2 month rental with possible dog problem

6 Replies

Hello everybody,

I have a duplex, where one side of it is inhabited by a person with a dog (we have a contract with him until the next year). He has a pitbull, and it's very well behaved and nice overall. But it is not on the leash the whole time, sometimes he does escape to greet and smell people. 

And I am worried when the tenants for the other unit come in, he may attack them or something. Now this is very unlikely, because the dog is friendly as I said before. I am trying to prepare for the worst here and thinking about what ifs.

Does any of you have experience with similar case? Or which insurance to get? Is there like a pet liability insurance or something that I can buy for the period until the lease is up. Let's assume we can't nullify the lease or evict the person with the dog.

If there’s no provision in the lease for an animal then it sounds like it is a violation of the lease and in my state that constitutes an evection

There is no reason for you to do anything. It is the dog owners responsibility to have liability insurance and you should be requiring it of them. If it is not in your lease requiring insurance then there is nothing you can do until the lease is up.

If the dog does bite someone you can then evict. It is not an issue at this point in time assuming you insist the dog be kept on a leash at all times. Put that in writing to protect yourself. It is a pet owners responsibility to have their pet under control at all times not your responsibility.

I would make any tenant get their own renter's insurance, but those with a dog especially, make them have at least 500k of liability on their renters insurance. That will cover any liability from a dog. (there isn't any general pet liability, at least not in my state, it is included in renter's insurance)

I would hope you have a rental dwelling insurance policy on your rental already, but if not, go get one asap. Get a policy with at least 1Million of liability that way you are protected against lawsuits.

I agree.  Send them a letter expressing your concerns and requesting they keep the dog on a leash if they can't control it outside around other people.  As a dog owner I would see this as very reasonable.  

Dogs must be on a leash and under the control of the owner all the time. It doesn't matter if it will attack someone or not. Some people are not comfortable around dogs, some are allergic, and some just don't like dog hair on their clothes. 

Tell your tenant to keep the animal under control or get rid of them.

Did you inherit this tenant? I'd suggest you call your insurance agent- most rental policies don't cover any damage or injury caused by bully breeds. You may have no coverage at all- if that is the case, ask your agent what you can do to mitigate your risk, and I'd not renew that tenant at my first opportunity.