Why A Landlord May Be Liable For Injuries Caused By A Tenant’s Dog

In most cases, a tenant is solely responsible for the injuries their dog may cause to other people. However, there are a few cases in which the landlord may also be liable for the same; for example, the landlord may be liable for the injuries if:

They Knew That the Animal Was Dangerous

Dog bite statutes vary by state. In some jurisdictions, you may be able to hold a landlord liable for an injury caused by a tenant's pet if you can prove that the landlord not only knew about the animal's propensity for an attack but also that the landlord could have removed the animal from the premises but failed to do so.

Note that in this case, the landlord's knowledge must be actual and not constructive knowledge. That is, the landlord must have known that the animal could attack someone, which usually means that the animal must have had a history of attack and the landlord knew about it. If that is the case and the landlord had the authority to remove the animal from their premises but failed to do so, then you may be able to hold them at least partially liable for your injuries.

They Had Some Control Over the Dog

One of the most certain ways to find a landlord liable for a dog bite caused by a tenant's pet is to prove that the landlord had some control over the animal. This makes sense because if the landlord has control over the dog, then they should be able to prevent it from causing injuries to others. A common way in which a landlord may have control over a tenant's dog is if the landlord helps in feeding the dog or looking after it if the primary owner is away.

This may be the case with a homeowner who is renting an extension room to another person or a homeowner who is renting their finished basement to another person. In such cases, the relationship between the landlord and tenant may be informal, and if the tenant is a dog lover, they may contribute to taking care of the animal.

The Injury Occurred On Common Grounds

Lastly, the landlord may also be found liable for the injuries if the attack occurred on common grounds. This is because it is the landlord's responsibility to keep tenants and visitors safe in the common areas. Examples of such common areas include swimming pools, parking lots, and elevators. Your bid to hold the landlord liable for your injuries may even be stronger if you can prove that the landlord didn't put measures in place (such as rules and regulations) to prevent animal attacks in common areas.

Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area for more information.