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Landlords responsibility for tenants dog bite,?? Am I more liable if I say ok and charge a monthly rate for that dog?

Mableton, GA |

rental contract reads as follows: This is a duplex and I have not given any written approval.
"Occupancy by guests staying over seven days will be in violation of this provision and be charged __$200__ per mo extra for each occupant or pet not listed on this agreement. Any extra occupancies or pets found staying at premises more than 7 days without written permission from Management will be charged retroactive back to the beginning of lease for the above stated amount per month. No pets of any kind shall be brought on the premises without the prior written consent of the Management."

also would a dog waiver for the landlord help protect or make the landlord more liable?

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Attorney answers 5


Dont know Ga law. In calif, we usually must prove LL had knowledge of the dangerousness of the dog before the incident. Must show LL negligence. So if LL has a back fenced in yard, and that tenant has a dog that goes in the yard, and that the fence has a big whole in it so dog can get out, and dog gets out and bites someone, LL could also be responsible.



User stood. negligence on the part of the landlord is not good. Question is how far could that be taken in a court of law. If tenant gets a dog, dog bites and hurts someone., is landlords knowledge of tenant having a dog enough to go after the landlord?

Robert Bruce Kopelson

Robert Bruce Kopelson


I defer to Ga counsel. Apparently mere knowledge of the dog being there isnt enough to hold LL liable. However, that doesnt mean LL cant be sued. It is virtually impossible to avoid being sued, as you cant keep someone who is bitten from suing you. Just because they sue, doesnt mean they will win. That is why LL should have ins and make sure ins doesnt exclude claims relating to dog bites. Ive seen some homeowners policies that try to exclude claims based upon the type of dog. You should check your policy carefully.


Generally speaking, in Georgia an out-of-possession landlord will not be held responsible for injuries caused by a tenant's dog.



Ok, so under what conditions could a landlord be sued for a tenants dog biting or harming someone? Does the fact that this is a duplex (multi family) tighten the responsiblities /laws for the landlord ?


Great advice from Attorney Swanson.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


Notice to a landlord of a dog's propensity to bite, e.g. a previous incident of biting could expose a landlord to liabilty for a subsequent incident,

This answer is for general purposes only and does not create an attorney/client or confidential relationship which can only be created by a written and signed retainer agreement.


State laws vary, but good advice from Swanson.

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