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I have a rental property, if I rent to a tenant who has a dog, and that dog bites someone, am I liable for anything?

Pleasantville, NY |

In NY state do you need additional insurance if you own an American Sstafforshire Terrier?

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Attorney answers 6


Generally not. Unless tenant is your agent or you know that the dog has a viscious propensity, you are generally not responsible.


Don't be surprised if you are sued if the dog bites someone on your property, but as Mr. Rothenburg said, you will not be liable for damages unless you know the dog has a history of being dangerous.

Rory Alarcon, Esq., is a New York attorney practicing the areas of Family Law, Matrimonial Law, Foreclosure Defense, Consumer Defense and other areas of general practice primarily in Suffolk & Nassau County. His office, Alarcon Law Firm, practices only in New York State and offers the best attorney rates in the Long Island area. His office may be reached at (631) 867-2348.




The law is evolving in many states on this issue and more and more holding the landlord in. If you knew or should have known the dog had dangerous propensities you can probably be liable in NY.


Why not include a defend and indemnify provision in your lease agreement with respect to dog specifically? Either have tenant defend and indemnify you or have them purchase liability insurance in connection with the dog and list you as a named insured.

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It is possible. A tenant with a goldfish would be safer.

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