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On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024

Can landlords be responsible for injuries a tenant’s dog causes?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Personal Injury

In Pennsylvania, premises liability cases involving dog bites can be complex. This may particularly happen when the dog belongs to a tenant rather than the property owner.

When such incidents occur, various factors help determine whether a landlord has any liability.

Premises liability

The heart of premises liability is the responsibility of property owners to maintain safe conditions on their premises. In the context of dog bites, this means ensuring that tenants and visitors do not undergo exposure to unreasonable risks posed by dangerous animals on the property.

Landlord’s duty of care

Landlords have a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property. However, this duty does not automatically extend to situations involving a tenant’s dog. The general perception is that landlords do not have control over a tenant’s pet or the day-to-day activities of the tenant.

Exceptions to landlord immunity

There are exceptions where landlords may be responsible. One such exception is if the landlord knew about the dog’s dangerous tendencies and failed to take reasonable steps to address the issue. For instance, if the landlord knew of prior incidents involving the dog’s aggression but did not take action to remedy the situation, they could be liable for any subsequent injuries or deaths the dog caused.

Negligence and foreseeability

In premises liability cases involving dog bites, negligence and foreseeability are key considerations. If the landlord acted negligently or did not foresee the risk posed by the tenant’s dog, they may be liable for resulting injuries. Factors such as the breed of the dog, prior incidents and the landlord’s knowledge of the dog’s behavior can influence the determination of liability.

Ultimately, each case is unique. Each depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident.

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