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

UPDATED: Nov 12, 2010

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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