My future tenant has dogs (not vicious breeds) and I want to know if I have can be held liable for their actions.
A landlord may be liable for a tenant's animal if the landlord knew about the animal's propensity for aggression or violence and allowed it to remain in the premises. Otherwise, if the animal is not known to have an aggressive nature or history, it would not likely be deemed negligent for the landlord to allow the animal to occupy the premises.
You are the Landlord I assume. If you dont have any knowledge of viciousness or prior incidents, you generally would not be held liable. With that said, creative lawyers could try to sue you if you controlled the fencing of the home and the fencing was alleged to be insufficient or somehow the lawyer alleges that you as a homeowner did something wrong.
Also, if you have homeowners or renters insurance, that may cover any alleged damages or injuries.
You could ask the renter to get renters insurance covering such incidents if you are fearful and the future tenant agrees.
Under certain factual situations, you, as a landlord, may have liability exposure to 3rd persons. Make sure that you have adequate commercial insurance governing your rental property. Should there be a claim against you, you simply turn It over to your carrier and they have an obligation to investigate, defend you and indemnify you if necessary.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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