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If my dog bit two of my neighbors and neither one of them sued, can my building make me get rid of my dog?

Brooklyn, NY |

the first time my neighbor was inside my house showing me something, and my dog attacked. She was really sweet and we came to an understanding, the second time happened a year later and the neighbor was also very nice and agreed not to sue. Now the building is telling me that i need to either move out or get rid of my dog. Is this legal?

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Attorney answers 10


Yes, they can. Owning an animal carries certain responsibilities. Even if the lease permits you to have a dog, you are maintaining a nuisance. It may not be easy for them to get rid of the dog (or you) but they can do it.

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It likely depends on your lease agreement or condo agreement. Its possible though. Maybe you can preempt it and speak with the owner/landlord/condo association. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


Yes, but it depends on what type of pet provisions you have in your lease and whether they believe that the dog is creating a dangerous condition on their property.


Yes. Best bet is to move to another apartment complex so you can keep your dog.

Marco Caviglia

Marco Caviglia


Next time, purchase a muzzle for the dog.


Absolutely. The landlord is now on notice of your dog's vicious propensities ( so are you for that matter) and might be liable for a future attack.

My firm is a second generation family firm successfully handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases for over 35 years. "Let Our Family Help Your Family" 516 466-7900


If they want the dog out under these circumstances, he is out. If I advised the landlord, I would absolutely say he must get that dog out asap.

The landlord is now potentially liable if the dog bites or realy hurts someone badly. The typical case would be a child who suffers a disfiguring attack. Then you a have high likelihood of a lawsuit.

Now that the landlord knows that you are harboring a dog that bites people or as the law calls it "has a viscous propensity" he is potentially as liable as you are.

Be very carefull, perhaps you may consider the possibilty of obtaining applicable insurance coverage for future liability.


Check your lease and talk with a tenants rights atty. If you are disabled and the dog is a guide or support dog, you may be able to keep him. Check with a diability rights atty .


Much depends on the wording of your rental agreement. Have an attorney review it for you. In the meantime, you need to purchase renters insurance or get rid of this dog on your own. This can be a serious liability and you are already on notice of 2 prior bite incidences, which would clearly make you liable for any future damage caused by this dog.

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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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You need to talk with an attorney-sounds like your landlord heard about these incidents and is acting based on what they heard. Take your lease with you when you meet with the lawyer.


Dear Tenant:

Your "right" to keep your dog likely derived from the New York City Pet Law, as your lease, most likely was written with a "No Pet" clause. The city law abrogates the "No Pet" clause if the landlord fails to enforce the lease within three month of discovering the pet.


But the law does not interfere with the landlord's right to demand enforcement of the "No Pet" clause, once the animal proves to be a danger.

You have a legal dispute that will bring you to Housing Court. You must hire an attorney to defend your tenancy and to help you chart a legal course to keeping your dog. Just because the landlord made the demand, does not necessarily mean that the court will agree or that you will not be allowed to work out appropriate conditions that will protect the landlord and also allow you to keep your dog. And, despite the actual admissions you made in a Public Forum about the two incidents, if there is a silver lining, the two events took place in the apartment, there are no accidents in a common area, or elevator, or outside the building, and that may mitigate against the more extreme determination that you would need to remove your pet from your home or lose your home.

You cannot do this alone.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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