Duplex under contact but pitbulls next door. Should I be worried

102 Replies

Originally posted by @Latasha Griffin :

@Mark S. Do you own pitbulls? I'd venture to guess, no. Only people who dont own them have these strong, negative opinions of them. All dogs have the propensity to bite. If it was 5 German shepherds would you feel the same? Because they are responsible for more serious dog bites than "pitbulls" but those stories dont get sensationalized in the media.

I plan to prioritize my units to rent to pitbull owners because they will pay a premium for the security of being able to have their dogs on the lease. I run a page on facebook of hundreds of local pitbull owners who are in need of housing for their families. This is an underserved market that I intend to cater to. I also plan to over-engineer my units to be dog resistant (washable walls, tile or laminate flooring throughout, dog friendly fenced in backyards if possible, etc). I'll also require a non-refundable pet deposit, all dogs be spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccines at time of lease execution, and renter's insurance that includes pet liability coverage. State Farm offers it regardless of breed.

OH man your going to be very popular with your fellow owners directly next to you.. but i get the Niche  .. and maybe in the right setting IE homes that are on a more rural type area and larger lots.. etc..

As a German shepard owner in the past I hear what your saying.. and of course the real issue with these dogs is the owners.. many that own pitts should not own any dog.. they are horrid owners and buy the dogs for some sort of status or I dont know what.

When i travel to areas with heavy low end rental populations pitts are very common.. I see the renter leave and just abandon the dog.. i have seen them stake the dog in the back yards with no water in 100 degree heat no shelter.. its animal cruelty that these owners for whatever reason seem to have to no regard for common decency and Ptts tend to be the dog of choice for them.  It just is what it is.

Of the dogs i have owned over the years.. My golden male bit 3 people the  Shepard ONE  and that was someone who walked into my home unannounced dog came to the door like she always does the lady screamed and turned and ran and got bit on the butt.. just that flee chase reaction dogs will have.. and lately with two chiwawa's  both long haired.. the white one Cujo bit numerous people and me all the time.. CASH never bites.. or has bitten anyone.. same up bringing different personalities. 

 

@Mitchlyn D. Don't just walk, run! Unless you can find a way to address the long term issue by determining something illegal is going on or they are renters, then there really isn't anything you can do. We have a triplex next to cat hoarder to where the smell came through the walls. We spent countless hours try to call animal control and every other resource we could come up with to no avail. We ended up having to constantly use measures to keep the smell down in our building. 3 years of this and the lady passed away and the place is now being gutted.

We also had another property with a neighbor dog that was always barking and nasty that played a role in losing 2 tenants.

Good luck

@Mitchlyn D.

If the numbers work, do the deal.

Area police will have data on past problems with the dog house, the area, and general troubles.

If there is a code enforcement ability, a complaint does wonders.

No need to get personally involved. Actually, if you buy the property, you dont need to let it out that you are raising the questions.

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

Facts are facts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States

https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-multi-year-fatality-report-2005-2017.php

Fear around pitbull is created out of real stories of owners, neighbors and children being seriously harmed or killed. Renting a duplex with five pitbull running free next door will be impossible, unless you target pitbull owners. I would not approach the neighbor to talk to them. Someone who owns five pitbull and is breeding, is very unlikely to be friendly about the subject. 

@Mitchlyn D.  I would use the inspection contingency to escape the contract. Don't even mention the dogs or you could have trouble getting your deposit back. When they ask for specific reasons on the inspection, just state the property was "not the condition you thought it was". You have no obligation to provide any more detail than that.

this breed can be unpredictable.. and because they dont know their own strength they can do major damage..  there was a case last winter in Vegas were the family pitt decided to go after the mom in the house for what they said was no reason.. latched on was doing a number to her and the son came in and shot the dog to get it off of her but the bullet went through said dog and through her leg.. she survived but when you have to shot a dog to get them to release.. ????

 

Would it be possible to install a fence? I have concerns about the liability this risk poses to your tenants.  If a fence is not feasible, then certainly get a waiver of the risk from the tenants before leasing to them. 

@Matt Honeyford Option one seems logical.

@Pauleen B Atkinson I think if their yard was equipped to handle this amount, I would totally not have an issue!  But it isn't the case.  Sad on so many levels.

@Fred Cannon I wouldn't live next to someone with that many pitbulls either especially if they are not equipped to handle it.

@Ryan Hall   Risk vs reward is something we investors hold very close!

@Gary L Wallman I could defintely go that route but I feel funny doing it.  We'll see. 

I bet they don't have a kennel license.  Most places require one for more than 3 dogs.  And yes, I'd be worried.  I'd honestly consider calling animal control on them and complain about the number of dogs, and ask, "wouldn't then need a kennel license for something like that?"  Pit bulls are an aggressive breed, and "pack up" easily  (hell, it's what they were bred for) and this owner, sadly, doesn't seem equipped to handle an aggressive breed.  It's really just a matter of time before 2-3 of them get out and maul a kid, which is a shame, it's "owners" like this that perpetuate the breed as the problem.  I'd at least make sure your liability insurance is up to date.  but otherwise, sounds like the property should be highly rentable.  you might lose some potentials due to the crappy neighbor, but others will be an option.  I'd expect higher turnover anyway due to the "c" neighborhood as you mention.

If you're buying for the long term,  then purchase it.  Just because there are dogs there now doesn't mean they will always be there.  They could be moving next month for all you know.  As far as liability with dogs, I would think the onus is on the owner of the pitbulls and the property owner that houses the dogs if something were to happen.  Chances are that the local town or county has ordinances specifically for these situations.  If buy and hold is your game, then don't let a temporary problem keep you from your future success. 

Good luck.

Something tells me that "dogs next door" wasn't a line item in your inspection contingency. It's highly likely that you can't walk for this issue alone contractually. You can put the screws to them on anything else that pops up and hope they walk though!

Just as a warning, I know a lot of people on this thread have mentioned getting Animal Control involved.  I can't speak for most areas, but Animal Control is completely useless where I live.  At least for dogs.  So I wouldn't necessarily count on that being a solution.

Long story short, the neighbor for one of my duplexes has two 50-60 lb. aggressive dogs that he lets run loose.  The first time I called Animal Control about them...while I was TRAPPED in my car and told the operator THAT!...she rattled off the exact address where these dogs lived, off the top of her head.  And nonchalantly said something like, "Yeah.  We got a lot of calls about those dogs.  But if you go knock on the door, their owner is really good about bringing them back in."  To which I replied, "Are you kidding me?  These dogs are growling and snarling at me.  On MY lawn.  I'd have to walk past them to knock on the door and I'm pretty sure they would attack me."  She told me she would make the report and someone would be out there within the next few hours.  Wow.  Really.  I pointed out that there are a lot of kids in this neighborhood and, since these dangerous dogs are obviously a continuing problem, they should be removed from this home.

I'm pretty sure Animal Control never took them away.  No shock there, unfortunately.  Though they thankfully don't appear to be around anymore.  But I was always worried about those dogs scaring away potential tenants, anytime I had a vacancy at that property.    

What's the cost of a fence good enough to keep the dogs out of your property?

Work that into your numbers, then check your contract and see how much it would cost to pull out of the deal.

A dog biting your tenant on public property (e.g., a sidewalk) shouldn't create any liability on your part, although you'll want to make sure your insurance will defend you when you get sued (the lawyer's motto is "sue everyone in sight'), but a dog getting onto your property might create liability for failure to take reasonable efforts to prevent the danger. Check with your lawyer is the only advice anyone can really give you.

Whether you want/ought to get involved in such class neighborhoods in general is something else entirely.

@Latasha Griffin They are my favorite breed. They have been my most loving loyal pets. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. This is a problem though, and thats a investors job, to solve many problems. One way is to walk away. Problem solved, but if the dogs are the only problem I would try to solve it in one of the many ways people have suggested.

@Mitchlyn D. That isn’t a reason to leave the deal on the table. Purchase the property and write a certified letter to the homeowner voicing your concerns. This way, if anything happens in regards to the dogs you will have proof for court. Also, pit bulls are not the issue, it’s the owners. Ask yourself this, would it have been an issue if it were any other type of dogs in the yard? Also take in consideration the temperament of the dogs as well. Good luck

@Mitchlyn D.

I had this exact problem with a duplex. I ended up buying the side with the pit bulls at market rate to solve the problem. It’s going to be impossible to find a decent tenant with those dogs roaming around. The late night barking is a major problem too.

The tenants that had the pit bulls left the dogs inside for a few days while they where out of town. The dogs literally chewed through the walls to get outside then chewed up the HVAC and then started working on the 10ft reinforced fence I put up to shield my tenants. It was really bad. At lot of damage and insulation everywhere.

Just call animal control? - they were no help with the issue. They were more sympathetic to the dogs than they were to me. It was very disappointing. This depends on where you live.

The slumlord who owned it was no help. Besides the dogs, I had other issues with the tenants and owner not related to the dogs I’m not going to go into on here.

My suggestion is to cancel the deal unless you can buy the unit with the pit bulls.

Originally posted by @Sergio A. :

@Mitchlyn D. Don't just walk, run! Unless you can find a way to address the long term issue by determining something illegal is going on or they are renters, then there really isn't anything you can do. We have a triplex next to cat hoarder to where the smell came through the walls. We spent countless hours try to call animal control and every other resource we could come up with to no avail. We ended up having to constantly use measures to keep the smell down in our building. 3 years of this and the lady passed away and the place is now being gutted.

We also had another property with a neighbor dog that was always barking and nasty that played a role in losing 2 tenants.

Good luck

I did a hoarder house 2 years ago..  18 dead casts in side and about 15 living.. the place was un beleivable filth garbage .. when we did lead and asbestos remediation the guys had to use full on bunny suites and resperators  like it was an anthrax situation  LOL

 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Sergio A.:

@Mitchlyn D. Don't just walk, run! Unless you can find a way to address the long term issue by determining something illegal is going on or they are renters, then there really isn't anything you can do. We have a triplex next to cat hoarder to where the smell came through the walls. We spent countless hours try to call animal control and every other resource we could come up with to no avail. We ended up having to constantly use measures to keep the smell down in our building. 3 years of this and the lady passed away and the place is now being gutted.

We also had another property with a neighbor dog that was always barking and nasty that played a role in losing 2 tenants.

Good luck

I did a hoarder house 2 years ago..  18 dead casts in side and about 15 living.. the place was un beleivable filth garbage .. when we did lead and asbestos remediation the guys had to use full on bunny suites and resperators  like it was an anthrax situation  LOL

Eesh, glad it wasn't you!

 

Just wondering....is it possible that the owner of a pit bull is also a responsible dog owner? Absolutely no chance. 

I'd cancel or find a way to destroy or eradicate the animals. 

@Joseph Walsh I 'know' there is no kennel license by the look of the property unfortunately. 

@James Baker Totally understand your comment.

@Brian Hockley I understand.

@Kenneth Mooney Jacksonville Florida.

@Michael King Lol at:  'destroy or eradicate the animals.'  Your going to get me in trouble with the dog protective services.  Their good dogs just not in a great environment.

@Jay Hinrichs Sounds like a scene from Nightmare on Elm Street. Lol.

@Scott Lewis Buying the next door house is not an option right now but maybe sometime later.

Every time an innocent person gets eaten alive by a pit bull, the owner responds with, "It would never hurt a fly." Those 5 would probably never hurt a fly.

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