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  1. #1

    Default Landlord's Liability for a Tenant's Vicious Dog

    Last year, a couple moved into my small apartment house. They have the backyard. Turns out that one of their two dogs is very vicious. I wasn't aware of this at the time. There was an incident a few weeks ago in which a cable company technician who entered the yard without authorization was almost attacked. A more serious incident occurred this morning. The dogs ate a hole through the fence of the adjoining backyard and went in. Luckily no one was in the yard. If someone was, they probably would have gotten hurt, maybe seriously. It would have been tragic. The woman who lives there is very upset.

    Sooner or later I fear that this vicious dog may hurt someone. I'm seriously considering forcing this tenant to leave when their lease ends (if he doesn't get rid of the dog). But that's not until August. If someone is hurt by this dog, as could have happened if someone had been in the next yard, am I legally responsible?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Tenant Has Vicious Dog. What is My Liability

    Quote Quoting starfish11040
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    Last year, a couple moved into my small apartment house. They have the backyard. Turns out that one of their two dogs is very vicious. I wasn't aware of this at the time. There was an incident a few weeks ago in which a cable company technician who entered the yard without authorization was almost attacked. A more serious incident occurred this morning. The dogs ate a hole through the fence of the adjoining backyard and went in. Luckily no one was in the yard. If someone was, they probably would have gotten hurt, maybe seriously. It would have been tragic. The woman who lives there is very upset.

    Sooner or later I fear that this vicious dog may hurt someone. I'm seriously considering forcing this tenant to leave when their lease ends (if he doesn't get rid of the dog). But that's not until August. If someone is hurt by this dog, as could have happened if someone had been in the next yard, am I legally responsible?
    This is the reason why most LL's don't allow dogs, and I assume that in your case, you allowed it. and found to your dismay what a bad idea it is.

    I don't know how experienced you are in landlording, but you should've required your tenant to carry tenant ( renter's ) insurance, and on top of that, have extra liability coverage for the dogs. And make sure that if the insurance company does not cover that dog, then, they'll have to get rid of it, as the safety of other tenants and neighbors is your responsibility.

    I ask my tenants to provide me a "certificate of insurance" adding me in as an "additional insured" on their policy, and follow up annually on the renewals. By adding you as the "additional insured", you would be notified if the policy is cancelled for any reason, as one tenant did to me.

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