rather are considered to be more like assistive aids such as wheelchairs, the law will generally require the landlord to make an exception to its "no pet" policy so that a tenant with a disability can fully use and enjoy his or her dwelling. In most housing complexes, so long as the tenant has a letter or prescription from an appropriate professional, such as a therapist or physician, and meets the definition of a person with a disability, he or she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation that would allow an emotional support animal in the apartment.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) over 8 years ago

We have only a few condos in our area, none of which do not allow pets. I can NOT imagine this. WOW!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) over 8 years ago


There are a few condos in my area which do not allow pets, period.  Most allow cats and small dogs. 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 8 years ago

Hi Patricia,

I would not buy a place that doesn't allow pets. I have 3 small dogs but I plan to give one away to my daughter in 2 years as it was her dog originally. Then I want to move into a condo and get rid of my 3200 sf house but they will only allow 2 small dogs. I understand that rule but no pets......How sad and I agree with the above comments. Pet owners tend to be more compassionate and great neighbors. I know very few people who do not have pets and they seem to be too selfish to be bothered. But...I would think it would be hard to find buyers for a no pet place.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) over 8 years ago

Pat - I agree that having a no pets policy could effect the value of a property, and it's important for the board to consider.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 8 years ago

Pat when condos prohibit all pets they do limit the amount of potential buyers which affects their value. The problme is the people who do not take care of or clean up after their pets have certainly spurred and inspired these rules and regulations. I have interacted with many a condo boards when pet policies were discussed and the disgusting stories of how other units were affected always lead a board to ban them. I would favor a limit of 1 or 2 cats placed on a unit than an entire ban. It is that 1 in a 1000 owner who will have a dozen or more cats that ruins it for all.

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 8 years ago

You are correct that a no pets policy reduces the number of people interested in purchasing drastically! But the no cats I DO understand..........yesterday we walked into a house that was on our list.........the owners had moved on and what did we smell as we opened the door? CAT urine! Nothing worse than that as a greeting.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago