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Landlord Liability for Tenants’ Dogs

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    Living without a pet dog is unthinkable for many New Yorkers. But with this love comes a slew of responsibility that’s required of all pet-owning tenants by the city and by the landlord. For the most part, tenants bear most of the burden to train and maintain a pet dog’s good behavior. There are situations, however, when you as the landlord may be liable if someone is injured by your tenant’s pet. The surest way to get the right answers and proper representation, should there be legal ramifications, is to call the landlord/tenant attorneys at the Albert Maimone & Associates, P.C. law practice. They’ll provide a free consultation to determine your liability and set up a plan to handle your case.

    What Are the Rules about Landlords Renting to Tenants with Dogs?

    A landlord’s decision to rent to dedicated dog owners may offer the property owner more opportunity to find conscientious, long-term tenants. Yet the fear of liability for potential dog bites is understandably strong because of the millions in annual liability claims for dog bites and dog-related injuries across the United States. Depending on the circumstances, either the tenant or the landlord may be considered liable for dog-related injuries in New York City.

    To negotiate the myriad of NYC ordinances and codes, New York State law and federal law regarding a landlord’s liability for a tenant’s dog, rely on the expertise of Albert Maimone & Associates law practice to skillfully steer you through the legal concerns. These knowledgeable real estate attorneys offer a free consultation and a legal review within 48 hours.

    What Liability Does a Landlord Have for Tenants’ Dogs?

    As a landlord, you can be held liable for your tenant’s dog biting other people on your property or even off your property in some cases. If you knowingly allow tenants to house dogs that are known to be dangerous, you may be liable. Because of these issues, you may adopt a no-pets policy or even a pet policy that’s very restrictive, enacting limits on a dog’s:

    • Weight
    • Size
    • Breed

    But just because you rent to a tenant with a dog, this alone doesn’t make you legally liable for the pet’s actions. Consider that it’s rare for a landlord to be found liable for a tenant’s dog-related injuries. There are two general conditions in which a landlord may be held liable for dog-related injuries:

    1. Knowing a dog is dangerous and not removing the dog from the premises
    2. Having control over the dog, such as pet-sitting while the owner is away

    Knowing previously that a dog is dangerous means you have knowledge that the dog at one time injured someone or exhibited dangerous behavior. Caring for a dog or exercising control over a dog sometimes carries the same liability as the legal dog owner’s, depending on the circumstances. Find a knowledgeable attorney to assist you with the finer details of dog-related injuries and explain who’s liable.

    Can a Lawyer Help Landlords with Liability for Tenants’ Dogs?

    To sort through the complexity of circumstances in dog-related injuries, a landlord’s best practice is to hire the expertise of a boutique law firm specializing in real estate law. Whether you have a pet-friendly or a pet-free policy on your property, liability for dog-related injuries can get tricky and expensive, and having the best representation for your interests is a top priority.

    You want someone who understands the laws, codes and ordinances of New York City, as well as the complicated insurance laws. The warranty of habitability applies to dog bites and dog-related injuries if a landlord fails to provide a safe rental property. Simply stated, some personal-injury situations with dogs may be considered negligence. Common-sense ways a pet-friendly landlord can avoid legal problems include:

    • Screening dogs for dangerous behavior
    • Not allowing residency of tenant’s dogs that have a record of biting or other threatening behavior
    • Clearly stating expectations for dogs’ behavior in leases, making provisions for the removal of dogs that act dangerously
    • Providing escape-proof fencing in designated outdoor areas for dogs
    • Assuring the control of a tenant’s dog if the dog is in your care during the tenant’s absence

    How Can a Lawyer Help a Tenant with Liability for Their Dogs?

    Should your dog exhibit dangerous, threatening behavior, cause a dog-related injury or bite someone, rely on the knowledgeable real estate lawyers at Albert Maimone & Associates to navigate the New York City, state and federal laws, as well as the applicable insurance and liability rules. New York City law states that dogs are permitted to live in rental property at the discretion of the building owner. If your dog has a history of dangerous behavior, your landlord has the right to refuse to let your dog live on the property.

    Complying with the New York City dog laws is your job as a dog owner. If your landlord has a pet-friendly or pet-restrictive policy, your responsibility is to maintain control of your dog at all times. Dog laws that every dog owner should know include:

    • Get your dog a NYC dog license
    • Scoop that poop and dispose of it in a legal manner
    • Take good care of your dog
    • Control your dog; don’t let it be a nuisance
    • Don’t let your dog become dangerous or threatening
    • Know the leash law stipulates a six-foot limit for your leash
    • Get your dog vaccinated against rabies
    • Let your dog live inside, never outside

    Training your dog to obey commands helps you control your dog. You need that for mutual trust and a caring relationship with a pet dog.

    How Can I Find Help with Landlord Liability for Tenants’ Dogs?

    Each situation requires careful assessment of the circumstances to determine liability when it comes to problems with a tenant’s dog. You want a specialized team of real estate lawyers who are well versed in landlord liability, NYC dog laws, and insurance law to determine your responsibility regarding dog-related injuries. Hire a highly-rated lawyer who knows all the laws, codes and ordinances of New York City, as well as the complicated insurance laws in any of the five NYC boroughs and in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

    As a tenant, you want landlord liability law experts to represent your best interests with any issues regarding dog bites or dog-related injuries and to help you sort through specific circumstances to determine who is responsible for the behavior of a dangerous dog. Contact Albert Maimone & Associates today for a free consultation and expect a response within 48 hours. This talented team of lawyers helps clients get the results they need and lives by the motto: Helping clients get the results they need.

    Albert Maimone & Associates P.C.

    127-16 14th Avenue
    College Point, Queens, NY 11356
    (718) 357-1216

    Page Updated on Mar 17, 2024 by Albert Maimone, Esq., (Lawyer) of Albert Maimone & Associates P.C.