Dog bites: Can landlords be responsible?

Injuries due to dog bites can be a serious problem because they occasionally lead to serious injuries, lost time at work and emotional trauma. In rare cases, they can lead to death. It's important that the government issues penalties toward those that enable dog bites to happen in order to prevent further cases and to provide a form of compensation and damages to those who were affected.

This blog will provide a brief overview into to what extent landlords can be held responsible for dog bite cases.

The landlord's decision

It is always the decision of the landlord as to whether to allow dogs to reside in their apartment building alongside the tenant. This can often be a controversial issue because many residents would prefer to live in a dog-free building. However, landlords may make their building pet-friendly for the reason that it helps them to attract more renters.

As a building resident

If you were bitten by a dog on your building premises, you may feel that the landlord has a significant amount of liability in the case. You may have had communication with your landlord previous to the attack to express your concerns about a dog in the building and you were ignored. In these situations, the courts may find that the building owner committed negligence in the matter and is responsible for the incident.

Many landlords negate these risks either by banning dogs, having written dog and pet policies or by taking out insurance. If you were bitten by a dog and believe that your landlord is liable, it is advisable to speak with a trusted legal advisor.

Source: Findlaw, "Landlord liability for dog bites," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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