Can a landlord be sued if a tenant’s dog bites someone?

UPDATED: Mar 21, 2012

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Can a landlord be sued if a tenant’s dog bites someone?

If we allow our tenant to have a medium size mutt and the dog bites someone, can we be sued even though it clearly states in the lease the tenat is responsible?

Asked on March 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


Eric Ridley / Law Offices of Eric Ridley

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I hate to tell you, but you can be sued by anyone, for any reason. Whether or not the other party can prevail is another question. IF you had any indication that the dog was dangerous - if if had bitten before, for example, or if it is a dangerous breed - then you might incur some liability. 

As a landlord, you absolutely must have liability insurance. If you do, your policy should provide for your defense if you are sued for the actions of a tenant's dog. But check with your agent to be sure.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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