Is a landlord liable if their tenant’s dog bites someone?

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Is a landlord liable if their tenant’s dog bites someone?

My tenant had a pitbull and it bit our neighbor while he was walking the dog. They filed a claim against my wife and I. The neighbor has already filed a claim against our homeowners insurance which was cancelled as a result.

Asked on December 31, 2011 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Ordinarily the landlord of a unit is not liable if his or her tennat has a dog and the dog bites a third party. Rather, liability would rest upon the tenant in that most states have statutes holding that the owner of a dog who bites someone is strictly liable for all damages resulting from the bite.

In your situation, the only way I could foresee any liability as to you as the landlord is if you knew that the tenants' dog had dangerous tendencies from complaints of others, you did nothing as to having the tenants get rid of the dog and the dog bit someone on your own property. This does not seem to be the case.


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