What do we do if we were dog sitting but the dog damaged a section of our carpet and now it must all be replaced?

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What do we do if we were dog sitting but the dog damaged a section of our carpet and now it must all be replaced?

I kept my bosses dog while they were out of town. While we werent home the dog pushed the tray out of the kennel and tore the carpet underneath. We have gotten estimates from two companies about fixing repairs and they say the whole room needs to be replaced because they cannot patch the carpet. At first the couple agreed to pay for the replacement but once I sent them the estimates they refused and are now not responding to us. The highest estimate was for $1917 which the second being $1168. We do not care which company does the repairs as long as our carpet is in the same state as before. One company says they will not patch the carpet for liability reasons.

Asked on June 21, 2015 under Business Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is not a given that you are entitled to compensation from your boss:

1) People generally are only liable for damage they (or their family, children, pets, etc.) do to property if they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, but it is difficult to see how the boss was negligent if he was out of town at the time.

2) People cannot recover for losses if they "assumed the risk" of damage--and if you agree to dog-sit someone's dog, you are assuming the risk of dog-related damage.

3) People also cannot recover for losses if they themselves contributed to the loss by their own negligence: and having a dog's kennel on carpet (as opposed to one concrete or tile) can be seen as negligent, since there is a reasonably good chance of some damage, whether by tearing, or dog food, vomit, urine, feces, etc. getting out of the kennel and staining the carpet.

Your best bet may be to see if your homeowner's or renter's insurance covers, since if the boss won't voluntarily pay, you'd have to sue in court--and would have a reasonably good chance of losing. (Not to mention that your boss would fire you for suing him/her.)


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