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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Is a Dog Sitter Liable for Damaged Floors in a Client's Home

    My question involves personal property located in the State of: Maryland.

    I dog sit through Rover and back in January a client contacted me to house sit her two dogs for a week. She told me both were not fully potty trained, one being so old she couldn't always hold it and the other being too young. She said she laid out potty pads in specific places because she was at work most of the day. She also stated that she didn't care if they tore the place up because she was leaving for an emergency. At the end of the week she told me she was still out of the country and that she needed to extend the stay, but she insisted that we not use the app platform any more so she could pay on paypal. (side note: Rover offers general liability insurance when the stay is booked solely through the app) As a result of the extension and the difficult situation I knew she was in, I lowered my rate. At some point, the puppy started to tear up pads (that were on top of thick foam floor mats) while continuing to go where they once were. I alerted the owner of this, but she didn't not show any concern nor did she offer any solution. I took steps that I thought would alleviate the situation and for the most part, they worked, but I continued to give the owner detailed updates. Two months later (at nearly half my original price), she finally came home and pack and move to a different state. She now claims that the floors where the foam mats where are damaged and as a result lost her security deposit. She threatened me that if I don't pay her for her security deposit, she will sue me and "bad mouth me on the internet".

    I don't know a lot about the law surrounding this situation. We never had a contract in place, just that I would watch the dogs. The people I have sought advice from think she is trying to scare me into paying her and has no legal case. She has offered no proof of why she lost the deposit or what the floors looked like underneath the pads before I stated. I am looking for advice on the best course of action (if any) to take.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,750

    Default Re: Dog Sitter Responsible for Damaged Floors from Owners Dogs

    Is it safe to assume that your dog sitting duties weren't 24 hours a day 7 days a week? In other words, under the agreement there were times when the dogs were there alone?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Dog Sitter Responsible for Damaged Floors from Owners Dogs

    Yes, I told her I worked full time during the week. She expressed that was fine since she normally worked 12 hours a day anyways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,750

    Default Re: Dog Sitter Responsible for Damaged Floors from Owners Dogs

    I'm going to assume that the dogs didn't do the damage while you were there watching them. She has virtually no chance of winning any lawsuit against you. That doesn't mean she can't sue you it just means she won't win.

    P.S. Don't work outside of Rover and their liability coverage anymore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,184

    Default Re: Dog Sitter Responsible for Damaged Floors/Security Deposit from Owners Dogs

    Your best course of action is to ignore her until or unless she actually sues you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Dog Sitter Responsible for Damaged Floors from Owners Dogs

    Thank you for the advice.

    And no kidding. I thought I was being nice and doing her a favor but I guess I won't make that mistake again.

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