Dogs and legal liability

2 Replies

I am very curious about legal liability related to pets. From what I understand, there has been quite a bit of change in in case law recently that may or may not put more liability on the landlord (Maryland case). What if you don't allow dogs and then a tenant sneaks one in after moving in? If something happens (dog attack, etc.) is the landlord liable? What if I allow a dog and the dog then bites someone? Am I liable in this situation? Does the dog breed matter? There are a lot of posts on this but nothing I can find address the latest and greatest in terms of landlord liability. I understand that only a lawyer can give me perfect advice, but any insight would be appreciated.

Check out your local Landlord Association, they should be able to give you advice more specific to you geographic location.

I know my insurance has a list of specific dog breeds that they won't insure for. So, I assume that they would insure other dog breeds. I'll admit haven't delved into the intricacies of it  very far since there is a no pet policy for my apartments. I would guess that if a tenant is in violation of the lease and it was established that you had no knowledge of the dog then you wouldn't be liable. But god only knows what would come up in an actual court case. That's why it's worth having a sizable umbrella liability policy...