Cana landlordbe held liable for injuries caused by their tenant’s dogs?

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Cana landlordbe held liable for injuries caused by their tenant’s dogs?

If my tenant’s dogs go on someone’s property and injures another animal, can I be held liable?

Asked on November 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Not normally, no. A pet owner is liable for the actions of his or her pets because she is responsible for them. A landlord--or anyone other than the pet owner--would only be liable is two things occured:

1) The other person (e.g. landlord) had voluntarily in some fashion taken on a duty impacting "pet safety" or "pet security"

2) That person also failed in the duty--i.e. was negligent, or careless.

For example: say that the dogs got out and attacked someone because the door to the tenant's apartment was broken (e.g. didn't shut or lock properly) and the dogs got out that way; or the landlord had advertised the premises as having a dog run, but the dog run fence had a hole in it. In those cases, the landlord had failed in his or her duty and might be liable. But if the tenant let the dogs out and then attacked another person or animal, that is not the landlord's responsibility.


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