If my previous occupant/roommate’s pet did damage to my possessions, can I seek damages?

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If my previous occupant/roommate’s pet did damage to my possessions, can I seek damages?

Several months ago got into a fight with a previous roommate who was a permitted occupant (who was not a tenant, and also paid no rent) and was ‘kicked’ out and found another place to live 3 days later. His pet dog did damage to some of my possessions. Is it possible for me to legally seek damages for the items the dog damaged?

Asked on May 13, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a pet owner is responsible for damage that his or her pet causes to another's belongings, if he or she was in any way negligent (careless) in not preventing said damage (e.g. monitoring the pet; taking the items away from the pet; locking the items up or crating the pet; etc.). You can ask her for reimbursement; if she will not provide it, you should be able to sue her, incluing in small claims court (where you can act as your own attorney).


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